Who is leading Grace City Church?

Rick Warren says, “Most people choose a church based on the senior pastor, but they stay at the church because of their friends.” I have no idea whether that statement is correct or not, but if there’s even an ounce of truth in it there’s no point in pretending that leaders don’t matter. They do. The real question is what type of leader are you going to be? And more importantly, what type of leader are you going to follow?

For the sake of brevity, this post will not spend a great deal of time talking about the type of leader that I follow. I expect to spend the rest of my life talking about him. But just to be clear, his name is Jesus. He is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and my life belongs to him. So too does the life of my lovely wife, Emma. We are his to do with as he pleases.

Instead, what I want to do in this post is give you a brief introduction to Emma and myself. That way, you can get to know us a little more and see who’s leading Grace City Church. What you do in response to this information is up to you, but at the very least, we’d love your prayers as we embark on the journey ahead. Also, for the sake of full-disclosure… I’m writing this post at the request of my team.

Backstory

Emma and I both grew up on Sydney’s North Shore and attended Christ Church, St Ives. Technically we first met when my family joined the church in Year 4, but I’ve got no solid memories of Emma until I was in Year 11. It was at church one time when a friend of mine from school pointed across the room and asked me, “Who’s the hot blonde chick?” I had no idea that he had just pointed out my future wife.

Emma and I didn’t really speak much until we started leading the youth group together in 2006. Within a month or so, the scales had fallen off my eyes and I finally realised that the woman of my dreams had been right there in front of me all along. I asked her to be my girlfriend on the 21st September, 2006 and 18 months later I told her I loved her and asked her to marry me. She said yes and we got married on December 22, 2008.

Early Years

Thankfully, Emma knew that she was marrying a future pastor. I’d just finished an Arts Degree at Sydney Uni and was employed to work at St Ives High as an SRE teacher. This was a great time of learning for me and taught me how to communicate the gospel in an often skeptical and sometimes hostile environment. It also gave me an opportunity to develop some resources for other SRE teachers. This experience grew within me a passion for evangelism and producing resources.

It was also during this time that we first got in contact with the Geneva Push. Here we met like-minded people who had a vision to plant churches all over Australia. We loved what they stood for and have deeply appreciated the teaching and development that we have experienced through these relationships. If you are interested in church planting, you should definitely check them out!

Ministry Preparation

In 2011 I began as a student at Moore College. At the same time, Emma and I moved to Church By The Bridge and helped to plant a new congregation in Lavender Bay. We spent two years at this church and absolutely loved it. In 2013 we moved to Church Hill in the city and I was able to observe the planting of another new congregation in Walsh Bay. Both of these experiences have been incredibly helpful in preparing us to plant Grace City.

In 2013, Church Hill sent me to Asia to experience the Redeemer City to City month long intensive for church planting. Emma also attended this training for a week. This was an incredibly formative time and has helped to give me a passion and vision for a gospel ministry that might engage and enrich not just the members of our church, but the city as well.

Grace City Church

2014 is a year of transitions. This year I will complete my final year at Moore College and Emma is about to start a new job. It’s also the year that Grace City has started its incubation phase.

I find it helpful to think of Grace City as a newly conceived baby. It already exists and it’s a real church, but like all babies it takes about 9 months to grow. No doubt the next nine months will be a little hectic and crazy, but like all pregnancies we’re convinced that the pain will be totally worth it!

So as God grows Grace City Church this year, and as I seek to feed it with the Word of God and prayer, please pray for Emma and I. Pray that God would grow us in love for one another and for him. He is our hope. He is our rock. And he is the reason we are planting Grace City Church.