ABOUT OAC AUSTRALIA
OAC began in 1892 when an English barrister began preaching to lunch time crowds in Sydney’s Martin Place. It was and continues to be part of a global evangelism movement that began in the UK around 250 years ago. A characteristic of this movement has been an initial calling upon evangelists to reach their generation in their own country, closely followed by a broader calling to overseas work. OAC’s history reflects the same developmental trend as the wider movement, beginning in Sydney and spreading from Sydney Australia to more than 30 nations around the world. More than a century later, our focus is still on taking the gospel to those who need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus! Though the style and method have changed a bit over the decades, our commitment is still to present the Bible’s message in a way that can be heard and understood.
For 130 years, faith-filled evangelists have preached the gospel of Jesus Christ around Australia. There have been decades of thriving and seasons of challenge. Over the past decade, our ministry has faced a season of challenges including a decline in the number of evangelists in OAC, the impact of COVID 19 on ministry opportunities, the hostile nature of some state governments to the gospel, the exclusion of gospel teaching from many schools, and a radically shifting and fast-paced culture.
Despite these challenges, our leaders and evangelists have maintained a national presence and begun introducing a national strategy for the ministry, in some places the ministry has grown, national admin has been developed and new staff have joined the team.
Today, OAC Ministries has a team of evangelists serving around the country, supported by wonderful volunteers, who together are preaching the gospel to thousands upon thousands of people each year. From the streets, to schools, to youth camps, and many more opportunities, OAC teams go to where the lost are with the eternity changing message of Jesus.
Our Evangelism Principles
Principles shape our decisions. The following principles have been gleaned from reading the history of OAC and listening to existing team members and those who have dedicated decades to the ministry God continues to do through us.
- Go to where the people gather, be mobile and flexible.
OAC has always gone to where the people are. In the early days on wagons, and later from cars and trailers. To schools and community gatherings, OAC goes to where non-Christians gather and meets them there.
- Go there consistently for the same purpose.
OAC has a track record of long-term seasons of ministry where we went to the same place time and time again. Early stories of conversions often occurred after individuals had attended an OAC presentation several times on a weekly basis.
- Use communication methods relevant to the culture.
OAC has consistently adapted it’s methods of communication to reach each generation. From preaching and worship to flip cards and testimonies, we have used whatever method will most effectively connect with those with ears to hear.
- Listen to build rapport and trust so you have the opportunity to be heard.
OAC evangelists seek to listen to the journey of others so we can speak the gospel in a way that connects with a person’s heart and mind. Evangelism is a relationship focused on the good news.
- Ask quality questions, transformation happens through conversation not just presentation.
While presentations are great for groups, in one-on-one evangelism, asking a key question can take a person closer to faith sometimes than a convincing statement can. Conviction from the Holy Spirit often comes from pondering an idea as well as listening to it.
- Do everything in partnership with local churches and pastors.
OAC cannot do anything unless we are in partnership with local pastors and churches. Through these partnerships we have the spiritual authority to speak into their cities and towns, we also have the support we need to resource the work, and it is where our future evangelists will come from.
- Cover everything in prayer and be prepared for a spiritual battle.
OAC has a rich history of long-term consistent prayer for the lost and a willingness to engage in spiritual warfare. This is demonstrated by the 20-year prayer meeting that met weekly in the Sydney Town Hall for three hours, praying for the lost and asking God for his favour in sharing the good news.
Our Future Vision
Vision is a word picture that evokes an image of a preferred future. It isn’t encapsulated in plans and goals, rather it inspires and evokes an emotional response. It is something that people can read or hear and say a big “YES” to and commit themselves to see this vision come to fruition.
- We see in OAC Australia, a ministry that has a holistic vision in three parts:
- A heart for the lost that flows through the testimony of our evangelists and staff, founded in a deep desire to see every Australian have the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ in a relevant way that engages them.
- A commitment to loving God through our service of Him, and being good stewards of the resources, opportunities, and people that he entrusts to us.
- A commitment to building partnerships with churches and other Christian Ministries to help reach Australians and speak the gospel of Jesus Christ into the public sphere.
- We see in OAC Australia, a ministry that recognises every person as made in the image of God and loves them accordingly. That can see the individual beyond their behaviour and life circumstances and seeks to view them as God does, a loved and precious individual created by Him for a unique purpose. It is this that motivates us to go and preach the good news to every person God brings us into contact with, because without this good news people remain lost.
- We see in OAC Australia, a ministry where each person we come into contact with can find salvation through the love and care of Jesus, find a local Church, learn and grow to a point where they are trained by OAC to be sent out from their local church to lead and preach the good news wherever they may be called.
- We see in OAC Australia, an organisation that is shaped by the people God calls to it, that allows people to explore God’s calling on their lives during their time of service with us, and equips them to do it, and in doing so furthers the vision.
- We see in OAC Australia, a ministry that cares for and looks after its people well, who love each other and pastorally care for each other in times of crisis.
- We see in OAC Australia, a ministry that is biblically faithful and theologically literate. Leaders, evangelists, and staff who can engage in life-changing conversations with almost anyone because they have grown in their faith journey and have the confidence of knowing God loves them no matter what. People who can lead by example in word, deed, and effort.
- We see in OAC Australia, a ministry that is passionate about reaching people across all demographics and cultures. A ministry that reaches, teaches and encourages children and young people in their faith, families in general, and honours, respects and invests in its long-term faithful servants as well.
- We see in OAC Australia, an organisation that seeks to operate effectively with integrity across all it’s operations.