Home > Local Church News > Reaching out and changing lives on the Gold Coast

Reaching out and changing lives on the Gold Coast

Tyler and Bailey at a recent Ashmore Uniting Church fun day. Photo: Cheryl Foote

Ashmore Uniting Church is in the heart of the Gold Coast. The congregation has experienced an 80 per cent turnover in membership in the past seven years, and continues to expand. Tara Burton spoke to minister Bradley Foote.

Who makes up your congregation?

We are a wonderful eclectic mix of people covering more than 16 nationalities.

The congregation has grown steadily despite the attrition of age, work, retirement and transience.

Each week there are about 70 to 90 people from all ages engaging in worship; however it is not the same people every week.

The Gold Coast is a 24/7 kind of place where people work in a mix of cycles and times, which alters the attendance capacity of a regular solid worship community.

Our members range from infants to 94 years.

We have a growing children's ministry and have been blessed by a steady group of people willing to engage in developing ministry with children in the church and in the community.

We share our facilities with Youth with a Mission, a Spanish congregation and now a new Korean congregation.

What does forming disciples mean for your church community?

Enfolding people into the life of discipleship is currently being addressed through a number of ministries such as an Alpha course, small groups and seasonal Bible study programs, and three members training as lay preachers in the Uniting Church.

Discipleship is also being expressed in active involvement in our Op shop, Kids Hope Australia mentoring program at Ashmore State School, children's fun days, playgroup, adult fellowship and regular services in three local nursing homes.

Our motto is "reaching out, changing lives".

What are the current trends in the life of your congregation?

We are just concluding a five-year review of our vision and values.

Some interesting trends have emerged and the opportunity to change and grow is beckoning us forward.

One positive trend that we've seen is the steady introduction of people into the active life of the congregation from contact with our regular ministries.

Fast Facts:


· established in the 1970s

· church located next to Ashmore Plaza shopping centre and close to Ashmore State School

· range of retirement villages and nursing homes

· a broad ethnic mix

· wide range of social/economic groups and employment.

Four pillars of mission for 2013:

· worship

· working with people in need

· families and children

· stewardship of people, time and resources.

What's new:

· renewal of worship services in 2013

· quarterly Magic of Music community afternoon for young musicians

· new Korean congregation sharing premises

Social media:

· website and Facebook page are the first point of contact for many people

· Sunday services are recorded and available as podcasts

· new Op shop Facebook page

Photo : Tyler and Bailey at a recent Ashmore Uniting Church fun day. Photo: Cheryl Foote