For those of you who are new to City Edge and would like to find out more about us we hope that the below information gives you an idea before you decide to come along in person and find out more first hand.
What can I expect when I first visit and what are some of the things you value?
We welcome people from all nations and desire to see the good news of Jesus spread to all people. We aim to make those visiting us feel welcomed and included.
We dress informally but more importantly whatever a person feels comfortable wearing. For some this may actually mean a suit and tie, but for others it maybe jeans and a tee shirt. Our attitude is that God has created us all uniquely and what we wear and how we look come together to make up that uniqueness. We love how different God has created each of us and celebrate this diversity.
We sing songs to God rather than trying to perform for an audience. Our musical style is contemporary yet not over the top loud. God inhabits the praises of His people and we believe that we all need to be able to hear ourselves and others singing to God and it is in this attitude of common worship that God is honoured and we are drawn closer in our experience of Him.
We preach and teach from the Bible as this is the most relevant form of teaching there can be for believers and those who are looking into the Christian faith. The Bible is as relevant for our lives today as it was when it was written to its first hearers. Motivational speeches are not what we are on about, but when the Bible is preached under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it is hard not to be motivated to live for and love God more and to love and care for our neighbors, whoever and wherever they may be.
We are open to the Holy Spirit and make room for Him in our gatherings through gifts of the spirit (1 Corinthians 12-14). God is a God of order and we believe that leadership is set in place to help facilitate this functioning of God through His people to help edify or “build up” His church for His glory and our good.
We make much of Jesus because as He said when He is raised up, He will draw all men to Himself. We aim to be a place you can bring those who don’t know Him and allow them the time and space to hear about Jesus and come to know Him as the saviour of the world. We want those who don’t know Him to come along as many times as they like and to ask as many questions they have so that if they do decide to commit their lives to Him that this is a decision that has not been forced in anyway and has been made with intelligence and faith.
We have been created for fellowship with God and one another and this takes place throughout the whole week whether informally over coffee or dinners as relationships grow and develop or during the times that we have arranged together as a church. Our Sunday mornings are simply one expression of this fellowship and we want our Sunday gatherings to have a feel of unhurried time together. We start at 10:30am but you are more than welcome to come along around 9:30am for coffee and our prayer together at 10:00am to 10:15am, or simply sit and listen to the musos practice together before we get started.
We work with an Ephesians 4 team known as NCMI who seek to build up the body of Christ by providing, friendship, training, church planting and invited accountability into the local church. Each local church that relates to NCMI is autonomous and Elder governed and the working relationship is more of a gospel partnership to see the kingdom of God advance across the globe. While this relationship has a primary character, it is never to be exclusive and we celebrate all of God’s work through the various denominations, streams and movements that He is blessing.
The whole of life is to be one of worship to God and that we worship Jesus through our fellowship together, through hearing and responding to God’s word, by loving our nation, our city, our families, our neighbours, our work, our holidays, our friends, and our appreciation of God’s wonderful creation, as John Piper has said, “God is most glorified in us – when we are most satisfied in Him.”
What are the core beliefs of City Edge Church?
As a church we humbly seek to understand and live by God’s word – the Bible and while it is impossible to sum up the whole counsel of God from the Bible in a few brief passages on a web site, we realise that people do want and need to know about core beliefs as this will determine whether they would like to visit or possibly commit to being part of the church.
We hope the information below will help in answering some of these questions.
We are a Christian Church and protestant in our heritage in that we believe a person is justified by God purely and simply through faith in Jesus Christ alone, being saved by God’s sheer mercy and grace for His good pleasure and our good.
This is in contrast to believing that through our own efforts or perceived goodness we can somehow “earn” God’s favour or grace.
This understanding of justification by faith became the central tenet of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century in Europe and England and recaptured the message of the gospel as found in the pages of the New Testament. As one of the reformers has said “it is the hinge on which all true religion turns”. When we move away from this knowledge we move away from a grace filled expression of genuine community to one that becomes moralistic, controlling and legalistic.
