It's been pretty amazing launching our church plant initiative over the weekend, and we've already had some questions from people such as, "Why are you planting where you are planting?"
Well, we're glad you've asked and here are a couple of quick answers:
It seems good to us and the Holy Spirit
We have had an amazing adventure already of hearing God's voice for us throughout the last twelve months, discerning that we should be planting in the central suburbs, just a click out of downtown Auckland. How do we know? There’s been some prophetic words given to us, some interesting opportunities have arisen, and when we ourselves think of planting in the central suburbs our hearts are strangely warmed like one of those moments the early Church went through (in Acts 15) where it seems good to us and the Holy Spirit.
Where we think we might be
We have been called to the city, but we haven't pinpointed a location yet. For now we are prayerfully establishing who we want to be in this city, starting to figure out where we fit in around the existing church expressions already doing great things here and starting to see where we can meet a need. Our hunch for the future is it will be somewhere along a band stretching from Mt Eden, around the perimeter of Newmarket and across to Mission Bay, but we’ll tackle that at a later date in the timeline.
Census data shows growth and growth means a need for more churches
We recently looked at the census statistics of some of the areas we feel called to and were surprised to find significant growth. A great example was the 20-35 year old demographic growing in several areas from just a couple of hundred in 2003, to now in the thousands living in those areas. Those numbers are people, which means plenty of people to reach and serve. With growth comes new projects in the city–a good example is the new Auckland University campus being built in Newmarket–and we are excited to be a church plant that will be able to be around with these new things in the future, as well as finding the needs that need to be met that come along with them.