Here at Creek Road our vision is to 'Reach the city, reach the world'. As more and more people emigrate to Australia from all over the word we have an increasing opportunity to do that right where we are and doing that well is something we're thinking hard about. Last weekend my wife Mel and I had the opportunity to go to Sydney for the weekend to visit a couple of churches who are working at doing church in a way that welcomes people from different cultures and who speak different languages. It was the chance to step out of our own heads and experience first hand what some other churches in very multi-ethnic parts of Sydney have been trying in order to see people from all different backgrounds fellowshipping and growng together.
We stayed with friends of mine from Theological College, Tom and Jess Habib who're ministering in Yagoona and Condell Park Anglican churches ad were able to chat to them over the weekend about the thing's they're doing to reach different backgrounds at church.
On Sunday morning we visited MBM - Multicultural Bible Ministries in Rooty Hill, a church that has a similar feel to walking into our Carina Campus on a Sunday morning. People from many different ethnic backgrounds gather together each week across several services. After the service we had a good chat to one of the pastors about their philosophy and method of welcoming people from all over the word into their church.
In the evening we attended a smaller church in Lakemba, the Muslim heartland of Sydney, seeking to do church in a way that welcomes people from those cultural backgrounds. The church wasn't filled with smoke, I've just tried to make things a bit blurry so no one can be recognised...
After the service a few of us went out to the main street of Lakemba to see Ramadan celebrations. People and street food everywhere!
All these churches have different ways of thinking through meeting together across cultural and language differences and all have different things we can take and learn from. And that's what we'll be doing as we keep working out how we can be a church that reaches the world even as it reaches the city.