The Birth Of Growing the Church
Commissioned to plant churches and grow leaders, Robert Gray in 1847 became the first Bishop of Cape Town. When he died 25 years later, the 10 churches with which he began had grown to 63! Talk about growing the church!
150 Years Later
More than 150 years later, in 2003, Archbishop Ndungane introduced to the Synod of Bishops the concept of "Growing the Church". He recognised the need for those involved in primary evangelism, church planting and other church growth initiatives in ACSA to work synergistically towards fulfilling the Great Commandment and the Great Commission: to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbour as ourselves AND to go into the whole world to make disciples-beginning at home.
Growing the Church Network
To this end, the Archbishop appointed †Martin Breytenbach to spearhead an initiative to focus on "Growing the Church". In June 2005 a report of the same title was presented to Provincial Synod. It was warmly received and its primary objective-to develop a "Growing the Church Network"-was enthusiastically adopted.
In May 2006 the Synod of Bishops unanimously resolved that †Martin should gather a committee and move towards launching the "Growing the Church" initiative at the beginning of 2007. Thus Growing the Church (GtC) was born, and the Revd Trevor Pearce was appointed as the first director.