Everyone committed to gospel ministry in Australia must be encouraged by the energy for Christian ministry found in good expository preaching and in many strong churches, theological and Bible colleges, Christian publishers, and church planting networks.
Our aim is to facilitate more gospel cohesion in Australia and try to overcome the tyrannies of distance, competition, and tribalism so that people from different churches, states, and ministries are better able to encourage and support each other.
The Gospel Coalition has managed to bring together a good variety of ministries and interests in a supportive fellowship in North America. TGC also has a valuable website resource that provides support for thinking about and doing gospel ministry. This site very popular with Australians, and many of us use it regularly.
Over the past few years there have been movements in several American states and Canada to set up local gospel networks. Earlier this year we began conversations with TGC, and the result was that a representative group of people met in August and agreed to set up TGC Australia. This group—which will be the Council of TGC Australia—appointed a steering group comprising Gary Millar from Brisbane, C. S. Tang from Sydney, and myself from Melbourne.
TGC will make a dedicated space for us on their website, and we plan to launch in early 2015. We already have a large bank of articles that will allow us to build and sustain momentum. This website space will enable informed and positive discussion about gospel ministry in our Australian context, and will provide useful resources for many.
On July 23, 2015, we will be holding a Leaders’ Consultation in Brisbane. We are inviting leaders from a large range of ministries, and we hope they will join to help us shape an effective ministry. There will be input from Don Carson, Peter Jensen, and TGC Australia Council members. During this Consultation we will celebrate the national launch of TGC Australia at the iconic Brisbane City Hall.
Collaboration, Not Competition
We do not want to set up yet another Christian organization to compete with existing churches, ministries, or organizations. We do want to enable and support an increase in mutual recognition, mutual information-sharing, mutual prayer, and mutual support among our many churches, colleges, ministries, and organizations. We are sure this will enrich all our ministries, enable gospel fellowship across Australia, and allow each of us to contribute our special gifts to a common goal. (We also hope mutual information-sharing and support will enable us to coordinate our efforts so that we don’t end up with six excellent Australia-wide conferences in the same month!)
TGC is not supporting TGC Australia financially, but they have generously agreed to host us on their website, and have also given us helpful advice and information. May the Lord use our efforts to cultivate more effective gospel ministry in Australia, and in turn increase our country’s contribution to his global mission.