What Will it Take to Reach Australia?
Australia is a big place. If you don’t think so, you’ve obviously never travelled from one end of the continent to the other! Australia is the world’s largest island and its sixth largest country (after Russia, Canada, China, the USA, and Brazil). Australia is also home to more than 26 million people. 26,505,980 people to be (somewhat) precise (according to Worldometer). 26+ million people all made in God’s image and all in need of God’s grace and mercy. Just like the size of our nation, the spiritual need of our country is great.
According to social researcher Mark McCrindle, the last 40 years in Australia has seen a significant shift away from Christianity. In the 1981 census, three in four Australians (76%) identified their religion as Christianity. Today, that proportion has decreased to 44%. In 1981, just 10% of Australians identified as having no religion, while today that has increased to 39%. That’s almost a fourfold increase in no religion over the past four decades.
Broadly speaking, churches aren’t growing in Australia. Church attendance has declined in recent decades. The average church size in Australia is no more than 70 and the majority of those attending are over 60.
Obviously, this isn’t the whole story and there are plenty of exceptions to this somewhat bleak picture—including, by God’s grace, our own story. But still, the (great) need remains. The need for healthy, evangelistic, multiplying churches.
This is why we are excited to highlight the ministry of Reach Australia this Sunday in our services. Reach Australia began as a church planting network called Geneva Push in 2009. Today, Reach Australia works with both church plants and established churches to reach Australia with the good news of Jesus. Reach Australia is motivated by the vision to see our nation won for Jesus Christ through thousands of healthy, evangelistic, multiplying churches (new plants and established churches) across Australia. The goal is to see 300 new churches planted by 2030 and to support 750+ healthy, evangelistic and multiplying churches. This is a vision worth supporting wholeheartedly.
We have ourselves benefitted greatly from the work of Reach Australia. Throughout 2023 I have participated in the Reach Australia Leadership Development Program, which is a two-year program involving leadership intensives, one-on-one coaching and a church health assessment. It has been immensely helpful and has clarified a number of areas where we can grow and become more effective in our God-given mission.
Can I encourage you to prayerfully, sacrificially, generously support the work of Reach Australia this Sunday? We want to partner with them to raise up new church planters and equip church leaders to see people saved in churches around our great country.
Australia is indeed a big place with great spiritual need. But our God is even greater. He is the one who opens blind eyes and softens hard hearts. Let’s join him in what he is doing in the world and especially in Australia.
‘And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38)
With you on the journey,