“What are you going to look for in a church?” my brother asked me at a family dinner earlier this year. “Good question”, I replied before pulling the ultimate older sister/parent/teacher trick, “what would you look for in a church?”

Maybe it’s a question you’ve considered, or maybe you haven’t. But how would you answer it? What do you think is important in a church?

Jake and I have recently moved to Griffith. It’s a whole 6 hours away from our friends and family. For me, that is really hard. I rely heavily on external supports (sorry Jake). And so, it has been really important to find a church family to share in life with. There are a few churches out here, and so, to work out which one we would commit to, we asked: Who faithfully handles the Bible? (Because a church that handles the Bible well will be committed to reaching the lost, loving one another, and seeing Jesus’ name be made known).

Thankfully, in our post-COVID era, livestreams enabled us to taste all the churches and commit to Griffith Presbyterian Church on our first Sunday where we really have been welcomed fantastically.

We are so thankful for the training ground St Michael’s has been for both of us over the past few years. You have placed us in good stead for our time here, so thank you! The faithful Bible teaching, on Sundays and throughout the week, has shaped our hearts and our convictions so we can be intentional at church and in our workplaces. We are also thankful for the opportunities we had to teach God’s Word – thank you for entrusting us with your kids and youth. These teaching opportunities have helped us grow in understanding the Bible for ourselves, and practically thinking through how it shapes ministries.

We want to encourage you! You are at a fantastic church where God’s Word is prioritized in all areas. Please make the most of the training ground you are in. Take every opportunity to be involved; join a Growth Group, serve formally and informally, and invest in those around you. And then, consider going! Most churches are not as well-resourced as St Michael’s, especially out this way. Could you use what you have learnt at St Michael’s to serve our brothers and sisters elsewhere across Australia?

And at this time of year, lots of people are moving into Wollongong. Please welcome them, not just with a smiling face at the church door, but maybe with a meal in your home. It really does make all the difference to someone new!

If you would like to find out what has been happening for Jake and I more personally, check out our most recent newsletter here (you can also subscribe to future updates here too):

Eden Parker
Former Ministry Trainee