Coast home to booming mega church
THE Gold Coast is going through a "spiritual awakening" as it is home to the fastest growing church in Australia.
Yesterday morning more than 2000 people were on their feet, hands raised to the sky as they hooted and hollered at the founders of Glow Church, Joel and Ellen Cave, during the first service at their new building in Robina.
In five years Glow has grown from 25 members to more than 2000 loyal and generous followers.
According to publicly available financial records Glow Church's annual gross income has more than quadrupled from $500,000 to more than $2 million while its staff numbers has gone from five to 14.
To afford the new building the congregation donated $1 million in one day of fundraising in August.
On Sunday, the congregation prayed for Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate and Mayoress Ruth Tate after the civic leader cut the ribbon on the new space at 10 Electricity Circuit, a massive 2698 square metre building which was once used for Bounce.
"Our city is going through a spiritual awakening," Cr Tate said.
"Christianity is growing, or glowing on the Gold Coast."
Ps Joel Cave, a former Kings Christian College teacher, said the Gold Coast could become the best city in Australia.
"Moving here 12 years ago from Sydney, what attracted us first was the potential," he said.
"There is nothing you can't find on the Gold Coast, whether it is beaches, shopping centres, local community and good schools.
"With our church and other churches we want to create an environment for healthy families, healthy young people who are a part of building a great city."
The morning service on Sunday was like a rock concert, four guitarists, a drummer, keyboard player, five singers in the foreground and a smiling choir behind them.
Hip-hop dancers wearing matching shirts, black leggings or ripped skinny jeans body popped - there was no twerking.
People were happy.
The majority of the congregation was young; technically savvy sound and lighting engineers ran the show, a swarm of trendy volunteers directed the parking and allocated churchgoers to seats in the auditorium, and top-knot-wearing baristas made coffees for young parents whose kids were in the supervised children's rooms.
Ps Cave said Glow's success was driven by its focus on people and modern services.
"It is the style of music we have, the use of technology, we have a lot of cutting edge screens lighting and sound," he said.
"Most people spend all day looking at screens and we use them because it helps people connect with our messages."
The focus on youth was obvious as Ps Joel Cave and his wife took the stage, he wore a frayed denim jacket, loose fitting black T-shirt that fell over his skinny jeans.
Ps Ellen Cave's hair was immaculate, she wore a white T-shirt with French writing and fashionable black low-cut dungarees.
The former Kings Christian College teacher and his wife started Glow on January 13, 2013 with a meeting with friends and family on a Gold Coast balcony.
"We put it out there on social media to see if anyone was interested in forming a church that would intentionally be about people and Jesus, and targeting younger people," he said.
"We started at Robina Community Centre and since then it has almost been unstoppable.
"Right now there is a really strong positive momentum towards Christianity on the Gold Coast as people look for something new and different that hasn't been there in the past."