Our bishops and the Archdeacon for Women have shared several key ways that we can be praying for Sydney and the surrounding areas included in our Diocese. In a panel discussion recorded as part of Moore College's upcoming “From Sydney to the World” conference, the needs of our city and ministry were explored.
Here’s how you can pray:
Pray for the people of our city
Bishop Michael Stead’s prayer is that our churches will be effective in reaching our city now and that God will raise up another generation of gospel workers who can continue the task. “Sydney is projected to grow from 5 million now to 8 million in 2050,” he said. “We need a harvest field full of workers to reach that field.”
Pray for more workers for the harvest
“Even if we had enough people to fill the senior minister [positions], we still need more people,” said Gary Koo, Bishop of the Western Region. “One person has said before that we need to look beyond the barns to see the fields. And not just the fields here in Sydney, but also the world.
“We need to work really hard to encourage men and women to be thinking about how they can be bringing the gospel further afield. The consequence of not having enough people is that not enough people get to hear the great news of Jesus and be able to commit their lives to him and be saved for eternity.”
Pray for the areas that are growing and changing
With huge areas of Sydney rapidly developing, such as along the southwest and northwest corridors, the prayer of the Bishop of the Georges River Region, Peter Lin, is that Christians will use these opportunities for the gospel.
“We have vast areas where we don’t have churches within striking distance of people,” he said. “There are even areas that aren’t new growth areas where there are plenty of opportunities. We have people from every nation on earth here in Sydney, so there’s not just opportunities with geography, but there are opportunities to do with people from all different language groups. There are lots of opportunities for reaching the nations for the Lord Jesus.”
Pray that men and women will work together for the gospel
“We need both men and women trained and equipped to go into the communities and preach the gospel,” said the Archdeacon for Women, Kara Hartley. “We also need them in our churches to train up the next generations. It’s vital we have women to do this.”
“Having a well trained, theologically educated woman in every setting is paramount,” added the Bishop of Wollongong, Peter Hayward. “Our church is full of people, both men and women. I’ve always benefited from [having a woman] in every team. This is a vision everyone should pursue in their local setting for the glory of God.”
Pray that we will have confidence in the gospel
“We need to keep holding on to the fact and reality that the lost are truly lost,” Archdeacon Hartley said. “Without Christ, people will face the wrath of God and be condemned to hell. We need to continue to have confidence in God, that his vision for the lost is through the Lord Jesus Christ. We have a great message to proclaim.”
Archdeacon Hartley observed that living in a city so hardened to the gospel can make it easy for us to feel discouraged and unsure when it comes to evangelism. “We [can] find it quite daunting to share our faith with people,” she said. “We need to keep hold of these realities so that we can keep proclaiming Christ. Evangelism is always going to be a challenge for us. We need to keep… taking up the opportunity to declare the Lord Jesus.”
Give thanks for our many blessings
God has blessed the Sydney Anglican Church immensely and there is much to be thankful for. “There’s lots happening in the Diocese,” Archdeacon Hartley said. “Many people are keen to share their faith with neighbours and friends. There are churches seeking to run courses to [teach] people how to do that and to invite people onto the church property to hear the gospel. Evangelism is going really strong.”
Bishop Lin encouraged people to consider how we are using our blessings – whether they be in education, money, expertise or resources. “Do we utilise and mobilise the education and the middle-class resources to see the gospel go out across the whole city and the whole world?” he asked. “That’s what we should do with that blessing from God.”
An initiative of Moore Theological College, Sydney to the World will be held online from 2pm-4pm on August 15. The keynote speaker is Andrew Heard, senior pastor of EV Church on the Central Coast. For more details, see https://moore.edu.au/events/