We believe that God is one, manifested as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore we believe in the complete divinity and complete humanity of Jesus i.e. He was not half man half God but fully man and fully God. We believe that the Holy Spirit is personal in the same way as Jesus is and is the Father.
We believe that heaven and hell are real and equally eternal and that God is both just and the justifier (Romans 3:26) which means He will judge by His holiness those who continue in rebellion and stubbornness in receiving Jesus and His Kingdom and will justify by His loving grace those, who He has called and who willingly receive Him. (Romans 8:28–30; John 1:11–13).
If you haven’t received Jesus as Lord and saviour as you read this, won’t you do it now and not delay. His promise is that all who receive Him, who believe in His name, He gives the right to become children of God, who are born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12–13)
We believe that there will be a new heaven and a new earth and all those who God has called and believed will be with Him in His eternal kingdom.
We believe that all the gifts of the Holy spirit, the infilling of the Holy spirit and the ascension gifts from Ephesians 4 have not ceased with the completion of the New Testament but continue on as Jesus builds His church and God’s kingdom is advanced.
How and when did City Edge Church get started?
Saturday January 5, 2007 was the day Tony & Rhonda Hodge first heard God’s call to start what was soon to become City Edge Church.
They had been discussing the previous night about the possibility of starting a new church within a 15km radius of Melbourne’s CBD, having felt for a month or two that God was moving them in this new direction. After looking at a local Melbourne map that night there were no areas that they felt any real connection with – having been born and bred in Melbourne they knew the surrounding areas quite well.
The following day they needed to collect some resource material from a Christian bookshop in Blackburn which was about 30mins from where we were living at the time.
As they were traveling back along Blackburn Road they decided to travel toward the City along Burwood Highway. As soon as they had made the turn, they felt God say: “what about this place”? They both felt an immediate confirmation that this was to be the place.
Driving toward the City, the feelings only strengthened as they discussed what God had just said and the area which they were driving through. Going a little further down Burwood Highway, they passed Deakin University on the right and started to talk and dream about the possibility of starting a church that could meet at the University.
During this time they were still part of the pastoral team at Life to the Nations Church in Endeavour Hills, (now Melbourne Lights in Hallam), and this meant that both of them wanted to pass this word by the team for their input. The team sensed that this was of God, but felt they needed further confirmation and suggested that they start a homegroup in the area and see what God would do. So, in May of 2007 they began a homegroup in Blackburn North with a great group of people from the area.
In August of that year, having wanted to prepare themselves as best they could for church planting and to get final confirmation before setting out, they completed the 4 week full time church planting course in Adelaide that was led by Leon & Pat Van Daele from the NCMI Team.
Coming back from this course only further strengthened their understanding of what would be required and gave them the final confirmation needed to establish the new church.
With the blessing of the pastoral team they then announced it to their homegroup in Blackburn North and asked if they felt God calling them to be a part of pioneering this new church. They were very glad and a little relieved that every person in the group was good to go.
Just over one year had passed and City Edge Church began at Deakin University on Sunday March 9, 2008 – the call and the dream had become a reality to the Glory of God.
In February 2015 City Edge moved to the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Base in Surrey Hills. This allowed the church to settle into a local community and to find a base of operation as they seek to work with the other churches in Melbourne and look to extend the reach of God’s kingdom.
On Sunday May 27, 2018 Tony & Rhonda Hodge officially handed the pastoral care and oversight of City Edge Church to their good friends and deacons within the church, Ian & Mel Gould. At this time Ian was ordained as an Elder/Pastor through our partnership with New Covenant Ministries International.
For further background on this process, read Tony’s Open Letter to City Edge Church, May 13, 2018.
We hope this information is of use and if you have further questions then please call 0490 946 655
Hope to see you soon.
On behalf of the Pastoral Care Team
City Edge Church