Beachside Church started in Avoca Beach on the Central Coast on May 15th 2005, with Mike and Carla Tanner, Steve and Louise Sutton, my wife, Jacqueline Bohr, and I, and our lovely families. The Church started by advertising our meetings in the local community. Over the first 6 weeks we planned to give away a number of prizes, including a new surfboard, so that we would encourage Church attendance.
Beachside, over the years, has had its ups and downs. As we only had a 6 pm service, we had lower numbers attending in winter. Still, the church grew over the years, with families and young people attending and finding a strong evangelical message in the life of the Church.
After 5 years, as the young people were getting older, numbers waned and, as a result, families left the Church. Like many Churches, when young people get to 18 years old, many people decided not to attend as they were busy with other activities.
At that time I thought that maybe I needed to step down and let another Pastor move the Church forward. This increased numbers for a short time but eventually, after 6 months, numbers dwindled and this Pastor thought the best way forward was to close the Church. After talks with the ‘Australian Christian Churches’ (ACC) Executives it was agreed that I would take the Church back and once again Pastor the church I had left 6 months prior.
This was an amazing miracle as the Executives don’t usually get involved in decision making in a local congregation and, if they do, they would never invite the Pastor who handed the Church over 6 months prior, back to lead the Church. But that’s what they did and, since then, it has been an exciting and miraculous way forward.
God challenged me to close the Church for 6 weeks during the 2011 Christmas period. I communicated that if people wanted to go to other churches they were most welcome, and that if they didn’t come back, then that was ok. During this time I sensed that God was taking us through a period of death – death of the old ways of doing Church and the old mindsets. During this time I was introduced to Brian McLaren, and from reading ‘A New Kind of Christian’, my life and ministry took on a whole new meaning. We started back in 2012 but due to trying to create a new style of Church we decided to close the Church June 29th 2014. I am currently studying and working through the next stage of ministry
If you would like to find out more about Beachside Church Central Coast, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org