Photo: Dave Standen and family being inducted at Kingsway Community Church by Daz Farrell (left).
By Gil Corr
Five churches affiliated with Fresh Hope are inducting new senior leaders this month, all of whom are aged 40 or younger.
Adam Miller (Penrith Church of Christ), Dave Standen (Kingsway Community Church in Caringbah), Jeremy Bromhead (Nowra Church of Christ), Jono Prince (New Day Church in Wollongong), and Tanwin Tanoto, (Hurstville Church of Christ) have all been appointed to an exciting new season of leadership and vision.
It has been a ‘baptism of fire’ for these new leaders, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing churches to adopt a new way of doing mission, including the hiring process for new ministers. However, the privilege of leading kingdom spaces and faith communities has kept spirits high, regardless of this unique season.
Jeremy Bromhead (pictured left, centre), who with his family moved from Red Hill Church in the ACT, has experienced a significant shift in his environment, through accepting the Senior Pastor role at Nowra Church of Christ.
“I was working three days as an electrician, studying a day and helping out where I could at church, so I am straight out of Bible college and into this role,” he said.
“My wife [Jordan] and I are trying to live a lifestyle where God has our first ‘yes’. Sometimes that doesn’t always line up with our comfort, or our logic. Sometimes ‘yes’ means stepping into something you’ve disqualified yourself for, but Jesus has qualified you for. That’s the only real qualification, isn’t it?”
One of Jeremy’s first decisions was to put services on hold, but this cultivated an opportunity to begin building personal relationships with church members. “COVID has actually given time and space to get to know people individually,” he said.
Like Jeremy, Tanwin Tanoto’s journey to his new role was one that was many years in the making. “I was the volunteer Associate Pastor at Ecclesia Mission [Tanwin’s previous church in Maroubra] since 2014. I worked in tech. It was a hard job to leave – the job was good, and the company was growing, they just hired 20 new people.”
As a successful business analyst in a growing start-up, ministry wasn’t an easy pivot for Tanwin, but the attraction of full-time ministry was always there.
“I had always felt a pull, that my gifts weren’t being used appropriately [in a secular space]”, said Tanwin. “It’s been hard not being able to meet everyone with half the church on Zoom… The next 12 months is a journey for myself, Hurstville and Fresh Hope to discern God’s leading for what’s the next faith expression.”
For Fresh Hope, these new appointments bring a sense of anticipation, with a new generation making their mark on what the future of our faith communities looks like, both inside our movement and beyond.
Daz Farrell, EMD, said: “There’s a lot more collaboration within the younger generations… I think there’s a move in our city for collaboration, and because the younger generation doesn’t hold everything the older generations did, I think we will see this cross over and partnership, and I’m excited because it’s wider than just us.”
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