Matthias Media’s method of providing biblical resources to the Christian community is undergoing the biggest change in the Australian organisation’s 25-year history, with the launch of their new website GoThereFor.com
Launched in October, the website seeks to encourage disciple-making worldwide, with an online platform that provides unlimited access to resources that can assist gospel-minded Christians in fulfilling Christ’s commission to ‘make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew 28:19).
Tony Payne, publishing director of Matthias Media and author of several books including The trellis and the vine, says the website was created in order to help meet two important needs facing the evangelical church.
‘The first need was to find a new, simple, efficient way to distribute high quality ministry resources all over the world’, he says. ‘Secondly, gospel ministry is not easy and has never been. It’s difficult because real, lasting gospel growth in people’s lives is often slow and unspectacular. There are many obstacles and distractions’.
Mr Payne hopes that, with all three sections of the website — resources, ideas and encouragement — working together, Christians from every nation will be spurred on to persevere in serving Christ.
Part of the way that GoThereFor.com encourages this is through providing unlimited access to many of their published resources, Bible study guides and short courses. All the resources uploaded are available in several formats, including Microsoft Word documents, to make them easy to adapt to any context.
The website will also contain some exclusive new courses and resources such as ‘GTK: Get To Know’, a simple four week programme for newcomers, to help them get to know God, your church, others in your church and one of your ministry staff.
Passionate to serve his church and see discipleship grow, Anthony Holmes of Cheadle, Cheshire, was one of the first in the United Kingdom to register for GoThereFor.com
‘We [at St Mary’s Anglican Church, Cheadle] are seeking to grow the young, build the witness, communicate the message and strengthen the wider church’, Mr Holmes explains. ‘So we are looking to increasingly share our resources of people, buildings and talents to other Christians around us, and developing ways to reach out more effectively and sacrificially to our community’.
Mr Holmes works throughout the week in a small medical devices company, and spends the rest of his time encouraging discipleship and growth in his church. ‘I head up our discipleship support group, which looks after our midweek home groups and runs discipling courses for new believers’.
Since registering for GoThereFor.com, Mr Holmes and the leadership at St Mary’s have jumped straight in to the resources. ‘We have already started using the materials in this term’s home groups, with the Cash values studies’, he says. ‘In the next month we will promote the initiative across the services and encourage more personal use [in the congregation]’.
Mr Holmes hopes the resources available will help him and his church as they seek to equip the saints and reach out to their community with the gospel. ‘It would be hugely encouraging to see a growth in personal Bible study and one-to-one ministry, both of which there are excellent resources for on the site’.
‘For me, this was a “no-brainer”,’ confesses Brian McCrorie, senior pastor at Heather Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. ‘The resources we have used have all complemented our doctrinal base and mission as a church. I am also very excited to explore the new resources we have not yet utilised, especially the children’s curriculum’.
On the other side of the globe, ministering in the north west of Australia, Angelo Porcu was the first pastor to register for GoThereFor.com. As senior pastor of Bay of Isles Christian Fellowship, in Esperance, Western Australia, he is encouraging the people in his church to take on more responsibility within the fellowship, using the gifts God has given them.
He plans to use GoThereFor.com as he trains members of his church to lead and grow in their faith. ‘I would like to see preachers, Bible study group leaders, and generally the whole congregation use the site as another resource site for growing in maturity in Christ.
‘Also in leading, training and encouraging people in their growth in godliness and spirituality as the Lord has intended’.