Just 10 months after launching on free-to-air TV, Pastor Lloyd Grolimund’s The Aussie Pastor series has hit 20,000 viewers and received international recognition.
The program, which airs each Sunday morning on 9GEM, received a bronze Telly Award in the religious programming category. The Telly Awards honour outstanding work in television and video around the globe. This year they received more than 12,000 entries.
However, winning awards is not Pastor Grolimund’s priority—winning souls is.
“It’s the only award I have ever received and it’s pretty cool, but you know what, it doesn’t really matter,” he said.
“What matters is that we are able to reach into every single home in Australia with the gospel story—the Adventist story—of Jesus and that’s what I’m really about and that’s what I pray for and that’s what I hope for.”
The Aussie Pastor is a ministry of New Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church, which started two and-a-half years ago as a church plant in north-western Sydney under the leadership of Pastor Grolimund.
“We’ve seen our church [attendance] double . . . and I would say that the television is central in that,” he said. “We only have a membership of 110; our regular attendance is way over 300 and they are all visitors. We don’t know where they come from but they are coming in through TV.”
Pastor Grolimund is seeing God work miracles through the show, with some viewers already requesting baptism. He has had a number of inspiring personal encounters with people who have watched the show.
“I was in the gym one day—I was actually in the pool—and this lady was looking at me and she said, ‘Are you the Aussie Pastor’? And I said, ‘Yeah, I am.’ So she swam across and I spent the next hour and-a-half talking to her about Christ. She has since come to church and that’s an unfolding story,” he said.
Another chance meeting took place when he and the show’s producer/director Andrew Hunt were filming at a Sydney beach. They saw a team of first grade rugby league players training. One of the players walked past and noticed Pastor Grolimund. “He looked at me and said, ‘I’ve seen you before, what are you guys doing?’ We told him we were filming The Aussie Pastor. He said, ‘I watch you guys every Sunday morning when I’m not playing.’
“There’s another lady down in Mildura (Vic); she has been watching for six months. She says she puts her alarm on every Sunday so she can watch it. She wants to become a Seventh-day Adventist.”
The show, which is partially funded by the South Pacific Division’s Mission to the Cities initiative, highlights Adventist beliefs. Pastor Grolimund believes that the appeal of the show is that it has a genuine, authentic feel about it—and is distinctively Aussie.
“We are not slick. I don’t use notes or a prompter,” he said, “we are speaking to them from our heart.”
The Hope Channel Bible School has received around 1000 requests from Aussie Pastor viewers for DVDs and books offered through the show. About six people have now enrolled in Bible courses.
Next month New Hope is holding a tent revival meeting, where people will have an opportunity to hear the stories of God’s power working through the show. The free event will be held on September 22 and 23 at Marsden Park in western Sydney. To find out more or to register, go to aussiepastor.com or call 0407 774 673.