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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
We were made for community. We long for it, chase after it and are shaped by the communities that we are part of.
Establish Church community is a diverse and dynamic group of normal people that are passionate about seeing others Establish the life they were made for.
We believe that we were made for Life in Jesus, Community around Jesus and Mission for Jesus. This shapes who we are and impacts everything we do as we live out the gospel (good news of Jesus) together. Here’s what we believe our community should look like.
Everything we do at Establish Church is centred around Jesus (Christ). Christianity is not about stain glassed windows and rules, it's about a person - Jesus. We believe that being Christ-centred means that we are to be Bible-centred, Spirit Filled, prayerfully dependent and mission driven.
God shows us who Jesus is and what he did for us in the Bible. So we are on about the Bible and live to follow Jesus’ words.
We can only really do this because God gives Christians his Spirit to shine a light on who Jesus is, make us more like him, and equip us to live for Jesus everyday.
We are prayerfully dependent because, God longs to have relationship with us, and gives us prayer as a way of talking to him. He actually invites us to talk to him and rely on him for all things, as he gives us everything; even the breath in our lungs.
We believe the Christian life should be one that is passionate about the things that Jesus was passionate about. That was, that people found life in him. We are driven by this mission too and are shaped by a desire to see 100’s of people find life in him.
Christians are not perfect plastic people. We know we are not there yet, and that real community can be hard. So, we need to be a community of people who are grace filled. As a dynamic and growing community, we need to be slow to judge, quick to forgive, and inclusive. A community that is shaped by love and filled by the grace that God showed us in Jesus at the cross.
We all long for people to be real with us. We crave connection with people that is authentic, and community that is more than skin deep. We believe that community around Jesus, should be that kind of community. For us to be an authentic community, includes being a diverse community. We love the fact that God has made us all different. As an authentic community, we long to see people being themselves, whatever way they have been wired for God’s glory.
Lee grew up in Northern Ireland, and became a Christian at the age of 18. He is married to Cathra and they have four children, Josh, Grace, Sophia and Éva.
After a number of years working as an Intensive Care Nurse, Lee's passion for mission, and helping people find life in Jesus, led him to commence work as a Youth Pastor in 2008. Since then, Lee has completed an Advanced Diploma of Theology at Youthworks College, and his Bachelor of Divinity at Moore Theological College.
In 2013 Lee and Cathra were assessed by Geneva Push Church Planting Network, and in 2015 they planted Establish Church with a small team and a big vision to see 100's of people establish the life they were made for in Jesus, and see a church community that is passionate about planting churches.
Lee loves spending time with his family, playing football, drinking coffee and catching the occasional wave.
At Establish Church we want to make sure we grow a healthy church across various areas of the Christian life. Because of that we structure around 5 main areas with leaders who have responsibility for that purpose.
James grew up in the Sutherland Shire and became a Christian at the age of 17. After completing a degree Communications and Media at university, James joined the Establish staff team in 2015.
James is currently studying at Sydney Missionary Bible College while overseeing our Gospel Communities and seeing people mature in their faith and fall more in love with Jesus.
James loves reading (anything political or history related), catching up with friends and kicking back to a good podcast
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim became a Christian in his early 20's after a long walk one night thinking about the purpose of life. Tim studied high school education at university, before completing a theological degree at Sydney Missionary Bible College. Since finishing his studies Tim has been working in ministry and joined the Establish team in 2017 where he oversees our Sunday gatherings, worship teams and seeks to see people worship and glorify God in all of life.
Tim is a gifted musician and can be found jamming out on his guitar before our Sunday gatherings. Tim also loves to read, listen to music and catch up with people over a batch-brew
Keely has been apart of Establish since the early days. Keely studies and works in Social Work. Keely did a 1 year internship at Establish Church and since finishing has worked towards building and championing a missional culture.
Keely is gifted at sharing the gospel with people, she loves cooking, reading, surfing and spending time with her husband Luke.
Rachel was one of the early members of Establish Church. Starting in 2017, Rachel has been an intern at Establish where she has sought to help build a strong culture of authentic community as well overseeing communications and design (if you see one of our graphics on social media, chances are Rachel designed it). Rachel has a heart for indigenous ministry and has spend time in Northern NSW working alongside indigenous groups.
Rachel is a gifted artist who loves spending time behind a pottery wheel, long chats and spending time with friends.
Ministry Apprentice (MTS)
Meg joined Establish church at the beginning of 2016 when she moved out of home and to Cronulla. She is a primary teacher by trade, but decided to jump into an MTS (Ministry Training Strategy) apprenticeship at the beginning of 2017, with a focus on magnification and mission in our church. Meg leads our Establish kids team and is on about seeing kids and families won for Jesus. She loves coffee, oils, bunnies, beach days, and riding her bike everywhere.