It has been a pleasing year for the future. Church plants at Ballan and Emerald are going well. We have also seen six new trainee credentials approved from Mildura (2), Geelong, Endeavour Hills, Traralgon and Manningham which is excellent for the future of the State. Likewise we have seen three trainee credentials graduate, and two ministers recognised for National Credentials.

Some years back we identified a need for succession planning and stimulated our churches to give prayerful thought to this important matter. Since then we have been pleased to see many successful transitions so that this matter has passed from being a potential crisis. This year saw transitions at Mansfield (Nathan Bargerbos) and Morwell (Neville Ivory). However, pastors are being sought for the Geelong, Warrnambool and Churchill assemblies.

This year Roland Tankard was appointed to the position of Regional Care. This will outwork the health of churches by supporting the regional leaders and the connection of pastors together in a vital way. He will assist regions that have not been functioning as well as may be, to return to vitality.

John Finkelde was the guest speaker at our State Conference which was titled ‘inFocus’. In particular, our speaker, and other guest speakers brought into focus internal factors in the lives of the leaders, and church practices that affect the health of our churches. A particularly interesting session was conducted on how to identify and transition leaders for their growth.

Our Executive was confirmed at our Annual General Meeting as follows; Vice Chairman Danny Parker, Secretary/Treasurer Stephen Holt, Phil Tong, Matthew Wyatt and Rob Nyhuis. In this regard, Chris Carmody was added to the continuing Executive. We are very pleased with the cross section of our State and the cross section of experience and age represented on the Executive. Personally, I have given notice that this, barring emergency requirements, will be my last term as State Chairman, which will conclude in 2015.

Pastor Bruce Sharman
State Chairman