What is Revelation 7 Network?
We are a network of small churches intent on making disciples for Jesus Christ. Our churches exist to mature believers, reach diverse people groups with the Good News that Jesus tells, and to raise indigenous leaders. We are committed to multiplying ourselves by planting more churches.
We call the churches in our network “Small Churches” because they are typically smaller in size (15-20 people) and they may also look different to what most people expect a church service to be e.g. these gatherings are highly interactive, they meet in peoples homes or public spaces, and not a church building. Click here to find out more.
WHY SMALL CHURCH?
There are many ways to structure churches, each with its own benefits and limitations. We chose to go with Small Churches because in our unique multicultural context we believe they have particularly valuable benefits.
Here are our top three:
Dig deep into God’s Word
In the Bible, the church is not a building, but rather, its people gathered by hearing God’s Word to respond obediently to it. If you don’t understand God’s Word, how can you be a biblical church?
Our experience has shown us that often in big churches many people don’t learn very deeply. This is particularly because we represent so many different cultures and languages. Even with simultaneous translation, cultural complexities mean there are further obstacles which prevent good learning.
We believe that smaller, more interactive churches help people from all nations to read God’s Word meaningfully and have the opportunity to respond to it.
We’ve found that as a church grows it gets harder for us all to be deliberately ‘on mission’. It’s easy to become inward focused and comfortable with each other. Larger churches are more complex with more rosters and responsibilities which take lots of attention and energy.
When things are smaller there is more flexibility to spend time deliberately focusing on reaching those around you. We are also able to structure church gatherings to include ways to help us be more obedient, such as setting concrete goals and staying accountable to each other with them.
Help each other live missionally
Raise up more leaders from other cultures
The New Testament emphasises the importance of passing on the gospel to potential future leaders. In our multicultural context, this means developing leaders from different cultures. This is essential for two reasons. Firstly, because indigenous leaders are more effective at reaching and discipling people in their own mother-tongue. And secondly, because if we truly value multiculturalism then we need to raise up leaders to work together and learn from one another at both the church and network /organisation levels. Otherwise, our multicultural nature will remain superficial where one church dominates and other churches have little power to contribute.
However, many first-generation migrants may not be able to go to Bible college for four years due to significant financial, language or cultural barriers.
Smaller churches allow us the opportunity to train them differently (appropriately) in the church context through contextualised on the job learning. They also provide the opportunity for more leadership positions for people to learn in.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Six core beliefs that shape every aspect of our church and life
We believe in a Triune God who is the one and only sovereign creator.
We believe that after the fall we humans are totally depraved and are completely dependent on God’s election.
We believe Jesus is fully human and fully divine.
We believe that Jesus died as a substitutionary atonement for our sins and rose bodily three days later offering forgiveness to those who trust in him.
We believe that we can do nothing to contribute to our salvation because we are justified by faith alone in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.
We believe that the Bible is God’s clear and trustworthy self revelation to us.
MEET THE TEAM
At Revelation 7 Network, we believe in raising up leaders from within the communities God has placed us in, which is why our team is made up of a mixture of paid and volunteer leaders. Our paid team is primarily responsible for the operations of the network and particular shared ministries & functions that exist to support our small churches e.g. kids & youth. Some of them join our volunteer leaders to pastor our small churches.
Find out more about everyone on our team below!
Paul & Beth
Paul leads the Revelation 7 Network Team. He also leads our Villawood Small Church. Beth plays an important role in helping us research and apply disciple-making movement principles in each of our small churches. ● In a previous life, Paul worked as a sales manager and Beth as a nurse. He grew up in the jungle of PNG. Beth is a city girl from Sydney. They met and four months later were engaged! ● During their 13 years of marriage they’ve studied at Moore Theological College, and have had 5 kids join them along the way. Their home is very loud!
