Have you ever wondered what the Kingdom of Heaven would look like? Jesus said: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock”. Have you ever wondered what it would look like if you opened the door?
Grace Church has a passion and desire to open the door into the Kingdom of Heaven – that when people visit our church, they leave knowing they have encountered God. GRACE CHURCH 2012 is going to be an exciting place to be! With a focus on encountering God and equipping people, we feel the Kingdom of Heaven will be experienced in our daily lives.
On January 29, we farewelled our Senior Pastor Kerry Medway, who planted our church over 17 years ago and appointed Todd and Sarah Murray as the next Senior Pastors of Grace Church. Grace has a new leader, but is still under the same management from up above!
At the ripe old age of 33 for Todd, it’s hard for Todd to wear the ‘Senior’ label. Although Senior might not be the best label, Todd began the Youth Ministry in Grace Church in 1999 with a group called ‘Solid Rock Youth’. This later changed into ‘Ignite Youth Church’. Ignite grew up to 150 young people worshipping God every Wednesday night. In July 2010, Todd transitioned the Youth Ministry in Grace over to Bindi Packer, who is now our current youth pastor.
As well as having a background in youth ministry, Todd also oversaw the Missions work in Grace Church, taking him to places such as Russia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Philippines and many other countries to help those people in need. Todd has been living in Port Macquarie for 25 years, married his high school sweetheart in 2000 and now has two amazing children, Hannah (7 years) and Lacie (5 years).
This year, we introduce a new team member to the Grace Church team – Ross Nancarrow. Ross has lived around the Hastings for the last 8 years, after moving from Perth. He says 1981 was a ‘watershed year’, when he came to faith and married Donna. He now has 4 adult children scattered around the country. After his theological studies, Ross worked in church base ministry and with disadvantaged people groups for over 25 years. This work has taken him all over Australia and into many countries in conjunction with Christian and leadership development. Recently, Ross and Donna lived in Bangalore, India for a year, doing medical mission and consulting for the Academy of Church Planting and Leadership.
For 2012, our Grace Church Pastoral Staff will consist of Todd and Sarah Murray (Senior Pastors), Ross Nancarrow (Associate Pastor), Matt Doeland (Worship Pastor), Denise Farey (Children’s Pastor), Bindi Packer (Youth Pastor), Jane Bax (Women’s Pastor) and Brandon Erga (Trainee Youth Pastor). This is a great team of diverse gifting, talent, experience and ages and a team passionate and sold out for God.
Big vision! At Grace, our pastoral team believes we are to be leaders of leaders … that as Pastors, our role is to equip others to encounter God. Volunteers lead, staff assist, is a motto of our leadership practices. We believe that as individuals are encouraged to deepen their relationship in God and focus on their own talents, gifts and abilities, then the church will rise to be an unshakeable force in our community.
We seek to be a church known for hosting the presence of the Lord, where people are saved, healed and restored. To put legs on this vision, one of the big exciting things is that Grace Church will be running a new and fresh Bible School called Grace School of Supernatural Ministry (GSSM). This is an exciting venture and something that we have invested many thousands of dollars into.
It is our prayer and vision that Grace Church will be known as a church that teaches the Bible thoroughly and is guided by the Holy Spirit in everything we do. As well as GSSM, we will be refreshing and improving areas in our church, such as Pastoral Care, Connect Groups, Overseas Missions work; we will be introducing new business training and equipping seminars with the International Christian Chamber of Commerce. Our Worship Pastor, Matt, will begin work on Graces’ third worship album, and there is loads more already planned for the 2012 calendar.
Does Heaven beckon you? In 2012, why not consider opening the door to Jesus and see what can happen…