WE ARE EXCITED TO PARTNER WITH DAVE MIERS AND SUPPORT CITY ON A HILL IN BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA. PLEASE KEEP DAVE AND HIS FAMILY IN YOUR PRAYERS.
What are the names of you and your family members (wife, children)?
My wife, Rowena, and I have three kids: Samaul (8 years old), Thomas (6 years old) and Beth (3 years old).
What is the name of your church and roughly how many attendees do you currently have?
Our church, City on a Hill: Brisbane, has approximately 150+ in attendance each week, with a community size of 200+.
Where are you originally from and where is your current church located?
We are originally from Sydney, and our church is located in Brisbane. Both cities are on the east coast of Australia, Brisbane is 1000km (650miles) north of Sydney.
Tell us the story of how God called you to plant churches and why you chose the current location for your church plant.
I grew up in a Christian family and have always professed faith in Jesus Christ. However, at the age of 17 I had a significant turning point in my Christian life when I joined a one year old church plant. This church plant was the place where I truly understood the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection and was given a vision for gospel ministry. I served in that church plant for 10 years, both as a volunteer and as a staff member. It was during this time that my wife and I first begun praying about whether God might send us to plant a new church to reach new people.
We first begun praying for Brisbane 10 years ago. Both Rowena and I had grown up (independently of each other) visiting extended family in Brisbane. The more we prayed, the more we had a heart to join the mission of making Jesus known in that city. We were also convinced that the needs were greater in Brisbane than where we were previously serving in Sydney.
Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city. With urban renewal; cosmopolitan lifestyle; subtropical climate; art galleries; live music scene; cafes; sports stadiums… it’s easy to see why Brisbane is a fast growing city with on average 1,000 people packing their bags each week to move here. The population is tipped to increase from 2.4 million people to 3 million people in the next five years… the Brisbane skyline is currently dominated by cranes!
Brisbane is also rapidly emerging as a global city: a third of the population born overseas; a young demographic; a booming economy; it’s a gateway to Asia. Brisbane desperately needs more healthy churches planted, to keep up with the population growth and to reach the millions of people who haven’t yet put their trust in Christ!
By God’s grace, we were able to connect with City on a Hill in Melbourne, who were keen to keep planting churches around Australia. Being part of the team in Melbourne confirmed our calling, fuelled our desire to know Jesus better, and further equipped us to make Jesus known through planting a new church in Brisbane.
What is the spiritual temperature in your community/country? How does this reflect your church’s mission and focus?
Australia is increasingly post-Christian and the latest census data has again indicated a significant increase in those who identify with ‘no religion’. This is certainly true of the city of Brisbane as well.
Our state - Queensland - is portrayed as heaven on earth in all the tourism advertisements. The rest of Australia comes here for their holidays. And Brisbane is defined by the lifestyle that we enjoy with warm temperatures all year and the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast beach strips within and hour to the north and south of our city.
This means we need to work hard to show that while Queensland is a great place to live and a gift from God to be enjoyed, it’s not heaven, and Jesus is better. Even among Christians, we need to encourage believers to be present in our church and community and not just enjoying the beach each weekend. For unbelievers we want to affirm the goodness of the creation, but urge people to give worship the Creator rather than creation.
Brisbane has the youngest age demographic of capital cities in Australia, with the highest proportion of 15-39 year old in our city. However, 15-39 year olds have a smaller representation in Brisbane churches compared to other cities in Australia. This means the average age of church attenders in Brisbane is increasing at a higher rate than the rest of Australia.
While we are seeking to be an intergenerational church, and we have all ages in our service, we are seeking to deliberately do church in a way that is accessible for 15-39 years olds knowing that not many churches are reaching this demographic. Our use of design, video, music, illustrations in sermons, are some of the ways we are trying to communicate the timeless message of Christ crucified and risen for sinners in a timely way while speaking the language of young people in our city.
Tell us one of the most difficult situations you have faced during your years as a church planter. How did God work through that particular situation?
I’ve been involved in church ministry for 17 years, and so have faced many difficult situations in that time! However, now that I’m the Lead Pastor of a new church, it means I have a front-row seat to all of the brokenness in our church. It’s heart breaking to know the details of broken relationships, abuse, sickness, sin, and other types of suffering of people in our church.
This can be overwhelming, but it has lead me to pray all the more for God to be at work bringing hope in hopeless situations. I’m more convinced than ever that the gospel continues to be the answer as the only lasting hope in the midst of darkness and brokenness.
Tell us about how you have seen God working - maybe share a particular story.
I recently spent time with one young woman from our church. She joined us four months ago and professes to have become a Christian three months ago! She grew up in a Christian family in Singapore, but has since realized that she never understood the gospel of grace. She was trusting both in her own religiosity and had also put her hopes in her idols, and when they let her down, she had a bout of severe depression.
Through the preaching of the gospel of grace, she has understood that she’s saved by what Christ has done and not her performance. She has realized the failure of idols to do anything but disappoint and point us away from the true and living God.
At City on a Hill we talk about "Knowing Jesus and Making Jesus Known"… a lot! I love in her story how she shared that now that she knows Jesus she wants to make him known!! The change was tangible! Please pray she would see many friends and family come to know Jesus through her witness.
If there are any other stories or information you would like to share, please do so here.
We are so thankful for the ongoing partnership of Spanish River Church! I’m personally inspired and refreshed through attending the Church Planters Retreat, and we know that we couldn’t do this work without the prayer and partnership of our brothers and sisters in Boca Raton! We give thanks to God for you, and pray that you would continue to see fruit through Spanish River ministry locally and around the globe. Keep trusting Jesus.
Please list any prayer requests we can share with our SRC family.
- Give thanks for new believers
- Give thanks for gospel awakenings
- Give thanks for a growing staff team
- Please pray that we will be able to launch a second service next year
- Please pray for our next round of our Christianity course - Introducing Jesus - that many unbelievers will put their trust in Christ
- Please pray for God to sustain our marriage and family life