'What would you do?'
One of the things we love about Cronulla is the awesome Bate Bay. I want you to imagine that you can climb in through the picture on your screen. You feel the sand on your toes and the sun on your face. You climb up into the lifeguard tower, and as you look out you see thousands of people out in the water having fun, living life. Young, old, parents, kids, surfers, clubbies, jocks, hipsters and everyone in between. It's a picture of everything we love about Cronulla.
When you are up there enjoying the view, you pick up the binoculars from around your neck and you zoom in a little. You start to see the picture from a different context, with greater clarity. What you see is that each and every one of them are about to be smashed by a tidal wave and drown. What would you do?
You would sound the alarm, shout for help, get out the jet ski’s, boats and helicopters. You would work day and night to see as many people saved as possible wouldn't you? No one would be happy with just filling a couple of boat loads of people. No one would be satisfied with saving 2%, 5% or even 10% of the people. No, we would be dragging as many people out as possible, recruiting others to do the same, enabling them to get on board this mission over and over.
We believe this is a picture of the world outside of Jesus.
When we look at the world, the Shire and Cronulla through the binoculars of the gospel we see a time when all will stand before God and have to give an account for their lives and how they responded to Jesus (2 Cor. 5:10). But more importantly, we believe that the church has been given the message of reconciliation. That we have been given the solution to this bleak picture we have just painted. We have been given the message of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:10), the message of Jesus Christ crucified for sins to bring people to God.
These simple gospel realities have formed the heartbeat of Establish Church from the very beginning and underpin everything we do. That’s why our vision statement is simply that we want to see people establish life in jesus. This story is why we will not be satisfied with the number of people on seats, but heartbroken by the countless who are not. This story is why we will not be satisfied with passive Sunday Christianity, but be driven to see a community of people truly living out the gospel.
As we look at our world through the lens of the Gospel, our mission is clear. We exist to see people establish life in jesus, Community around Jesus and mission for Jesus.
Where We’ve Come From
(all come from that place)
Everyone at Establish Church, can identify with this story in some way. Even those who are still exploring who Jesus is, or just checking us out. We know what it is like to have big questions about our world. We know what it's like to live the ups and downs of life in a broken world. We were all lost outside of Jesus, we were all broken, found Jesus, fell in love, found purpose, felt compassion, stepped out to love others and show them Jesus.
Establish Church started as a dream to see as many people as possible, regardless of background, establish the life they were made for in Jesus.
Who We Are
(driven by that story)
We are a diverse group of people who love Jesus and live to see people Establish Life in Jesus. We are driven by this story, but more importantly the story of Jesus in the Bible and a love for others, especially people in Cronulla and the Shire.
We are normal people (kind of!), tradies, teachers, healthcare workers, students, artists and creatives. We are a mix of people who have been to church for a short time, some for a long time and others who are still checking the whole thing out. But most importantly we are a community of people that are gathered around Jesus. A community of people that are shaped by his love for us, that drives our love for each other and the world.
Where We Are Going
(sustained by that story)
The picture we painted earlier, with the backdrop of the gospel is the story that sustains us and gives us our compass in life guiding and shaping where we are going. We believe that Jesus is in the business of gathering people to have life in him and he uses the church, his people to do that. We will continue to be a church that will do what it takes to see hundreds of people establish life in Jesus. We see a church that will continue to be broken for the number of people who do not know Jesus. Therefore, we see a church that is continually growing, continually connecting with new people, changing a culture and seeing people establishing life in Jesus, community around Jesus and mission for Jesus.
(solution to the story)
Basically we believe that Jesus is the solution to the story. He is the one who rescues us from the picture we painted. He is the one who restores our relationship with God. His invitation is inclusive and extensive, no matter who you are, where you are from, how good or bad you think you are, or how religious you are; we believe Jesus is the solution.
Image by Michael Sutton Photography