The Toowoomba Chronicle reports…
“One of Queensland’s most controversial churches is embarking on a very public expansion in the Garden City.
The Toowoomba Christian Fellowship has revealed plans to expand its present home, which is known as The Chapel, into a 5000-person mega-church.
If it goes ahead it will be one of the largest churches in Australia
The main auditorium of the Citipointe Church in Carindale, Brisbane, can seat 2000 people while Hillsong Sydney, which has 20,000-plus members, has the capacity to seat 3500.
Toowoomba Regional Council has given Toowoomba Christian Fellowship approval to quadruple the size of its existing 300-seat auditorium, located on Old Goombungee Rd in Toowoomba’s northern outskirts.
The next stage of its expansion will increase the church’s occupancy to 3000.
A third stage will mean The Chapel’s expansion into a facility able to cater to 5000 people.
A representative from Toowoomba Christian Fellowship was not available for comment yesterday.
In recent years, the church has come under fire from members for trying to break up families and gain control over their lives.
Former member Damien Chimes claimed he was forced to work on the church’s farms and had restrictions placed on aspects of his social life.
Senior pastor David Falk at the time strenuously denied those claims.
Toowoomba Christian Fellowship’s development application reveals a maximum of 300 people attend the church’s regular Sunday meetings.
It claims it needs to expand the capacity of The Chapel to “allow for future growth of the program”.
The church must get development approval to proceed with its next two stages of expansion.”
Senior Pastor David Falk blogs…
“When we submit ourselves to this fellowship of the word, we are not submitting ourselves to a democracy. There is nothing democratic about the Christian church. The concept does not exist anywhere in the Scripture. It is actually the result of the Roman senatorial influence upon civilization from about 150 BC onwards.
When we join the fellowship of the word, we receive the messenger as well as the message of ‘present truth’. 2Pe 1:12. I like the term ‘messenger initiative’, because it’s the corporate fellowship of individual messengers. Democracy is an unhelpful influence on the church today because it challenges the right of a messenger group to bring the light of His word with the expectation that it will be obeyed. Democracy, therefore, undermines the work of the Holy Spirit to convict us and bring a process of change into our lives.
A democratic leader is a consensus leader who pulls a congregation together to consensus decision. This kind of leader tries to read the mood of the collective group and makes sure that everybody is included. In reality, we are all included, but not in a democratic sense. Paul says in the book Romans concerning the Lord. ‘Their voice has gone out into all the earth and their words to the end of the world’. Rom 10:18. His voice is saying, ‘All who will may come’. We are all called by name.
Sometimes our participation in the fellowship of the word is sweet in our mouths but bitter in our stomachs. And this can happen when we make our involvement personal. We may feel left out or moved sideways. We may allow our sense of inferiority, anxiety, ambition or expectation to impose. All of these things are filters on His word. We do not need to have opinion on matters that do not concern us or our individual grace and sonship work.
When we join the fellowship of His word, we are immediately drawn into the fellowship of ‘first love’. And this demands that we lay down our lives for the people we lead. Rev 2:4. Joh 15:13. It will also mean that we are no longer able to acquiesce the collective opinion. It is ironic that we lay down our lives by standing up to lead. And by standing up, every friendship and historical connection is called into question. Everything must now realign to the fact that God has called someone to join the fellowship of the messenger work.”