College Mission Teams

All full-time students at SMBC (and any part-time students who can) become part of an annual College mission team, led by a lecturer and co-leader. Mission teams travel to different parts of Australia as well as overseas.

Missions within Australia are usually for one week, while overseas missions are usually three weeks in duration. College Mission is an important part of preparation for mission and ministry. It provides opportunities to put classroom learning into practice, to work within a team environment, and to develop spiritual gifts and abilities. After mission, the teams continue to meet regularly during the year as College fellowship groups.

College Mission 2024

In 2024 we're excited to be taking College Mission Teams to: Gundagai Baptist Church (NSW), Wynyard Anglican Church (TAS), Moree Anglican Church (NSW), Church of the Risen King Jesus (Middleton Grange, NSW), Liverpool Cross-Cultural Outreach (NSW), Levin Baptist Church (NZ), as well as South Asia and West Asia locations. This year we're also offering the opportunity for students to elect to organise their own personalised mission or ministry experience (minimum 40 hours) to help prepare for their post college plans.

See reports and prayer points from our 2024 College Mission teams below:

Team Leaders – Janson Condren and Carolyn Woods

We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Liverpool and found the mission to be valuable training for cross-cultural ministry. The diversity of ethnic, social and religious backgrounds in this area of Sydney was so evident. This has presented complexities for the local churches to navigate, but we heard of great joys of discipleship and testimonies of people coming to faith in Christ.

Each day we continued to meet around God’s word and learn from experienced ministry workers. Each of us were impacted by their trust in God’s faithfulness, His plan for their life and their perseverance in gospel proclamation. 

A team of women assisted in different ESL classes and met newcomers at the St Luke’s outreach, connecting with the kids and mums at Playtime. We engaged in more walk-up evangelism at the ‘Blessed Nights’ event run by the Liverpool council. Being in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the night market, from Thursday to Saturday. At the ‘Prayer Night’ event on Saturday, Mark shared his testimony and this pointed to God’s answered prayer. A Bible Storytelling collaboration between Alice and Clive, helped us consider Jesus’ compassion and our need to respond in faith. There were gospel conversations and opportunities to pray for people we met.  

We continued our training in the Hindu worldview and also visited numerous religious sites in the centre of Liverpool. On the final Sunday we were split across a range of services and it was a privilege to share in the Nepalese baptisms. Praise God for an amazing week!

Prayer points:

  • We are grateful to God for his faithfulness, provision and protection.
  • Please pray for the fruitful conversations and the various people we met throughout the week, that they would consider Christ and the gospel would change their lives.
  • Pray for the individuals who had never met a Christian before or read the words of the Bible. We ask that they would be prompted to read the Bible for themselves, connect with other believers and find a church that would help them grow in their understanding of what it means to follow Christ.
  • Please uphold the various ministry workers and churches in the Liverpool area, seeking to know Christ and make Him known. We praise God for their servant hearts, faithful Bible teaching, unique gifts and their desire to grow disciples. We ask for more people to work alongside them.
  • We pray that what we have learnt this week, would be applied to our lives and have a long-term impact. 


Team Leaders – Alan Thompson and Alayne Thompson

Some of the men in our group have been getting early this last week to join men’s breakfast groups that meet at 6.30am for time in God’s word, prayer and a shared breakfast before heading off for the day. Others in the team have joined in on a variety of connect groups throughout the week as well as a number of different pastoral care visits.

Some of us have also attended the kindergarten attached to the church that runs five days weekly. Throughout the week there has been opportunities to give a kid's talk each day. Lily shared with the kids about the God who created the universe and taught them their new favourite song “Jesus is the mighty mighty King!” Morna taught the kids about the fall, Sally shared about the rescuer promised to Abraham, Fleur talked about Jesus’ power in calming the storm and Paul shared with the kids the death and resurrection of Jesus. Rob, Grace, Issy and Lily attended youth group on Friday night where they ran games, got to know the local teens, and Rob gave an evangelistic talk on Romans 5:8.

Throughout the week the team has received a lot of input from the pastoral team at Levin Baptist, who shared with us the joys and challenges they’ve experienced in ministry, and the hard won wisdom that has come along with that. We were also privileged to be joined by a panel of gospel workers from a number of different locations around the north island to share with us about the theological landscape of New Zealand and the needs and opportunities for gospel ministry in the country.

On Saturday we enjoyed a free day together down in Wellington where we viewed the city from the heights of the cable car, attended the Te Papa Museum, shared lunch together and wandered the streets of Wellington during their arts festival.

