John McLean, co-author of Lead With Your Strengths, is the GCI National Director and Missions Director for Australia.
Australia is a large country, approximately the size of the continental United States, but with a relatively small population of around 22 million. Our fellowship has about 40 congregations and small groups across the nation. Together, our members are actively involved in a range of community outreach activities that express our mission of building communion and living and sharing the gospel. These range from local ministries that provide food and support to homeless people, care bags for women’s refuges, and mentoring to school children, through to involvement in organising and delivering community services in partnership with local government agencies.
Our country has a strong tradition of helping those beyond our borders, including providing resources such as people, finances and organizational and compliance support. This currently includes overseas humanitarian support such as that for orphans in India and impoverished brickworkers in Nepal. In addition, our churches have provided ongoing pastoral support for their brothers and sisters in surrounding nations including Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Sri Lanka. This support has also incorporated providing funding for local infrastructure to improve the lives of not only our members but also the people of their villages and towns.
Australia: Grace Communion International P.O. Box 402, Varsity Lakes, Qld 4227 (or phone: 61 7 5553 6000) Or see the website: GCI Australia
The church in Australia has also provided many years of ministry training through Ambassador College of Christian Ministry with online, print and face to face classes now being delivered not only in Australia and the US, but also around the world.
With members scattered across 3 million square kilometres, regional and national events such as festivals, pastoral conferences, women’s conferences, and a summer camp program for teenagers provide important opportunities for maintaining and strengthening the ties between individuals and congregations.
To borrow from James B. Torrance, God is in the business of creating community. We are all privileged to share in the life of the Triune God, participating “through the Spirit in Christ’s communion with the Father and his mission to the world – to create in our day a new humanity of persons who find true fulfilment in other-centred communion and service in the kingdom of God.” We seek, in God’s grace, to live into and out of this communion already offered as divine reality in Christ.
For further information, please visit our web site at www.gci.org.au