Farewell Rev Michael Mak

Though Michael has been with us only 2 years, his gentle & humble spirit has touched us all.  I will miss him greatly, but I rejoice at the opportunity Oran Park presents to him to extend his ministry to fulltime.  While with us he has shown servant hearted leadership.  His part-time employment enabled him to complete his Bachelor of Theology at SMBC—a truly dedicated achievement.  He leaves with our prayers and best wishes.  Please pray for Michael and Oran Park which is a new church plant incorporating a school in a new housing area.

Understandably members have been asking how we will continue to maintain our high standard of children’s ministry.  But Michael’s leaving did not catch us unawares.  He has been seeking fulltime employment for a while.  In light of Michael leaving us, I believe the best way to continue to grow and staff our ministries over the next year is by returning to our previous ministry model of mixing trained and student staff.  2017 was shaping as the first time in decades that we would employ ONLY fully trained staff  –  this would also have been the most expensive way to staff church ministries. So the proposed way forward is not to employ another fully trained staff member but look for student ministers and trainees.

Over the past 30 years at least, we have had mixtures of qualified, trainees, and students on our staff here at Gymea.  Michael’s leaving gives us the opportunity to return to this. I shared this with our Parish Council as the way forward for 2018, but with Michael’s departure we will accelerate this redeployment.  So the plan is to employ and train more people in  ministry over the next few years, especially in children’s ministry. Over the coming weeks we’ll be seeking to put in place student ministers and volunteers who will be able to maintain our fine children’s ministries under Olivia’s leadership. Already we have some good plans in place:
a)   Matthew Steele Smith who commenced as a student minister with us studying for his Bachelor of Theology at SMBC will be working with children and youth at Arvo & Night Church, with lots of energy and experience. At 9.30 church he will focus on music.
b)  Kirra Wallace will continue in volunteer leadership at Dropzone, as she completes her  Masters in Teaching. What a blessing she is in children’s ministry.
c)  A Year 13 Youthworks student is also joining our team this year on a voluntary basis.  She will be contributing to our children’s teams and training with us and at Youthworks as Aaron Smith did in 2015..
d)   We are blessed to have 6 strong children’s ministry teams at Gymea in our two Kidschurches, Playtime, Dropzone, Pupil Free Days and Xtreme Camp, and we are doubly blessed to have such a wise, experienced & well qualified leader in Children’s ministry as Olivia.

It is also proposed that we employ some student ministers to assist with our ministry to support our existing teams –  this would be funded from within our existing budget.

Your brother in Christ, Graham