Transforming Our Community
This sums up the mission of Abundant Life. Out of relationship with Christ comes the ability to fulfil the Great Commandment of loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving our neighbour as ourselves (Matt 22:36-40). Equally important is the Great Commission of making disciples of all the nations (Matt 28:18-20).
The concept of church was God’s idea. He created it to encourage and help Christians to serve Him and accomplish His work on earth. We believe that the local church is the vital core of effective ministry. The local church is not a building or facility, but a network of people committed to fulfilling the work of God.
The purpose of Abundant Life is to reach others by providing a comprehensive ministry to children, adults and families. This ministry will:
- reconcile people to Christ and each other
- lead people to know Christ intimately
- bring maturity and a deeper commitment to Christ
- equip each individual to serve Christ
- share the love of Christ
- stir a passion to reach the world for Christ.
A foundational scripture to our ministry philosophy is John 10:10b, when Jesus says:
“… I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
In 1981 Mike and Janne answered a call to ministry and shifted from Auckland to Tauranga to be involved with a small church. Abundant Life Community Church began in August 1982 with a small number of people who had experienced renewal in their lives through the Holy Spirit and had a heart to follow and worship God with freedom.
Over the years one of the most common comments that people have made about Abundant Life is the sense of family that we share. We have recognised that this is a pivotal part of the flavour that the Lord has given us as a fellowship. The inclusion of the word “community” within the name of the church is significant as it identifies our focus and commitment to reaching and impacting our community.
The church gathered weekly at the Tauranga Senior Citizens Hall in Norris Street until February 1997. During this time the church also operated Focal Point Coffee Lounge in Grey Street, Tauranga, which was used as an outreach centre into the community. The “Word of Life” Bible Study commenced in 1985. Word of Life has been a tremendous blessing to both Abundant Life and also to the wider church body in Tauranga and further afield. Well over 1,000 students have completed and graduated from Word of Life. The course continues to be one of the main ministry areas within Abundant Life. It is a blessing for us to be able to minister to students from many other local churches.
Mike and Janne Cullen
Sammy & Meddy Sta. Lucia
Tim & Sue Jensen
Dave & Mel Zajkowski