Lara’s role is to champion children’s ministry in the Revelation 7 Network. This involves working with our Small Church Pastors on a tailored kids’ program for their small churches and also leading our shared ministries such as Marvel Kids Club. ● Lara also runs Hope Counselling, a professional counselling service for people from all nations seeking change and authenticity in relationships. ● Lara grew up in Cambodia where her parents were sharing the gospel. She became a Christian while studying at university, and has a heart for those who haven’t heard about Jesus. ● Lara studied Children’s and Youth ministry at Youthworks College and received a Masters of Counselling at Morling College. ● Lara enjoys spending time with her husband and 7 kids going to coffee shops, riding bikes, swimming, watching movies, hospitality, and learning Khmai.
Fiona’s role is to catalyze a network of disciple making communities in the Vietnamese/SouthEast Asian community in and around Sydney. This means you will see her out and about meeting new people, building relationships in different communities seeking to raise up new believers & leaders. ● Growing up in Cabramatta until her teens lets her feels quite at home relating to people from Vietnam and SouthEast Asia. ● Fiona has an MDiv from Sydney Missionary and Bible College where she focused her studies on cross-cultural ministry. Fiona loves adventure and the outdoors and recently took up indoor rock climbing. She works part time as a health professional.
Hayson is our Ministry Director. His key responsibility is strategic planning and implementation of our plan which enables us to bring our disciple-making vision to life. In addition, he is responsible for overseeing the general operations of the network. ● He is also one of the leaders for our Berala Small Church. ● Hayson is from Hong Kong and his wife Nikki grew up in Vanuatu. They met at a friend’s birthday party in their first year of uni and got married 6 years later. They now have 3 young girls and Nikki who worked as a designer, is now a stay at home mum and runs an online business.
John leads our Youth Ministry, “FT Youth” which has a vision to see youth forever transformed by the life changing Gospel of Jesus. He is also one of the leaders for our Berala Small Church. ● Raised in America, he’s been doing Youth Ministry in Chester Hill since late 2017. During the week he is an SRE teacher in 4 local High Schools, a lifeguard, and a student of Theology at Youthworks! ● In his free time he likes to play guitar, watch Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, exercise & hang out with his wife Mandy & 2 young children. Feel free to follow him and the crew on Instagram @ ft_youth.
Tom is our Chinese Small Church Leader. ● He focuses on bringing together a network of disciple-making churches amongst Mandarin speakers in South West Sydney. From day to day this finds him helping mandarin-speaking migrants find their feet in Sydney, helping them to connect with other communities, and giving them a chance to hear the gospel of hope and peace. ● Tom was born in China and is married to Amy who is also from China. They have both faced the challenges of being international students in a foreign country. ● Tom and Amy had 1.5 years of long-distance relationship before getting married in 2016. Amy works full-time in the banking & finance sector as well as supporting Tom’s role as Mandarin Ministry Leader.
Ash & Caz
Ash & Caz are our Muslim-Focused Small Church Leaders. ● Ash and Caz have been married for over 20 years and have three children. ● Ash grew up in country NSW and served as a NSW Police Officer for 9 years before moving to Indonesia to join a church planting team. ● Caz grew up in Sydney and has some Indonesian heritage. ● Since moving back to Australia, Ash and Caz both serve with an International mission agency and are actively involved in cross-cultural ministry. ● Ash and Caz have both studied theology and mission at Bible college and enjoy lifelong learning. They are passionate about making disciples of Jesus across cultures.
Ross & Lyndal
Ross & Lyndal are helping to lead the Small Church centred in Birrong. ● In their own words, Ross and Lyndal have had the best of all lives! And it’s not over yet! They served Jesus by translating the Bible and raising their two boys (one of them is Paul) in a small language community in PNG for 17 years. ● After that they spent another 16 years facilitating Bible translation in Vanuatu. For three of those years they lived with a small coastal island community helping them to understand the Bible that they had just received in their own language. ● Now they are living it up in Sefton, still supporting Bible translation remotely while leading the Birrong Small Church with much help from several of the members. No need to say how long they’ve been married!