About Us

About Us

Who We Are

We are a church community of local people with a vision of empowering people to live Christ-centered lives. We believe Jesus is the most important man in human history, the Son of God, who came to earth to make a way for us to be healed, forgiven and restored to relationship with God. If that is true (and we’re convinced it is!) it changes everything about life, both today and forever. Therefore, we are a church devoted to loving Christ, lifting up his name, being His hands and feet on the Earth and advocating for causes He cares about. We are all about being a community of real people who are pursuing a real relationship with Jesus and seeking to do life together. Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey of faith, we would love to have you join us!

Each church is unique and has its own culture and DNA. Ours is contained in our vision, our mission, our values and our beliefs (aka. where we are going, how we are getting there, what is most important to us and what we believe is true).

We empower people to live Christ centred lives, building a church where everyone is welcomed, everyone is needed and everyone is discipled.

To glorify God by demonstrating outrageous love for people, our community, and the nations – with compassion, service and the message of Jesus.

We serve an Audience of One

We aim to live motivated by love and obedience to God because He is worthy of our lives and the lives of the lost.

We are grounded in the word of God and led by the Spirit of God

The Bible is our foundation which means our experience of God is living and powerful. Open to the gifts and moving of the Spirit.

We believe there will be revival in our city

We pray with great faith. Worship with Surrender. Walk in obedience and then trust God to do what only He can.

The call to make disciples is central to all we do

We aim to be a church ready for the harvest, where every member is equipped to disciple one another and those far from God.

We want to be found partnering with the work God is already doing in people and the nations

This means we’re committed to the Great Commission both locally and globally.

We seek to be a church known for our outrageous love for all people

We are a multigenerational family with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds in unity, under Christ.

We seek to establish our church as a vital and indispensable part of our local community

We desire to be a catalyst for change, making a felt impact on the Illawarra

We believe God is not glorified in fake smiles and watered-down teaching

We are committed to being a church that is down-to-earth – genuine in our relationships, authentic in our faith, and serious about truth.

We are not a church of consumers or spectators

We are a church where every member is empowered and encouraged to use their gifts and strengthen the whole community.

As an expression of our commitment to biblical Christianity, the Centre holds to both the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed as foundational Christian beliefs. The Centre expresses these beliefs in the following statements:

GOD: HOLY TRINITY

We believe in one God, existing in three equally divine yet distinct Persons commonly known as the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. He is immortal, eternal and Creator of the heavens and the earth and all that exists in them. He is Ruler over all things, perfect, all-loving and holy, and is therefore worthy of all glory and worship.

Genesis 1:1, 26; Matthew 28:19; Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:8-11

THE FATHER: FATHER GOD

The Father is fully God, co-equal and co-eternal with the Son and the Holy Spirit. He so loved the world that He gave His Son Jesus to die for our redemption. It is only through Jesus that we can come to Him. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son and helps us live in and for Him. We can pray to Him and He hears and answers our prayer according to His will.

John 3:16, 15:26, 16:7; Acts 1:4, 5, 8, 2:33; Titus 3:5; Matthew 6:9-13; 1 John 5:14

JESUS: OUR SAVIOUR

Jesus Christ is the incarnate Son of God, fully God and fully man, and is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus, born of a virgin, became a man in flesh, lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sin of humanity by dying on a cross. He arose bodily from the dead on the third day to demonstrate His power over sin and death and to validate that the way of salvation is through Him alone. He ascended into heaven, from where He will one day return again to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; John 14:6; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13-14; Matthew 28:18-19

THE HOLY SPIRIT: OUR HELPER

The Holy Spirit is also fully God, co-equal and co-eternal with both the Father and the Son. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also indwells every believer from the moment of salvation, providing the Christian with power for ministry, understanding of God’s Word, comfort through trials and guidance in doing what is right. The faithful Christian seeks to be led by, and filled with the Holy Spirit daily.

