We’re a Presbyterian church. Yet, for obvious reasons, when I talk about being a presbyterian it doesn’t mean a whole lot of anything to most people. However, being presbyterian really does shape a lot of who we are and what we do (even if you’d never see me dead in a kilt).
It means we aren’t coming to the new church with a blank slate. Our church plant launch team doesn’t come up with how we think church should be organised and what we should be doing. Rather, we believe that Jesus is the king and head of the church, so he tells us how his church is to honour and worship him.
As a Presbyterian church we are a bible believing Christian church. Gospel preaching is at the heart of what it means for us to be presbyterian. We thank God that there are other churches in Launceston which preach and teach the Bible as God’s word. We join them in preaching that Jesus is the only way of salvation. We are reformed and confessional in theology. For us, this means we hold to the Westminster Confession of Faith as a summary of the truths of scripture. This aligns us with many hundreds of churches across Australia, and many tens of thousands across the world. I really think this is a reason for joy and thanksgiving to God.
As a Presbyterian Church, we also have a backstory, a history. We’re part of Jesus’ church, which goes back to the very beginning. As the gospel came to the shores of Tasmania, by God’s grace, Presbyterians have been worshipping God on this island for over 200 years. We are part of the Presbyterian Church of Tasmania. We’re also part of the Presbyterian Church of Australia (PCA), which federated in 1901.
Being a Presbyterian Church means we’re signed up to a connectional form of church government. Scripture teaches that local churches aren’t alone but are accountable to each other. As a great expression of the unity that Jesus’ people have, we are formally connected to other churches in our region (a presbytery). Our church plant is a presbytery church plant, which means we’re being supported by the network of Presbyterian churches in the north of Tasmania.
With all this (and more) in mind, we want to be known as Grace Presbyterian Church Launceston. A church in Launceston which is for the ‘praise of his glorious grace’ (Ephesians 1:6).
We’d love to chat with you about what it means to be a Presbyterian church here in our Launceston context.