Wednesday 16th of December 2009 | Posted by Dave Taylor An Australian Perspective: Dave Elsing
It was back in July 2008 that my path first crossed with Dave Elsing's.
He had travelled all the way from Perth to meet with Pete Greasley and I in Sydney. For him it was one seriously expensive coffee meeting, and yet a whole lot has gone on since then. I thought you might like to meet Dave and hear his story, so I recently interviewed him and here's what he said...1. So how did you hear about Sovereign Grace Ministries & what attracted you towards them?I heard about Sovereign grace after talking to a friend about a book we had both read called I kissed dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. For me at that stage it was a pivotal book - I was a new Christian and had been involved in a worldly high school dating culture. It helped define and reinforce the Gospel, especially the short story on The Room that is in the book. My friend told me that Harris is now a pastor in a church near DC in the USA and I wanted to know more.2. So what happened next?After a year or so of listening to some online sermons by Josh Harris, and another pastor called CJ Mahaney, my friend and I sent some emails to their church, Covenant Life, a Sovereign Grace church. To our astonishment they sent us a box load each of books and thanked us for our interest. That was such a blessing that we thought it would be great to visit the states and see first hand what the church was like and just learn from them about how their doctrine affects their life.We went away and made that trip, and whilst I was over there I met Mike Pasalich who at that time was studying at the Sovereign Grace Pastors College. Whilst with Mike I discovered that there was talk about a Sydney church plant on the horizon. That got me amped and so he put me in touch with Pete Greasley, pastor at Christchurch in the UK.It just so worked out that Pete Greasley, along with Dave Taylor, was visiting Sydney around this time. I ended up having a coffee with these guys, and the result was that in Jan 2009 I started on their GAP team ministry program for a year, over in the UK.3. How did you find your GAP Team year at Christchurch?It was amazing - a blessed time serving the Lord and a great group of people. It was also a real challenging year. I think God was doing some work in me that I wasn't really expecting and revealing some specific areas of growth and mortification of the flesh that needed to happen. It was great though, I was in a good place at the church to be reminded of the gospel, that Christ Jesus had taken my sin and guilt upon himself on the Cross, and was punished in my place and exchanged my sin for his righteousness. That is always encouraging for sinners like me, so it really was a fruitful year for my inner life. 4. What have you enjoyed most about being a part of Christchurch for the last year?It was great to see what a church could look like - clear biblical doctrine, application and community, effective evangelism and passionate worship. The place was of course full of imperfect humans, and yet one thing that stood out was the quality of male leadership - in the home, in church, in small groups etc. It was great to see the way they served the church, and their families and pursued humility. Recognising that as men pride and arrogance are our natural default positions without the help of Christ to show us what humility looks like, and the spirit to apply it. I think for me as a young man who was raised by a sole parent mother that this was especially important.5. So how do you feel about Sovereign Grace Ministries now coming to Australia?As I mentioned before – ‘Amped’. I have confidence in God and His word, and I think that Sovereign Grace is faithful to those things. I think their passion for the gospel will be clear and singular and that God willing many will come to know Christ as Lord as the church establishes itself in Sydney. I think that their perspective on some side issues will be helpful to bring to the table of Australian evangelicalism and I hope they can be considered as Gospel partners by the churches that already exist in Oz. The Harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.6. So Dave, what are your plans from here?Move to Sydney and get stuck in with this church plant!Having spent a year in Christchurch working with a team of men, including Mike Pasalich (whilst he was interning there) and Dave Taylor, and knowing the heart that is behind the Sydney church plant - I would be silly to pass up an opportunity like this to help break soil for the gospel in Sydney. God has faithfully provided a job for me there and I'm confident in God. You know, despite leaving my beloved Perth, and some great friends and family there and in the UK. I am confident that He will keep me and provide for me. So from here - move to Sydney and serve in whatever way I can in this church planting team. May He build his church and set the captives free!
When Dave first mentioned to me that he desired to come and be a part of the Sydney church planting team, I was absolutely thrilled. Several months on I still feel very much the same... Dave, you are quite simply a wonderful expression of the kindness of God to this church planter. God bless you my friend.Send Comment | Share on Facebook