a church of thousands

As you may know SaturdayEV is a church within a church.
We belong to the CCEC family of churches.
Recently our seniour pastor Andrew Heard sent out a letter clearly stating the vision for the fututre.
Have a read – the man is excited !

some news on the future.

Where will the Church meet after December ?

As you will know, we are wrestling with where to meet as a church until we are able to build a permanent auditorium on our site on Terrigal Drive. We have a few options available in our local area with a reasonable fall back position with Gosford High School if other options don’t eventuate. Of these other options the one that excites most interest is the building adjacent to the movie theatres at Erina Fair previously known as ‘Rustlers’. It is the right size and offers us an excellent position in the very heart of the community. This exposure is priceless and provides a venue that will compliment our urgent concern to reach those on the Central Coast who don’t know Christ.

As with any growth, there will be a cost – in terms of comfort and money. We have had ten years of relatively cheap accommodation at Erina High School (around $60,000 a year on rent) but for the next few years, we will have to pay around $30,000 per year more for Rustlers as well as undertake a large fund raiser for our new buildings. This however will be a small price to pay if that cost gives us far greater opportunity to save people from hell and bring them to know Christ. I will keep you updated as further information comes to hand.

The Vision for the future of CCEC

It is my hope you have caught the vision that we must think big. Not because we need to be known as a big church but because the need to rescue people from death to life is so profound and the glory of God so precious that to think small is unthinkable. At present on the Central Coast there are 300,000 people ‘without God and without hope’. They are facing an eternity cut off from Christ in hell. In light of this reality it seems so inappropriate to cling to an idea of church as a small and comfortable group of people. In the face of such a great need we have set ourselves the challenging but achievable goal of reaching 10% of those living on the Coast – that is, 30,000 people. Now of course God is the one who gives the growth but having a goal like this helps to move us from complacency to the urgency we ought to have. It is wonderful that under God we have been able to plant a number of churches and to grow our own but in reality we have just begun to scratch the surface and there is still so much to do.

The big question is….how can we reach so many?

The answer is to trust God and to keep praying and preaching AND thinking and planning much bigger!

If we are serious about reaching 30,000 then we must not only keep planting churches but we must consider providing room for God to grow some of those churches to become centres of mission which care not just for a few hundred people but care for a few thousand people. We are driven to this conclusion in large measure because of simple maths and economic reality. We can’t reach 30,000 by growing churches of 200 because there simply aren’t enough halls with facilities and parking to pull it off (we’d need 150 halls and we’re having trouble finding just one for ourselves!) Even if we could find enough sites to build new buildings the cost will be massive because one church of 200 still needs to spend millions to buy and build to satisfy the requirements for parking, fire, hydraulics, road works, etc. The cost of building smaller churches would be much greater per head than if a church of a thousand can be bought and built.

Ultimately, if we are to reach 30,000 people we need to not only plant as many churches as we are able but we must also provide those churches that are growing room to grow beyond two or three hundred and in fact grow into the thousands. We are excited about the prospect of moving our church to Rustlers! Not only will it enable us to move the gospel right into the heart of the market place on the Central Coast it will also enable us to move ahead in our efforts to reach 30,000 people by growing CCEC itself.

That is why we have challenged ourselves, under God, to provide the room and resources that might enable CCEC to grow to be a church of thousands rather than hundreds. Given all that God has done amongst us to this point and given the massive need to reach so many we are determined to press on. God has enabled us to achieve so much but we must be reminded that God’s goal is to have the “knowledge of his glory cover the earth as the oceans cover the sea” (Hab 2). We have much to do.

You may be asking what you can do in the midst of such a large vision. You may not feel it but you have a pivotal role because the bible tells us that God fulfils his purposes through us his people. I have four suggestions that will have an enormous impact;

Pray God would cause his word to go out powerfully. Pray that he would mature us and that he would be merciful and so bring many to repentance and faith. Pray that we would look beyond our own interests and so put aside our own comfort for the sake of others.
Live a life that is Christ honouring. Seek to be godly in all the circumstances of life. Aim to make a difference in each situation you are in.
Invite people you know to those events that will bring them face to face with the claims of Christ – Life to the Full, Summerfest, Church, etc.
Give of your time and money to enable the work to keep going ahead. Join a ministry and give sacrificially and generously and regularly.

If we can break out of our comfort zones, if we can catch the vision and give ourselves over to these things, just imagine what God could do amongst us and through us!!

I’m excited!

Yours in Christ

Andrew Heard
Senior Minister
Central coast Evangelical Church


~ by saturdayev on November 1, 2007.

One Response to “a church of thousands”

  1. there’s a vision worth dying for!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: