This week we attended a friend’s ordination and induction at the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland (Sydney congregation in Riverstone). The church had been without a resident pastor for over 30 years, so you could definitely feel the weight of the occasion! It was appropriately solemn, yet also a joyous celebration.

We marvelled at God’s providence in preserving His church, and in blessing them with a man who is equipped with the word and called to gospel ministry.

At the same time, I wonder how many other Australian congregations are without pastors? I have not yet found statistics on this, but we’ve met others from regional areas who have not had a pastor for years. In these cases, either there is no suitable church or their church is unable to support a pastor. Believers resort to downloading sermons or holding worship services at home. These are sincere Christians without an under-shepherd.

One reason I work in Sydney is because of the influx of people here. But how can we help the regional areas and churches without pastors? Perhaps it’s an opportunity for the return of itinerant preachers.

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About Ben Kwok

Ben is part of a church plant team establishing the Rouse Hill Church. He holds a Master of Divinity degree. Ben and his wife Diahanna live in Sydney, Australia with their four young children.


  1. RoSeZ 3 March, 2010 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    I heard somewhere that over 300 churches in Australia are without pastors and another 30 or so pastors are quitting each year with only around 12 new pastors taking their place. Sad statistics.

    Praise God for this new pastor and this faithful church who’ve waited for so long for a pastor of their own! Thanks for sharing! =)

  2. Ben Kwok 3 March, 2010 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    It would be great to verify those numbers … I guess it’s harder to gather stats from independent churches. :)

  3. robert 3 March, 2010 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    churches can struggle to embrace leadership if it has been absent for so long

    men can also be reluctant to lead if there is no proper remuneration

    perhaps some churches need to think about whether they can properly function year after year without the leadership that is fairly clearly laid out in Scripture

  4. Ben Kwok 4 March, 2010 at 7:00 am - Reply

    agreed … no doubt some churches are leaderless because they virtually prefer it that way.

    Most churches are naturally focused on developing its own leadership, but we could also reach out to remote churches / groups as a mission work. Maybe if each healthy church partnered with one regional church for prayer and an occasional event. Just thinking out loud.

    • Pastor john 21 January, 2014 at 1:49 am

      Praise God,is there any church without pastors that you know pls indicate,i would like to take it up for my Lord Jesus,shalom

  5. Jason Harris 4 March, 2010 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Wow. I do like the itinerant preacher idea. If several churches were banding together financially, they could support an itinerant pastor…

  6. rev leon barnes 6 March, 2011 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    you need a good spirit filled man of god to pastor look no further im looking and praying for god to lead me to the right church if you been praying and waiting on god to lead and send the right pastor pray about me see how god leads

  7. djean 7 November, 2011 at 8:30 am - Reply


    I saw the online discussion about churches without a pastor. Our church posts its sermons and related small group worksheet about the weekly message online – which facilitates small groups which meet to review the scriptures, questions, and anything the Lord prompts them with. It is very easy to facilitate a small group using the worksheet that is based on the weekly message. This may work in a pinch – not permanently of course.. We are exploring webcasting as well so anyone can watch the actual service..

    God Bless.

  8. Derrick and Margaret Aldridge 23 December, 2014 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Hi, we are seniors now but still fired up to do Itinerant work. Is there any way of finding out who is in need as we can up to a point support ourselves. Would love to hear of any God Bless Derrick

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