South Australian pastor Andrew Downes says the need to plant a new church has grown out of his congregation’s own need to grow.

“The building we are currently using is maxed out and consequently we are currently growing our fringe but little else,” he says.

“For us to truly be making disciples we need more space, hence we are planting a second congregation.”

Andrew says Generation Y represents a real opportunity for the gospel in South Australia.

Though many remain on the fringe, an increasing number of younger adults have been joining Aldinga Bay Baptist’s network.

“One of the exciting aspects of the plant has been empowering some of our 20-somethings with a solid sense of ownership and leadership of the fledgling congregation,” Andrew reports.

“It’s early days but so far there is a growing enthusiasm in this area.”

Though Andrew is an experienced church planter he still expects the next 12 months to be personally and publicly challenging.

Aldinga Bay has to continue to grow the core group for the new plant in both vision and numbers, plan the public launch of the second congregation and employ someone to take on its leadership once Andrew has set the wheels in motion.

However Andrew says that past experience has taught him five lessons he would pass on to any other prospective church planters:

  1. Have a coach you can be honest with
  2. Maintain a vital and personal walk with Jesus
  3. Don’t neglect your wife and family
  4. Work hard, expect to get disappointed as well as encouraged
  5. Don’t give up unless you are sure God is telling you to

And the lesson God is teaching Andrew this week in the face of an increasing ‘to do’ list?

“God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.”