Manly Life Update and Progress

Victoria and I are so thrilled with the progress of Manly Life. Just 5 weeks ago the church launched publicly in Manly and the response has been wonderful. For those who live afar or who have been praying for our new church community I thought I would give an update on how things are going.

From Crowd to Community…

Around two thirds of the 100 or so people now coming regularly to Manly Life are people Victoria and I had never met a few months ago. This means that we are in the process of shifting from being a crowd to a community. Everyone in one sense is new to Manly Life. One of the things that has been of greatest encouragement is how friendly and inclusive new people keep on saying the church community is. Building a strong culture of welcome and hospitality is a big challenge though! Lots of our community only get to church every 2nd or 3rd week. It means building a sense of community and continuity is difficult. Despite this new friendships are blooming, people are slowly getting more involved in different ministries and the values we dream of are becoming a reality!

Strong Identity Forming…

I am biased but the things that I believe in and care about in a church community are taking shape. Just last night Chez Robbins preached a cracker of a sermon, there was good ministry time, people stayed around for a BBQ, the worship was full of the presence of God. Alpha has shifted us too, out of the building and into the community (The Space Bar in Manly). People seeking friendship and the truth are coming along and enjoying a glass of wine, listening to the Gospel and then speaking their minds. A stake is being put in the ground about who we are as a church.

It Takes Time…

With all of these fantastic things happening, the reality too is that it just takes time! For this wonderful new church to be strong and viable into the future there are some big things we are still praying for and working towards. Some of the big markers of commitment to a church is giving and serving. Both of these areas have room for growth! Planting a new church is a big step of faith for the all involved and often people wait a while to see what emerges before they really get stuck in with serving and giving. So pray with us that the finances will improve and the gifts that God has placed in people will increasingly be released into the life of the church.

Please do keep praying for Victoria and I, the leadership team and the formation of this exciting new church. There is so much to give thanks for. To God be the glory…

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