Meet Michael Leader, coordinator of Jesus Club Beverly Hills
UPDATED, MARCH 2022
Since we spoke to this club back in 2019, Jesus Club Beverley Hills has gone from strength to strength. Steadily growing from a small club of three members two and half years ago, to being attended by up to 9 adults with intellectual disabilities every fortnight!
Lee, a member of their Jesus Club, was instrumental in much of this growth, as predicted by Michael. He firstly invited two of his Christian friends with Down Syndrome, then, later, encouraging two more of his group home housemates to join as well. The three friends now go to Beverly Hills Baptist Church together, and two were even baptised last year!
In the words of Michael, this growth has been a real blessing! And with a very stable leadership team, who are all loving this ministry, we look forward to seeing many more exciting updates from this club.
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Getting involved with disability ministry seems to be what God had always planned for Michael Leader, the new coordinator of Jesus Club Beverly Hills.
A father to a son with Autism, Michael began planning for a Jesus Club while working at CABC Thornleigh. However, he left soon after for his current position as Pastor at Beverly Hills Baptist Church and never saw its fruition. Yet, God didn't let the idea leave him, and soon after arriving at his new post, Jesus Club Beverly Hills was opened in July 2019.
Serving the suburbs of Sydney South
As the only Jesus Club serving the St George area, Jesus Club Beverly Hills has found a niche sharing the Bible to adults with intellectual disabilities (I.D.) in the area.
"We’ve got a lot of larger churches in the area that are doing all these wonderful things, and I thought, well there is an area no one else is doing ... no one in the St George area [has] a Jesus Club.”
Regardless of denomination or membership, everyone is welcome to join Jesus Club Beverley Hills. "We are not interested in taking [members] away. We just want to give them the benefit of Jesus Club and then send them back to your congregation a little bit closer to God, " said Michael.
The gospel is for All people
No matter what others have to say about the fruits of discipling people with disabilities, Michael strongly believes it is an essential ministry.
"All people can understand the Gospel… because all people can have an encounter with God... with Jesus.The Gospel is for this life, as well as the next. [It's about] a life that reflects Christ's character, and I believe all people can do that, whether they are 2 or 100 or have an intellectual disability.”
Member holding up their craft activities from their first meeting.