A look at Stable on the Strand, Townsville

The week before Christmas I had the joy of spending three nights in Townsville attending [Stable on the Strand](https://www.stableonthestrand.com.au) which is a Christmas event staged by the combined churches and supported by the city council and dozens of businesses. It is a remarkable event now running for 20 years and visited by thousands each year. [Click here to view a video of interviews about Stable.](https://vimeo.com/662461840)

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While attending Stable I also interviewed many Christian leaders asking them about what they thought God was doing in the city. Here is the link to those interviews

My overall impression was that God is truly at work in diverse ways through a whole range of people including pastors, chaplains, youth workers, indigenous leaders, business people and ordinary folks with burdens to meet needs and serve God.

Over the last thirty years Townsville has been well known for the strength of unity it enjoyed as many senior pastors met weekly to pray and to work together in the city. While pastors and leaders still gather it is not as frequent or strategic as it was.

What I did observe, however, was the number of mainly younger leaders God has raised up who have a passionate heart to see Townsville reached for Jesus. This was not a coordinated strategy, just something God has done from the grass roots. No doubt it is built on the faithful work of past and present pastors and those who have prayed over many years.

In summary, Stable continues to provide an event that encourages Christians from dozens of churches to work together to present the Jesus story to the city. Additionally decades of unity and prayer has built a platform for God to inspire and equip a new generation of missional leaders who have a passionate heart to serve God, the city and each other.

Every city has its own unique story. What is your city story? Like Townsville does your city stage an event that brings Christians together to bless the wider community? Who is God raising up in your city, some of whom might be “below the radar"?

I would love to hear something of your story.

Finally, listen to Rev Anne Harley who, though retired, inspires, encourages and provides great city leadership in Townsville.

Ian Shelton is the co-ordinator of Movement Australia and South Pacific.


17 May 2022


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