Interview: Guy Mason

Christian Reflections: Do you listen to any sermon podcasts? If so, who are you listening to at the moment?

Guy Mason: Yeh – lets just say I have worn through three pairs of headphones for my iphone in the last 12 months! My wife and I also take time together to watch messages online – we often pause throughout to discuss key points. I find that really helpful.

I listen to a quite a range – I love hearing how different people approach the bible, culture and communication. In the last week I've listened to a conference series by John Piper called 'God is the Gospel,' and a lecture by Tim Keller for Google 'The Reason for God.'

CR:  Does Docklands have plans for planting a daughter church? When and how might that happen?

GM: When we planted City on a Hill (known then as Docklands Church) we made a commitment to not just plant a church but to plant a church planting church.

We were encouraged to see growth in our first year, so much so that we were able to plant a second service, which is also growing strong and bearing fruit.

We are now praying and preparing for our next step. There are many options to consider (e.g, more services, new site, multi-site, etc). All these options have varying pros/cons and depend largely on venue options (not easy in Docklands), funding, leadership and volunteer capacity. That aside, it seems likely there will be some new and exciting steps made early 2010! More info to come 

CR:  Did you have actually a falling out with Al Stewart and Andrew Heard? Why are you going separate ways?

GM: Absolutely. We had a WWF style punch on in Steve Chong's carpark! It was awesome. Andrew landed some great body slams, and Al gave some brutal head butts. In the end Naomi (Steve's wife) knocked everyone out with one killer close line.

Jokes aside – I respect Al and Andrew immensely and believe they are great men of faith. In fact, Al Stewart is coming down to Melbourne to preach at City on a Hill (January 17) at both our services. I also believe 'Geneva' is a great initiative that will be an important plank in God's work in Australia.

I think Al summed it up well went he said on this site, 'We just found that in hammering out the details... we had different philosophies of ministry about how we'd go about things: not different theology, but different ways of building a network.'

CR: What are some of the unique challenges and benefits of ministry in Melbourne?

GM: Melbourne is an amazing city. It is the fastest growing and expected to be the biggest by 2050. It is also a diverse city made up of people from all around the globe, making it a dynamic and exciting place to live.

I think this is both a strength and challenge in ministry. City on a Hill reaches a range of people who come from different cultures and hold a plethora of views and opinions about Jesus and the church. As such being 'all things to all people' is complex. We work hard to engage our culture, pray earnestly and proclaim the Scriptures faithfully.

Melbourne is also largely secular. I wont bore you with the statistics, but lets just say its not good. This does however present great opportunity for mission and church planting. We continually remind ourselves that Melbourne is our mission field and are called to be a 'city on a hill' in our workplace, university, home, etc. Personally, I love that kind of challenge and pray God would convert, build up and send many more to this great city.

CR: What are three ministries or church plants in Australia that you think are worth watching?

GM: Well – I'd love you to be watching and more importantly praying for City on a Hill. We are two years in and God has done great things – and we are excited about the future. We have lots to learn and would value all the help and support we can get. Recently, we have also launched a ministry for homeless (Many Rooms) and are about to kick off an internship program for emerging leaders (Engage).

Kirkplace – Steve Chong is great friend who planted Kirkplace around the same time as me. He loves Jesus and is passionate about the kingdom.

Engage – I met Will Henderson in Seattle and was encouraged to hear he was coming back down under to start a church in Brisbane. From what I can gather he is still in the core group building stage.

Tribe – Dave Hughes is heading this up. He is in the preparation stage and is reaching people in Narre Warren, Victoria.

CR: What plans do you have for building a church-planting network in Melbourne?

In 2010, I will be launching a church-planting program called 'Advance.' Advance will give young blokes who are passionate about Jesus and mission the opportunity to:

-  Connect with other emerging church planters/leaders

-  Receive coaching from local, national and international church planters/leaders

- Pray for Melbourne and the work of mission in our city

- Explore God's calling into leadership and church planting

Applications open soon. For more info email