Stories from our churches

We love to hear and share your stories. They are like sunshine on a wet Auckland day. And they inspire us and so many others who minister to and with children and families. When you have something exciting to share about your ministry, just drop us an email and we’ll do the rest to share your story with others. And if you have photos, send those too.

The light shines again in Opunake

Four years ago, St Paul’s was a church with a congregation of 25 in the rural town of Opunake in Taranaki (population 1360). They had no employed minister and no children or families attending their Sunday worship or connected with their church.

The leaders decided that if they were to survive they would need to focus on mission. But where should they start?

The church had heard about Knox Church in Waitara renowned for its mission with children, youth and families, so Ann Smith, parish councillor and lay preacher, approached  Jennie McCullough, Children, Youth and Families ministry leader at Knox to ask if she would consider running a holiday club at St Paul’s.

Being someone who is passionate about mission and who loves to share that passion and experience with her young leaders, Jennie immediately agreed. She started preparing some of her teen leaders for their rural mission. Jennie also visited the congregation to talk about the mission and to enlist their help. The people of St Paul’s were very enthusiastic.  Soon Jennie had offers of pikelets (from a 91 year old!), containers of home baking, donations of money and lots of commitments to prayer.  Read more….

Adopt a school

When Jill was at the Leaders to Go conference in Sydney in April this year she was given the opportunity to do an impromptu “Ted Talk” (or “Bruce Talk” as one Aussie suggested we called these unpolished presentations).  Some of the stories may hopefully inspire you to connect with your local school.

in church 2A Hospitable Spirit

The Christian practice of hospitality has been on my heart over the past few months. Our latest Kids Friendly newsletter “Hands On 24” shares stories of hospitality from our churches, as well as other ways churches are helping children live out some of our  key Christian practices.

Read it here  – Hands On 24

For past issues of Hands On click here.

And here’s some of our favourite stories from past issues of Hands On…..

The other day our manager Martin Baker asked me what I say to encourage churches who have no children worshipping on Sundays.  I start with the St Andrew’s Invercargill story….

Looking Out by Roger Harrington (Hands On 17 page 4)

“St Andrew’s, Invercargill was on its knees – literally.  We faced closure as the congregation was in decline and the average age of parishioners was over 70.”  Read on to find out how St Andrew’s reinvented itself by following God’s call to “look out”….

School adopts a church by Cheryl Harray (Hands On 23 page 4)

“Do you know your local school?” Befriending and serving your local school is the first step towards building positive relationships with your community.  However this story has a lovely twist as a local principal looks for a church to adopt after his previous school experience with Flagstaff community Church.  Read on…..

More stories from our churches

You can read all our past issues of Hands On with lots of inspiring stories from our churches here