Compelled by love - 9th Mar 2018

Forget flashy lights and the smell of hot coffee to entice people into your church, genuine love is the only ingredient you’ll need.

Teina, Intern Minster at St Andrews Presbyterian Church, Invercargill, is seeing people drawn into their church by their authenticity and selfless community acts.

“We want to go out to the community, rather than sitting in our church waiting for someone to walk in,” Teina said.

This attitude has revived St Andrews, as only a ten years ago the church had 20 members, now 100 come.

Their school ministry, called Young Achievers, created a “huge change” to their growth.

As part of the program, the congregation built gardens and aviaries at the school, and taught the children how to maintain them.

“It helps create a close relationship with the school in our community. I like to be a friend to the kids, so we’re on a first-name-basis.” she said.

Their affection is indirectly inviting students and their families into St Andrews.

“One girl was baptized, along with her grandmother!”

“The program was never about getting numbers in the church, it was to love and teaching children respect. Although we weren’t permitted to preach in the schools, we could show them God’s love through our actions.”

This year, St Andrews want to be a spiritual hospital for the lost.

“There’s something different about St Andrews, there’s a real anointing for the lost here.”

Margaret, Youth Leader at St Andrews says there’s a lot of troubled youth in Invercargill, but encourages them all to come along.

“We want people to feel like they belong. Whether you are gang affiliated, parents are in prison or your addicted to drugs, come.” Margaret said.




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