Church planting: Reflections and upcoming gatherings
This page has been set up to include reflections, helpful information and details about prayer meetings, gatherings and conversations regarding the possibility of The Billabong starting a new worshipping community.
Congregational Meetings on 18th September & 23rd October
See below for a letter (and video with the same content) with information circulated prior to our meeting on 18th September. For final info and proposals relating to our meeting on 23rd October, please email email@example.com
To RSVP to our Congregational meeting on 23rd October, click here.
Why Plant Churches? (Recording from May)
If you missed our Church Family Lunch on "Why Plant Churches?" we encourage to watch the recording here. During this time we heard from guest church planters and discussed some of what a new worshipping community being planted by The Billabong will (and won't) look like. As we move towards decision making about leadership and investment of resources in such a venture, we hope this session both answers some of your questions and sparks more, and encourage you to share the questions you have via the form below.
Towards church planting (info for meeting on 18th Sept - click to expand)
Dear church family,
A 2 minute invitation to come on this journey with us
A message from 12th June 2022 about our vision to church plant
What are we really talking about here? (June 2022)
In both the church family lunch recording and the sermon "The Land" (above) Luke covered some points clarifying what we are and aren't talking about when we say we're exploring church planting. Here's a quick summary:
We’re not talking about buying land and building a building.
We would love the Uniting Church to invest in land south of Canning Vale so that in the future, more venue to be used for Kingdom work can be established. But that's not the first step. This isn't about a building, this is about establishing new communities of people to reach local areas with the good news of Jesus.
We’re not talking about a carbon copy of The Billabong congregation in Canning Vale
A church plant is shaped around the people it is trying to reach with the gospel. So the new worshipping community will look different to The Billabong in Canning Vale. Once we decide on leadership and location, a team will 'research' the area and shape the church plant around the needs, passions and demographics of the local area.
The plant would be part of The Billabong family
A decision to establish an autonomous congregation with it's own governance, eldership, finances etc. could come later. But in the interim, it makes the most sense that this be a "location" or "campus" of The Billabong family, with the leaders working closely together and the two communities having "family gatherings" from time to time.
It may start small
We’re not expecting a full 50% of The Billabong congregation to up and move to the new church plant. It might be 20 or 30 people including kids. Maybe more, maybe less.
It won’t start this year
Even if committed to proceed, appointing a leader and investing resources later this year, a minimum 6 month period of developing a team, praying, preparing, getting training for the leader (this is usually called “launch phase”) is required. So Easter next year is the earliest we’d see the first weekend service and “official launch”.
We can't and won't proceed without identifying a leader
Launch phase can't begin if there's no key leader to encourage people to come and work with to research, pray, plan and prepare. This is an essential step and current point of much prayer and discernment.
Finally, we're unlikely to employ someone from outside The Billabong to come and lead the church plant
The leadership team feel that identifying and sending a leader or a couple from within The Billabong, who carry our DNA, align with the vision and mission of this church, is so important. This must be someone who is called, has the right character, and is willing to be trained and equipped for the task. While not impossible, it would be tough to find someone from outside who gels so well with The Billabong that they are the right person/couple for the job.
Hopefully this helps in clarifying a few things. Again, please take time to watch the videos above, and share any questions you have via the google form. Thanks!
Reflections on a week of praying for local suburbs (April 2022)
During Holy Week, some of us gathered on zoom each morning at 7am to pray. Part of our prayer focus each morning was on suburbs around the region where The Billabong is located. As we are currently on a journey of discovering whether God is leading us to expand our ministry through ‘church planting’ - starting a new worshipping community - it’s important that we pray for the areas we could be led to plant into. There’s been a strong sense for me that the suburbs south of Canning Vale where new housing developments are still happening are where the Holy Spirit is leading us. But that’s a very big area! How far south? More towards Cockburn, or Byford? Where there’s already well established communities, or where houses are yet to be built?
An invitation to prayer and conversation (March 2022)
Dear church family,
Pizza & Prayer # 1 - Piara Waters
On Saturday 7th May we gathered for our first "Pizza and Prayer" at Rossiter Pavillion, Piara Waters
Piara Waters is a rapidly growing area with a population of around 15,000. There are several primary schools and a new high school being built. Standing on the oval where hundreds of people were gathering to play soccer on Saturday evening, we prayed for the schools, residents, community activities and government initiatives that happen here. It was a great first prayer meeting as we pray for these suburbs south of Canning Vale and seek God's direction in this journey!
Pizza & Prayer # 2 - Treeby
On Thursday 19th May we gathered for our second "Pizza and Prayer" at Amethyst Park, Treeby.
Treeby was established only 6 years ago, but already has a primary school, community and sports centre (opening soon) and is home to thousands of people with new estates being built as we speak. We prayed near and on top of a hill where you can look out over the whole suburb - a beautiful sight as storm clouds gathered at sunset. We prayed that God would continue to show us where He wants us to base a new worshipping community, whether here, further east, or further south. There are a few churches on the edge of the suburb (in the industrial area) and others nearby in more established areas like Cockburn. Most importantly, we prayed that whatever God's plans are for us, that he establish His kingdom and grow His church in this area.