So what do two chefs, a neighborhood pub and an art show all have in common? They are all a part of the ministry of Life Church in New Castle, Australia. This Life Church is not be to be confused with maybe another LifeChurch.tv you have heard about. While this Life Church may have far less people, they make up for it with a tremendous missional drive and desire. During the first four days of our trip to Australia Kevin Wilcock, the Pastor of the church was our host. How do I describe Kevin? The only thing Kevin loves more than a good drink and a party is probably his family, his church and Jesus! Kevin is a wild character; but he has a creative passion for helping people find their way back to God.
In the few days that I spent with Kevin his church did the following:
- They have hired two chefs on their staff so they can use their church facility to feed the homeless and hungry. Every week they serve more than 800 meals.
- They opened up their church as an art galleryon Friday night with both christian and non-christian artists displaying their art for the community. One young man sold his very first painting. Kind of cool that an artist gets to launch his professional career in a church building.
- Kevin had a party in his neighborhood on Saturday night he called, “Jazz in the Vines”. He hired a local jazz band and invited 150 of his neighbors over for the evening. They all came with their food and their drink and a great time was had by everyone.
- They announced they were starting a new service in the local pub called The Kent that would meet on Sunday nights. The poster advertising the “2 beer service” is to your left.
All this took place just during the few days I was there…while holding a leadership conference! They are doing a lot more than that too! They have AA groups, SA groups, NA groups and more. They host jazz concerts with local professional jazz musicians at their church.
I left his church inspired to be more missional, more engaged in the community an more intentional about using all our resources to reach out to the least, lost and lonely and help them find their way back to God!