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An Experimental Church

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APCC is an experiment in church planting. We seek God’s leading and obey. It seems to me, that churches are not very effective at introducing people to God. The traditional approaches to engage with the general population have had diminishing influence. It is not that the church is merely losing nominal Christians due to changing fashions or that immigration from non-Christian countries has changed the population profile.

If the Christian message is true and the gospel is powerful to transform lives, why are we not seeing people flocking to church? Does not the church have some responsibility in this? The child sex abuse scandal has shown the institutional church is more interested in self-protection than love of others. The multiplication of denominations shows that churches care more about their doctrinal positions and organisational strength than reaching the lost.

The provisional structure of APCC will allow us to easily modify it as led by the Holy Spirit. We will start off by being non-denominational, welcoming everyone, inviting speakers from a range of church backgrounds, building relationships of love, and having informal, fun services around a fellowship meal. By giving due emphasis to the horizontal relationships between people, instead of giving priority to the vertical relationship with God (doctrine, liturgy and worship practice), we hope people will meet God through his family. There is no point in planting a church the same as any of the others in the area.

Derek Thompson

The Church as God’s People

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Just as there is only one body of Christ, the universal church, with Christ as the head, APCC is an assembly of God’s people sharing their Christian journey in the world. Christians encourage one another in the faith and support each other through the hard times. We believe in and practice the priesthood of all believers (1 Pet 2:5 & 9) and encourage every-member ministry at church meetings and at other times.

The church is God centred – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus is the senior minister. Although we don’t have a paid pastor’s position, in Mel Moore, we have a pastor or shepherd who watches over the flock.

We seek to be guided by the Spirit of Christ in decision-making and acknowledge that the Holy Spirit’s leading may be discerned by any member of the congregation as confirmed by the majority of the church as represented by those in leadership. Congregational meetings may be called for more important decisions.

Church members seek to love one another and behave as led by the Spirit of Christ. But if matters of church discipline arise those involved will seek resolution through a mediated dispute resolution process.

Public meetings for the purpose of fellowship, worship, teaching and outreach are proposed to be held in Albion Park Community Centre on Saturday evenings.

A Welcoming Church

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APCC welcomes people from all walks of life. Just as Jesus taught in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the Father stands waiting for our return. We do not exclude people on grounds of disability, economic power, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, learning disability, or mental health. Just as Jesus accepted everyone who came to him, we will not demand you change either. The repentance and faith Jesus called for means to stop disbelieving in God and place your faith in him.

Another Church?

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Albion Park Community Church is presently in the pre-launch stage as we set up incorporation and organizational things. It is proposed for the church to establish home groups for ministry, teaching and fellowship and a weekly Saturday evening informal Church Service around a meal for fellowship and community outreach. Mel Moore will pastor the church and Derek Thompson will look after admin.

Why do we need another church in Albion Park? There are some 20,000 people in the 2527 postcode area and only 9 churches (including a house church and Albion Park Rail Anglican as separate churches). According to the 2016 census, 55.2% of the population in NSW identified as Christians and, according to the National Church Life survey, 15% attend church at least once per month. If you do the maths, Albion Park needs more churches just to meet the spiritual needs of those already identifying as Christians let alone reaching the remainder with the gospel.

APCC seeks to be different from the other Christian churches in the Illawarra in order to reach those who are not finding God through the others. We see Jesus Christ as head of the church, which includes all the Christian denominations. Differences in doctrinal positions and biblical interpretations are not sufficient cause for breaking fellowship with other Christians. APCC is non-denominational and welcomes people from different church backgrounds and no church backgrounds who give priority to fellowship with Christians on the basis of their relationship with Christ.

Ephesians 4:1-6 (NRSV)
1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.






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