How we came to be...
The birthing of i61 was about 15 years in the making. It was back in 2001 when Tim & Debbie first heard the call to plant a church through a significant God encounter while attending a "Transformations" conference in Sydney.
Though the call was so clear, where God clearly led for the next 10 years was to serve in an established church - something Tim & Debbie thoroughly enjoyed. In many ways, the call to church planting was put on the shelf during those years, as the ministry experiences Tim & Debbie were having were so fulfilling, and the community and family they were involved in just felt like "home".
Fast forward to 2012. Taking a trip to Bethel Church in Redding, California had been on Tim & Deb's to-do list for some years. A significant friend took them out to dinner, and proceeded to unfold a series of prophetic gifts and acts, culminating in a large cheque - enough to take the whole family to Redding for a month. The card that contained the cheque had a picture of baby's feet, and the title "Welcome to the birth of your baby". Inside the card, Isaiah 61 was written out in full - a passage that had been significant to Tim since early years in ministry, as it detailed the character and effect of the ministry of Jesus - to bring healing, life, and restoration to people, cities, and nations. This friend had no idea what was being birthed, but knew it was important to do what God had said.
That trip to Redding, and Bethel, ended up being life changing. From almost the first day God began speaking through other people - many of them completely unknown to each other, and to Tim and Deb. This trip culminated in another series of God encounters that made the calling and timing to establish i61 abundantly clear.
From there, two solid years of building family, community, and team followed. The desire was to build deep foundations, rather than to have a "spectacular" beginning that could come undone as quickly as it is built.
Our call is not so much to build a church, though we will do that and do it well. Our call is "to show the world what love really is" and ultimately love is a Person, not an organisational system or set of programs. Love must be practical - it looks like something. Also, love must be supernatural if we are to represent all of who Jesus is. We're by no means perfect, nor do we strive to be. But we are on an exciting journey. We'd love to have you join us on that journey.