Anglican Church in Melbourne to increase

( [email protected] ) Apr 29, 2004 08:12 AM EDT

The Anglican Church in Melbourne has recently committed to increasing its size by 10% each year for the coming 3 years. First reported in Australian News, they hope to increase by two steps: "first a year of discernment of gifts of local church people, and a program for the deepening of the spiritual life; then in the second and third years programs for sustained growth. These programs will not be monochrome, but diverse in style and content, but all aimed at attracting people to a living faith in Christ and in the life of the church."

"Churches will need to be more welcoming at the front door, and more watchful about the back door. We need to make many more intentional efforts to connect with young people and to disciple them into participation in a local church. Young people are coming for a look but are not staying for membership and spiritual pilgrimage," the Anglican Church said.

It is also expected that small groups will play a key part in the growth. "They provide close fellowship and form friendships around the Gospel. They act as mini churches to enable a model of mutual pastoral care, to encourage the faithful, and to provide excellent teaching and training opportunities."

The Anglican Church said that it is committed to taking up Jesus’s great commission and stated that its mission is to “make disciples of people from different backgrounds and teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded us (Matthew 28: 19-20), so that repentance and forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in Jesus' name to all the nations (Luke 23:47) and “To love God and to love our neighbours as ourselves (Mark 12:31) through practical, costly and sacrificial love (Luke 10: 25-37, John 13:34-35).