A new Encounter

By Bindy Taylor
Communications Manager & Editor-in-Chief

Posted in News

Encounter Church is the first Uniting Church SA faith community to emerge from the Generate 2021 church planting program, receiving official recognition as a faith community on Monday 25 September. Based in Prospect, Encounter Church is passionate about people and relationships, eager to engage with their community and share the love of Jesus.

Mike and Jenny Wardrop are the lead pastors of the church plant, but from its early formation stages they were keen to gather a leadership team focussed on collaborative decision-making.

“The formation of the Encounter Church team was a very slow and careful process,” says Mike. “We wanted people who truly fitted the ethos of the plant and who were comfortable with the time and the commitment required for a start-up church.”

During the planning and development stages, Jenny and Mike eagerly welcomed the many opportunities presented to them through the Generate 2021 initiative. They also took advantage of the many conferences, courses and events on offer locally and interstate.

“We really invested a lot of time in learning from others about church planting,” says Mike. “Some of the most beneficial teachings came from the Church Planting Intensive at Uniting College, and from the mentoring and coaching we received from others who had previously established a plant - both in the Uniting Church and other denominations.”

The Encounter leadership team settled on four key values to describe and shape their faith community: Jesus, People, Real and Generous.

“All of the Encounter values focus on God. For us the word ‘real’ is crucial to our existence. We want to communicate in the most real and honest way possible with authenticity, especially in our life groups. We want life groups to be places where people can share honestly – their struggles, joys and grief,” Mike explains.

“We also want to demonstrate passion for people, building relationships and strengthening communities. 

“Generosity is how we give, not only financially, but in spirit - our time and the way we communicate with and serve each other.

“Finally, Jesus: we are devoted to sharing the Gospel message of Jesus and our longing is for people to come into relationship with him.”

Encounter Church is currently worshiping at the RSL in Prospect. At present, the community consists mostly of young adults in their late teens, 20s and 30s, but there are a number of children and several older folk. The community is poised and ready to do intergenerational ministry and are expanding rapidly.

“We really feel like this plant is a call from God, and it’s a labour of love for all those involved,” says Mike.

“We would welcome any support the Uniting Church SA community can provide us. If people are heeding a call to pray for us or support us financially please do so.”

For more information about Encounter Church, please visit encounteradelaide.com.au or email hello@encounteradelaide.com.au

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Comments (3)

  1. ian clarkson 04 october 2017, 21:51 Link
    We pray you well.
    Having planted 20 years ago forming The Branches from TTG Uniting,ebbing and flowing I can say its an exciting thing to participate in and lead. The whole thing is open to following God's leading with zero traditional weights.. We found 1 Cor 14..26 a genius inspiration.
    So blessings ,you shouldnt regret it!
    1. David Hoffman 05 october 2017, 14:45 Link
      Greetings to Encounter Church Faith Community from Westbourne Park UC. We know that God has gathered you up as a great bunch of faithful followers of Jesus, which is the right way to begin. You are in our prayers. «May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.» (Romans 15:13)