Sometimes my professional life and my personal life intersect in rather surprising ways. So it was this week during an interview with Andrew Katay, CEO of City to City Australia, Australia’s largest church planting and revitalisation agency.
I was asking Katay about a new church planting residency program established with the assistance of some generous anonymous donors who are keen to see people hear about Jesus and have caught the vision of the church planting program.
I’d seen a video about the Multiply TAS program, a partnership between City to City and the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania, which included interviews with Tegan Gillie and Michael Hemans, who are starting as church planting residents next year in different areas of the Apple Isle.
I found the idea rather exciting. Katay explained that these residents would work in the pre-launch phase of a church plant by recruiting the launch team, finding a venue and researching the area.
I was asking Katay about a new church planting residency program established with the assistance of some generous anonymous donors.
Then Katay landed the bombshell – my son Gabriel was part of this program.
“Oh, is he?” I say in surprise.
“Yes, He’s an actual resident. He is in the program and he’s off to Kuala Lumpur in a couple of weeks.”
Now, my ignorance is not quite as weird as it may at first seem since I live in Darwin and my son works as a youth and children’s minister in Sydney. I knew that his church had recently joined Christ Church Inner West, a group of four churches headed up by Katay. But I didn’t know that Gabriel was spending Monday afternoons doing online learning as he prepares the runway to launch a new congregation in the inner west of Sydney in Stanmore.
“Oh gosh, I have to do an interview with my son’s boss to find out what he’s doing!” I exclaim.
I also discover that City to City has been working significantly with Matt Goldman, who will be the new pastor of a church plant at my own church, Christ Church Cathedral in Darwin.
Why not look out for a chance for City to City to be involved in your church or your own family’s lives?
I’ve been a part of this afternoon service since it started a few months ago, and I had heard that Matt was coming back to join our team, after serving here during COVID as he became trapped in the Top End while finishing off his studies at Sydney’s Moore College.
So it was heartening to discover that my church’s leaders are being professionally supervised and supported by City to City.
The moral of the story is – why not look out for a chance for City to City to be involved in your church or your own family’s lives? They don’t only work with Anglican churches. They have a range of relationships with ten Protestant denominations. Moreover, City to City doesn’t only work in church planting but also in revitalisation to help churches that are “stuck” to attract newcomers, develop their leadership and become financially healthy.
“We think that could even triple the impact of church planting,” says Katay. “And if you’ve got a whole bunch of new churches and a whole bunch of unstuck churches that join together and say, ‘How can we reach Darwin for Christ?’ then you might just see a movement of the gospel emerge in Darwin,” Katay says encouragingly.
If you or your church are inspired to find out more, visit: https://citytocityaustralia.org.au/