Every Reason to Fail: Church Growth in Australia

An outreach in an Australian church exceeded expectations, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

From Message magazine issue "Restricted"

There were many reasons why the “Changed Gospel Night” was destined to fail at Logos—a small, two-year-old church plant led by Pastor Rob and Angie Ayoub, and ABWE missionaries, Steve and Sue Mayo.

First, the event was on a Friday night in a Muslim stronghold—and Friday is their day of worship. Second, the devastating Christchurch mosque shooting that left 50 people dead in March already had the neighborhood on edge.

There wasn’t going to be anything extraordinary about the program, either. It was just three testimonies, a couple of hymns, and a sermon. The venue was a century-old church building with no air conditioning, a poor sound system, straight-backed wooden pews, and a carpark that could only fit 10 vehicles.

And yet, invitations were sent. A social media blitz reached thousands. Street preaching the night before directed locals to the event. The team at Logos prayed for 150 attendees, “but we would have been happy with 100,” Steve said.

Their expectations were not only met—they were exceeded. Nearly 200 people came to the event, with at least a quarter of those in attendance being unbelievers. Steve said the response to the straightforward gospel appeal that night was so positive, the team started planning a similar event in August.

One person wrote after the event: “Thank you all for such an amazing night. Our family and friends felt very welcomed. They enjoyed the service. They couldn’t get over the sermon.”

Pray for continued evangelistic fruit and growth of church planting efforts in Australia.