Our final Sunday was 'Kids Sunday'. The kids participated in leading music, starring in videos and performing puppetry. All of this was used to help point kids and families to Jesus on Palm Sunday. The team assisted in the festivities afterwards where there was a jumping castle, sausage sizzle, craft, face painting and balloon making. A huge thank you to all of our kind hosts for your generous hospitality throughout our stay.

Prayer points:

  • Praise for a great week of ministry and fellowship with Levin Baptist Church.
  • Praise for the warm hospitality of those who have fed us and housed us so well.
  • Praise for the time of learning and growing and building relationships together as a mission team.
  • Pray for the team as they leave Levin and head in different directions, some homeward to Sydney and others onward to other parts of New Zealand.


Team Leaders – Rob Smith and Chris Kotsaris


- Presenting the gospel through puppet shows at scripture assemblies. 

  • Sitting in on scripture classes.
  • Helping to run kids club while ministering to the mothers. 
  • Men's event with steaks and bowls. 
  • Joining Ephraim House to give food out to the community.
  • Singing together everyday in our debrief meetings. 

Prayer points:

  • We thank God for the many opportunities that he's given our team to help those in physical need and speak to those, yet to know Jesus. 
  • We've enjoyed spending time with the Christians in this community; being part of the bible study groups, youth/children's programs, and learning from those leading these spaces.   
  • We hope for fruitful relationships to be made through the women's event happening on Saturday night.
  • For God to speak powerfully through the sermons and testimonies being prepared for Sunday Service.
  • We ask for enduring strength for our team members as we wrap up our last few days here in Moree, and a safe return to Sydney.

Team Leaders – Ian Maddock and Jodi Crain

The Wynyard team are enjoying the beautiful North West of Tasmania.  We've been welcomed by the Church community at St Stephens, and have loved being part of their Sunday services, meetings, pastoral visits and weekly clubs.

We've also appreciated hearing from church leaders here about the realities and joys of rural ministry. The hospitality of our hosts, and the beauty of the scenery have been real highlights.

Prayer Points:

  • Praise God for the kindness of the community here in Wynyard as they have hosted, fed and shared their lives with us.
  • Praise God for the beauty of his creation which we have been able to enjoy this week. 
  • Pray for the local churches in Wynyard that they will continue to faithfully serve the community as they preach the Gospel.
  • Pray for God to raise up people to meet the many ministry needs in this part of Tasmania.


Team Leaders – Ed Grudier and Alison R

Prayer points:

  • Pray for the university students we are spending the week with – that they will be receptive to hearing the good news, and will come to the local gathering on Sunday after our week of activities. Thank Him for the believing students and pray that they will also be effective in sharing with their peers.
  • Pray for continued energy and health for our team.
  • Pray for the local believers here to persevere as they face many pressures and stressors. Ask that we can be an encouragement to them, and learn from them.


Team Leaders – Matt Vander Heiden and Kiri Vander Heiden

The last three days have been a mixture of experiencing church life and farm life here in Gundagai. On Wednesday we spent the day on the cattle farm of one of the elders of the church, helping clean up for a cattle sale, picking fruit and learning to use some essential farm equipment.

We have also attended a number of Bible studies, caught up with people from the church and helped out at youth group and school scripture. It's been a great privilege to be involved in some of the gospel work going on in Gundagai.

As well as this, we've been able to spend some good time together as a group, praying with one another, preparing for activities and hanging out. On Saturday we're looking forward to a team day out in Junee and Wagga.

Prayer points:

  • Thank God for the experiences we've had on mission so far, and the ways we've seen him at work in his people here, and in us as a team.
  • Pray for the Men's Breakfast on Saturday morning and for Ben as he shares. Pray also for the church service on Sunday and all those involved in various parts of it (Music, Kids Church, Alvina as she gives her testimony and Tom McLennan as he preaches).
  • Pray for a safe and encouraging day out as a team on Saturday.


Team Leaders – Janson Condren and Carolyn Woods

On Sunday our team was a part of the three English speaking services at St Luke’s Anglican Church Liverpool and their Nepalese congregation. We were also involved in Liverpool South Anglican Church, sharing personal testimonies and Bible storytelling at both the English and Urdu Services. There were some awesome times of fellowship, building of relationships and warm hospitality.

On Monday, we gathered together for devotions and to learn from various ministry workers in the area. There was a focus on Hinduism and Clive took us to visit a temple to gain a deeper understanding of the Hindu worldview. Clive trains churches and individuals for ministry to Hindus and other South Asian people in Sydney.  

