For Alex Tindale, coordinating Jesus Club is a privilege. “It’s not a one way street,” he says. “It doesn’t feel like we’re there doing ministry. It feels like we’re meeting as a church.”
Alex says after Jesus Club – a fortnightly meeting for those with an intellectual disability – he goes home excited and thankful for the encouragement he has received. “One of the biggest joys is to grow in friendships with people you might not normally get the chance to meet in everyday life. They enrich our lives, and give us joy, as much as we do for them.”
One of the founding members of Jesus Club, now in its sixth year at Jannali, is one of Alex’s friends from birth. Alex has seen his friend grow in his faith. “He doesn’t come from a background where he goes to church or anything,” Alex says. “Now a few years down the track, he understands that Jesus is the King and that Jesus is God. He’s got actions and signs to show that since he’s non-verbal.” Each week when he goes home, this young man tells his parents he’s been praying for them.
Alex has grown in his trust of God’s word to work powerfully in people’s lives. Often members are non-verbal, or prefer not to talk about deep things. Alex says, “Someone’s faith isn’t what they intellectually know, it’s based on their heart. It’s about how God uses his word to change the heart.”
Another thing Alex has learned is that God uses people in spite of how they may be marginalised in society. “No matter how much society views them as disadvantaged or disabled, God uses them according to their gifts,” he says.
Alex has been serving as the key leader of Jesus Club since 2016. Alongside him are leaders from four Shire churches including St John’s Sutherland, St Luke’s Miranda, Engadine and Heathcote Anglican, and Jannali Anglican.