One of my great joys is meeting leaders from other churches that I appreciate and have a heart for. As an ongoing series here on Resurgence, I thought it would be encouraging to share what God is doing in and through various local churches.
I’ve known Pastor Guy Mason at City on a Hill Church in Melbourne, Australia, for a few years. We’ve Skyped a bunch of times, as he’s always got a long list of questions related to growing as a Christian, husband, father, and pastor.
God has been gracious to this church, as it is growing very quickly. Pastor Mason has also had the opportunity to share some controversial but core Christian convictions in the broader press, so I want to encourage people to be praying for him and the opportunities and obstacles he is dealing with.
Today, I am privileged to introduce my friend to you, and I hope the story of this young pastor is an encouragement, particularly to other young leaders aspiring to do something like plant a church in a wonderful but spiritually needy city.
The story of City on a Hill
City on a Hill began in 2007 with a small group of people who wanted to reach Melbourne, Australia, with the gospel of Jesus. They had a big job on their hands, since only eight percent of the people in Melbourne attend church regularly. Their work began in an apartment, moved to a pub, and then to a movie theater in the heart of the city. They currently hold three services in the theater and one in the neighboring city of Geelong.
Jesus, the promise maker and keeper
As a young pastor, Guy says he never would have imagined that when Jesus said, “I will build my church,” he was not only a promise maker, but also the promise keeper:
City on a Hill began in an apartment, moved to a pub, and then to a movie theater in the heart of Melbourne.
For their sixth birthday, City on a Hill gathered at the historic Melbourne Town Hall to celebrate the beauty, truth, and relevance of Jesus. Together they proclaimed the gospel, heard stories of lives changed by Jesus, dedicated their children, celebrated new life in baptism, prayed, sang, and gave thanks for the wonderful ways God has been at work in and through their church.
City on a Hill gathered at the historic Melbourne Town Hall
Pastor Guy Mason preaching at City on a Hill’s sixth birthday
Celebrating baptisms at the Melbourne Town Hall
During the day’s festivities, they commissioned their first church plant, City on a Hill Geelong; sent out their first independent plant, Redemption Church Melbourne; and announced their next church plant, City on a Hill West, launching on Easter. “God is on the move,” says Guy. “At the heart of his mission are stories of God’s grace.”
Join us in prayer for City on a Hill
City on a Hill’s life and vision can be summed up as “Knowing Jesus and Making Jesus Known.” In support of this vision, City on a Hill has five points, or “flags,” that summarize the qualities they want to cultivate and be known for. Here’s how Pastor Guy says we can pray for them in each of these areas:
- Bible teaching and training. “Pray we would preach the gospel in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).”
- Humble, courageous, and sacrificial leadership. “Pray that we would lead after Jesus, lead like Jesus, and lead others to Jesus.”
- Communities of life, love, and mission. “Pray that we would not only grow in size and influence, but closeness and connection. May our love for one another reflect the eternal love of our triune God.”
- Gospel growth. “Pray that we would continue to see lives brought from death to life. Pray that we would see a movement of churches planting churches. Pray that God would provide the leaders and resources to support his growth.”
- God-centered generosity. “Pray that we would love the city’s poor and marginalised generously and sacrificially. Pray that we would have opportunities to give our time, talents, and resources to the wider body of Christ.”