In November of 1999, we planted a church here in Southeastern Sydney, beginning with no facilities and no people. God has blessed His work here in an affluent and challenging field. We are eternally thankful for this. People we have led to the Lord and trained are now serving God in almost every state of Australia! God has been good to us. You helped to make this happen.
Just recently God opened an incredible door of opportunity for us. There is a like-minded independent Baptist church about 45 minutes from us. The pastor, Bro. Hernan Hullana, is an Australian man who is a close friend. They used to have a Bible institute for their people and others from local churches, the purpose being twofold: to train men for ministry and to train laypeople for service. Unfortunately, they did not have the human resources to continue this ministry, so it closed.
We have a great need here for men and women who are trained and prepared to serve God, either in a full-time capacity or as devoted lay servants. The future of Christianity in Australia lies with local Australian Christians, and we therefore need to develop effective training programs in order to equip them.
God is leading Pastor Hullana to reopen his Bible institute and increase his emphasis on training men and women for ministry. He had recently been praying for an experienced older man with pastoral experience to join with him and develop this ministry. After much prayer and counsel, I believe that I am that man. I would be involved in teaching, in mentoring, and in overseeing this exciting ministry. I would also serve, teach, and preach as Pastor Hernan sees fit. This is a fantastic opportunity!
Christina and I will continue to serve in the same city, the same country. We will continue to have an emphasis on evangelism and discipleship. The only change will be that I will transition from the ministry of senior pastor into one of training and equipping pastors, church planters, and lay servants.
Therefore, I have tendered my resignation to our church here. This will become effective by the end of the year. Our church is looking at potential men who might take over the reins here. Please pray about that.
Leaving our church is the hardest thing I have ever done. They have been very good to my family. We have gladly given 16 years of our lives to the work here. This is the only church I have ever pastored. It is home. I would not even consider moving if not for the fact that I believe it is the leading of God.
I am convinced that this move is for the good of my long-term health and the good of my family. It is also a great opportunity to make use of my pastoral experience and invest in the next generation of preachers and servants.
Your continued support will be greatly appreciated as I serve in this new capacity of training men and women for the needy field of Australia. Southland Baptist Church is not in a position to pay us a salary. I am relying upon the faithfulness of our supporting churches to be able to fulfil my role there and support my family.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
In His name and for His glory,
Mark and Christina