2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13- 14, 5:18; Titus 3:5-6; John 14:26; Galatians 5:22-23, 5:25

THE BIBLE: HOW WE KNOW GOD

The Bible is God’s written Word to humanity about Himself, revealing His will, nature, character and His saving work of love in the world. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments comprise the totality of the inspired Scripture and were penned without error in their original language by human authors, under the supernatural inspiration of the Holy Spirit, serving as our highest written authority in this world. We believe that human beings do not have to guess or speculate about who God is or what He is like. While the Bible is for us, it is not primarily about us. Instead, we believe all of Scripture ultimately points to and climaxes in Jesus, who is the Word become flesh. We are called to enjoy, study, and submit to the Word of God.

2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Luke 24:27; John 1:1, 14

ORIGIN OF LIFE

We believe that God is the eternal Creator of everything that exists, both in the physical and the spiritual realms. God created the universe and everything within it, including our solar system, planets and all living creatures. God created human beings with a specific purpose – that is, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Human beings are created in the image of God and are both physical and spiritual beings and our spirits are immortal from the moment of conception. God desires all people to know Him and to choose to enter into relationship with Him while on earth, in order for that relationship to continue with Him for eternity.

Genesis 1, 2

SANCTITY OF LIFE

We believe that life begins at conception. Every person is created with infinite value, being “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God our Creator. Each individual is created in the image of God, with dignity and worth equal to every other person. We believe that human life is sacred and that every person has the right to life, from the first moment of conception through to the natural end of life. To take life within the womb or to hasten end of life by way of euthanasia is against the will of God.

Genesis 1:26-28, 9:6; Psalms 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5; Isaiah 44:24

HUMANITY: BEAUTIFUL AND BROKEN

We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image and placed them in the Garden of Eden to live out their identity as His creation in loving harmony with Himself and one another and the rest of creation. However, Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God, believing Satan’s lie that they could instead live according to their own knowledge and desires. This is when sin entered the world, marring our relationship with God, one another, ourselves and the rest of creation. We are sinners by nature and by choice, and our sin has alienated us from God, placing us rightfully under His just and holy wrath. Incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through our own efforts, our greatest need is the undeserved love and forgiveness of this same God, who alone can rescue us and restore us to Himself.

We believe that every person should be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Each person is deserving of truth shared with them in love.

Genesis 1:26-27, 3:1-7; Psalms 8:3-6, 139:13-16; Romans 5:12, 19; Isaiah 59:1-2; Matthew 22:37- 39; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31; Romans 3:23, 12:20-21; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 John 4:10

FAMILY, MARRIAGE, SEXUALITY AND GENDER

We believe that the family as instituted and created by God is the fundamental building block of society. We hold fast the biblical and church’s historical belief that a family begins with the covenantal institution and holy estate of marriage as ordained by God between a biological man (husband) and a biological woman (wife) mutually and exclusively entered into for life. God calls some people to marriage, and some to a single state. Both have dignity, according to the Bible.

God’s gift of sexual union is sacred within marriage as a sign of His mutual and lasting covenant and as a means whereby we may share in creating new life. The covenant of husband and wife to love and serve one another faithfully is intended to reflect the faithfulness of God and is a picture of Christ and His church. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no sexual activity be engaged in outside such marriage.

We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including but not limited to; adultery, fornication, homosexual acts, bisexual acts, bestiality, incest, paedophilia, and pornography) is sinful and offensive to God and is destructive to human relationships and society. We believe that God created human beings as male or female. Jesus confirms this to the Pharisees by stating, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female.” (Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6) These two distinct and complementary genders (biological sexes), together reflect the image and nature of God. The Bible ties gender identity to biological sex (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:22-24) and does not make a distinction between gender and biological sex.

By creating each person, God, in His divine love and wisdom, gifted them their gender, as male or female. God’s good design and purpose is that each individual should live in the fullness of that which He created them to be, in obedience to Him as an act of worship. Living in this fullness includes identifying with the gender that God bestowed upon each person in all aspects of their life.

