Delegates from 102 churches came together on February 18 and 19 to share ideas, strategise mission and pray at the Greater Sydney Conference (GSC) biannual Think Tank held at Stadium Australia in Sydney.
The event started with a devotional from newly appointed GSC president Pastor Alban Matohiti, who reminded churches that the “biggest privilege [we have] is to make disciples and bring others to Jesus Christ”.
Pastor Matohiti emphasised how strategies, plans, board meetings, church music (whether traditional or contemporary) and evangelistic seminars are all pointless unless our focus is on Jesus.
Other keynote speakers were South Pacific Division (SPD) Ministerial Association secretary Dr Darius Jankiewicz, church planting advisor Dr Peter Roennfeldt, Wahroonga associate pastor Gary Webster and McCrindle Research director of advisory Ashley Fell.
During the two-day event, speakers explored three key ideas for attendees to discuss and take back to their churches: that younger generations are spiritually curious but not interested in traditional, organised religion; modern evangelism needs to be focused on building genuine relationships; and church is not a building, it is people.
Pastor Matohiti closed the event with a message encouraging delegates to focus on people, cultivating diversity and understanding societal changes. Churches were challenged to connect with people by learning what they do, how they live, what they eat and hearing their stories. “And most importantly, let’s immerse ourselves in Jesus,” said Pastor Matohiti.