About this Event

Church in Forgotten Places Workshop

Building healthy churches in poor communities and rural places. People living in poor communities often feel isolated and forgotten. Many who live in small places and rural towns can feel remote and cut off.

Life can be affected by addictions, mental health struggles, and a lack of access to resources.  It is in our poorest communities and in our rural areas where you are least likely to find a healthy, vibrant, gospel-preaching church.

The Church in Forgotten Places Workshop seeks to explore the challenges that churches face in engaging the poor with the gospel. We will also consider how best to build and resource gospel ministry in small and rural places.

Church in Hard Places exists to facilitate the planting of churches among the poor. The Rural division exists to catalyze church planting in rural places. Acts 29 has launched Church in Hard Places in order to facilitate church planting in hard-to-reach places.

Session 1: Forgotten Places Need the Gospel (Evangelism)

Session 2: Forgotten Places Need Godly Leaders (Discipleship)

Session 3: Forgotten Places Need the Church (Church Planting)

Session 4: Panel discussion – Reaching Forgotten Places

Jake Swadling

Jake is the planting pastor of Anchor Church Port Adelaide. He is passionate about Jesus and His church, his wife Kathy and four daughters, Eastern European Literature, and Rugby League. Jake’s desire is to see the church become a truly diverse community united through the worship of Jesus Christ.

Shem Swadling

Shem grew up in Western Sydney and began to follow Jesus during his Electrical Apprenticeship. He married his high school sweetheart Grace and they began their journey of pursuing Jesus alongside each other. After realizing that God was calling him to ministry, Shem studied bi-vocationally at Bible College and served as a youth pastor. He and Grace moved to Newcastle in 2016 and became part of Gospel Church and also the ministry at Hamilton South Housing Estate. In 2018 the Hamilton South ministry was launched full-time as part of Gospel Church, with Shem as the Lead Pastor.

Shem’s main focus is sharing the Gospel with people who feel downtrodden and cast out from society. He and Grace love inspiring people from all different backgrounds to be part of this vision to proclaim and demonstrate Jesus’ love. Shem’s desire is for the Church to be a family, a place where people belong and experience everyday life together. He is passionate about the Word of God and studying and preaching the Bible as a whole.

Mark Glenn

Mark is the Lead Pastor of The Fields Church in the Southern Highlands of NSW which he planted in 2012. He is married to Katherine and has three children. In 2016, Mark took on the role of Assessment Coordinator for Australia/New Zealand and cares deeply about preparing church planters to lead healthy, multiplying churches. He also serves Church in Hard Places in the role of Assessment Support & is a part of the leadership for the Rural Collective.

Chris Thomas

Chris serves as the Teaching Pastor of Raymond Terrace Community Church in the Hunter Valley of NSW, Australia. Chris’s desire is to see the church captivated by the glory of God and equipped for all that God has planned to accomplish through her. Chris met his wife while on a short-term mission and is now the proud father to three boys and two girls. Having been raised in far North Queensland, it is not uncommon to see Chris sitting bare-foot around a campfire with a hot cup of coffee in his hand.

Join us as we discuss what it is to be a Church in a Forgotten Place.