Genesis 1:26-28, 2:18-24, 5:1-2; Leviticus 18:22; Deuteronomy 4:7-10, 22:5; Psalms 139:1-5, 13-16; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Matthew 15:18-20, 19:4-6, Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6:9- 10, 18, 7:2-5; Galatians 5:22-33; Ephesians 6:1-4; Hebrews 13:4

THE GOSPEL: GOD SAVES SINNERS

Although people are sinful in every dimension, God had a plan in place to lovingly save and redeem a people for Himself. Throughout the Old Testament, we read what God will do to save His people from their sin. In the New Testament, we see this plan fulfilled in Jesus Christ who came to earth and lived a perfect life of obedience before God, died in our place by being crucified for our sin, and was raised from the dead on the third day. This is the “gospel” or “good news” of the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit draws us to Christ, our Saviour and gives us faith to believe in Him and to follow Him in our daily lives. Whoever believes that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead and continues to believe upon Him steadfast to the end will be saved. The gospel alone is the power of God for salvation. It is the inexhaustible 5 promise that restores us into relationship with God, giving us eternal life with Him both now and forever. Salvation cannot be earned or achieved through our good works, only received as a gift of grace.

Ephesians 1:4-6; Isaiah 53:1-11; Hebrews 2:9, 4:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Titus 3:5-6; 2 Timothy 2:25; Romans 1:16, 10:13-14; Ephesians 2:4-9; 1 Peter 1:9; 1 John 5:13

THE CHURCH: GOD’S PEOPLE

We believe that in the confession and true repentance of our sin to Jesus, we are now seen by God as totally justified and holy in our relationship with God. No longer children of wrath, by grace we have become children of God whom God sees in the same way that He sees His Son, the Lord Jesus. The community of people who believe this are “the church”. So, while our new relationship with God is personal, it is not individual – we have been adopted into God’s family. We believe that we are to gather together in large and small settings to worship God, proclaim and celebrate the gospel, and share our lives together for His glory.

Hebrews 10:14; Ephesians 2:19-22; Romans 5:1-2; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 12:13

THE ORDINANCES: BAPTISM & HOLY COMMUNION

We believe that Jesus gave His church two primary ordinances: water baptism and Holy Communion. By repentance of sin and faith in Jesus, the Bible instructs us to be baptised in water by immersion as a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Baptism is the outward demonstration of our inward change of heart; therefore, we baptise confessing believers who have willingly trusted themselves to Christ. Holy Communion is a regular observance the church shares together as a reminder that Jesus alone is the Saviour who died on the cross, in our place, for our sin, to bring us to God. The bread represents Christ’s body that was broken and the cup represents His blood that was shed for us.

Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 5:17-18; 1 Corinthians 11:25-26; Matthew 26:26-29

THE BAPTISM AND GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that every believer is indwelled and sealed by the Holy Spirit at the moment of conversion. We believe that separate to this regenerating work, the baptism of the Holy Spirit (or being filled with the Holy Spirit) is a distinct and ongoing experience that is promised to 6 believers in which they are clothed with power to be witnesses for Christ. Additionally, we believe that believers should desire and pray for the various spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit sovereignly distributes as He wills. All the spiritual gifts outlined throughout the New Testament are still in operation and are available to believers for the building up of the church and for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14; Luke 24:48-49; Acts 1:4, 2:32-33; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Acts 2:39

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

We believe, Jesus, as a friend of sinners, welcomes and receives all who come to Him. He then takes a person from their broken and sinful state and transforms them. Jesus takes the old life lived in sin and crucifies it. In exchange, He gives the individual His righteous and truly holy nature out of which the believer now lives. As a result, individuals are no longer bound to old sinful practices such as, but not exclusively, those outlined in Galatians 5:16-21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and Revelation 21:8. The fruit of genuine faith in Jesus and His work of crucifying the old life is that sin should no longer be practiced. Having been set free from the power of sin, individuals are to live as God intended them – to live for His glory and for the benefit of all humankind. Hence, all Christians are called to live out and practice Jesus’ nature throughout their life. They are to live a life which is above reproach in respect to biblical values and abstain from all appearances of evil. Christians are also called to be active members of a local church and to meet together regularly as a body so that we may encourage one another. Simply put, a Christian’s goal is to become more like Christ.

John 1:12; Luke 7:34; Romans 5:11, 6:5-7, 6:18-22; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 5:16-24; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Titus 2:10-14; Hebrews 10:25; 1 John 1:5-10

THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS

We believe in the personal, glorious, bodily, and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ in fulfilment of biblical prophecy. We trust in God’s promise that a day is coming when He will banish sin, sickness, death, decay, and Satan. Those who have rejected God will be eternally separated from Him in hell, while those who have accepted the immeasurable gift of His forgiveness will receive eternal life with Him in Heaven. When Jesus returns, He will usher in the New Heavens and New Earth.

Revelation 19:11-16; Acts 3:20-21; Revelation 21:1-5

Our Movement

Our church is part of the International Network of Churches (INC) movement. Operating since 1974, INC is a collective of Christian churches which was founded in Australia and has reached around the world.

Our church is part of the International Network of Churches (INC) movement. Operating since 1974, INC is a collective of Christian churches which was founded in Australia and has reached around the world.

Learn More

Our Services

9:30am Family Service

All are welcome at our morning family service! The 9:30am service is contemporary in style and sensitive to the needs of a very multi-generational church. Each week we share in praise, worship, communion and a message. Join us after the service for tea and coffee and connect with other people at church.

Explosion Kidz runs during this service during the school term for children from one year old to the end of primary school. Kids are checked in upon your arrival at church and stay with you during the praise section of the service. Kids are released to the kids program just before worship.

6:30pm Youth and Young Adults Service

Our PM service is geared towards youth and young adults, but we love that it hosts people of all ages and walks of life. The music is a little louder and the service is a little shorter. Kids join in on our PM service. After the service, some of our young adults usually go to a local eatery for dinner and you’re more than welcome to join!

Parents Room

Our parents room is a place for parents with young children to be able to participate in the service while having a bit of extra privacy. We know coming to church can be a challenge with young children and we want to make it an easier experience for you! The one-way glass window looking into the church allows you to see and hear the service. There is also a baby change table and a private area for breastfeeding, for your convenience. The parents room is located on the left side of the foyer just before you enter the main auditorium and it is available during both our AM and PM services.

Our Team

Pastors Shane & Rachael Cook

Senior Pastors

Pastors Shane and Rachael were Senior Pastors of INC church in Newcastle for 12 years before feeling the call of God to pastor Shellharbour Community Church in 2008. They have a passion for our community and in the years they have been here, have launched initiatives including FoodCare, CityServe Shellharbour and Sprouts Early Learning with the vision of seeing our city served and transformed. With a down to earth, genuine style, Shane and Rach lead our church with energy and vision. They are passionate about seeing the power of God transforming lives and consistently create space in our services for the Holy Spirit to move and touch people’s hearts.

Staff

Wendy Hunter
Wendy HunterFinance Officer
Kim Imisides
Kim ImisidesMinistries Outreach Coordinator
Rachel Worthy
Rachel WorthyYouth Pastor
Coming Soon
Coming SoonChildren's Ministry Team Leader
Chrissie Kirchberg
Chrissie KirchbergAdmin Officer
Ruth Kadwell
Ruth KadwellSprouts Director
Karen Mathews
Karen MathewsFood Care Manager
Thom Dwyer
Thom DwyerExecutive Assistant
Neil Whalan
Neil WhalanBusiness Manager

Team Leaders

Rachael Spinelli
Rachael SpinelliWorship Ministry
David & Rachel Worthy
David & Rachel WorthyDominion Youth
David & Wendy Hunter
David & Wendy HunterHeart for the House
Kim Imisides
Kim ImisidesEvangelism, Foundations & Connect Groups
Thom Dwyer & Carleigh Pett
Thom Dwyer & Carleigh PettYoung Adults
Dave Imisides
Dave ImisidesMissions
Dennis Caligari
Dennis CaligariManna Bookstore
David Downling
David DownlingBusiness Hub
Leeanne Gill
Leeanne GillCityServe