On Tuesday some team members taught ESL classes and assisted with the Anglicare food pantry. Others did walk-up evangelism, listened to stories from the locals in Liverpool and engaged in gospel conversations. 

Prayer points:

  • Praise God for the opportunity to partner with Tim from St Luke’s, Matt from Liverpool South and Clive, learning from their years of ministry experience and wisdom.
  • We ask for a posture of humility, as we learn from churches that are doing a wide variety of ministries in the area. We praise God for their faithfulness in serving Him. 
  • We are thankful for the way we have been welcomed and for the generosity of our hosts.
  • We ask for continued growth in learning how to minister to people from different backgrounds. 
  • We pray for energy – that we could wholeheartedly engage with every opportunity to talk with people.
  • We ask that the team would be Christ-centred, Bible-saturated and God-exalting. 


Team Leaders – Alan Thompson and Alayne Thompson

We visited a local funeral home and were given a tour by a funeral director, who spoke about the logistical and legal process of funerals in New Zealand, and offered advice to those supporting the grieving. We then spent further time with Senior Pastor Dave thinking through the pastoral responsibilities and responses as we love and care for the grieving within our church communities. 

Some of the team attended “Adult Day Club” and spent time with senior citizens playing lawn bowls, board games and enjoying conversation. On Monday, Matt gave a devotion that pointed us to the hope we have in the resurrected Jesus, who walks with us even amidst our doubts and difficulties in life, and on Wednesday, Morna shared the story of how Jesus calmed the storm. 

Part of the team headed to an aged care facility to spend time with the residents. Kathleen gave a talk from Philippians 2 sharing about how the unity of Christians helps propel the gospel forward. Fleur, Isabelle, Sally and Alayne also led the residents in singing some favourite hymns. 

The musicians in our team joined with the music team at Levin Baptist for a night of food and fellowship. Lily led the group in thinking through what the Bible has to say about worship, and we enjoyed singing some songs together. 

At the church potluck dinner some of the team shared their stories of how God brought them to study at SMBC and we spent time together praying that more workers would be raised up for the harvest in New Zealand and around the world. 

Prayer points:

  • Praise for the opportunities the team has had to share God’s word in various contexts.
  • Praise for the ministry of Levin Baptist Church, for the faithful believers who serve at this church, and for the time the team has had to build relationships with them.
  • Pray for energy and good health as the team grows a little weary.


Team Leaders – Rob Smith and Chris Kotsaris

Highlights from the first few days: 

  • Getting to know our billets and encouraging one another through our stories. 
  • Worshipping with All Saints Anglican Church, Moree, joining both their contemporary and prayer-book services. 
  • Learning about what life is like on a farm. 
  • Helping run kids ministries. 
  • Ministering to those in aged-care. 

Prayer points: 

  • We thank God for the hospitality we have received from the members of All Saints Anglican Church. 
  • We are grateful for the willingness of Geoff (Senior Vicor) and his wife Catherine in letting us partner with their team to see the people of Moree ‘love, follow and declare Jesus’. 
  • We ask for deeper wisdom and love so that our presence would bless the ministry work being done, and be a catalyst for new opportunities.
  • We ask God to keep us teachable and attentive so we can make the most out of this learning experience. 
  • We ask for the Holy Spirit to be inspiring and convicting those in our team preparing their talks/testimonies, and those who will hear their message. 


Team Leaders – Matt Vander Heiden and Kiri Vander Heiden

Mission started Saturday evening with a team BBQ at the house of the Pastor (Andrew Kerr, 2021 SMBC graduate). Church the following morning was encouraging, as we got to meet with and begin to get to know some of God's people in this small town in the southern Riverina. Tom Cummins preached from Mark 12:1-12 and Anastasia gave her testimony. The next morning we were up before dawn to watch the sun rise over the town, and be encouraged from God's word. The rest of the day was spent in town, hanging out with each other and getting to know some locals.

On Tuesday we heard from of a number of people in ministry from around the Riverina, including some SMBC graduates - Kate Bollinger (née Lieschke): working with AFES in Wagga, and Jeremy Bosshard: pastor at Cootamundra Presbyterian. It was encouraging to hear about some of what God is doing in this part of the world, and have the opportunity to ask questions about life and ministry in the country. In the evening, four members of the team went to one of the church's weekly Bible studies, where they shared and were prayed for.

Prayer points:

  • Praise God for safe travel and a really good start to mission.
  • Praise God for the way he is building his church in the Riverina, and ask him to be raising up more people for gospel ministry here.
  • Pray that we'd take the opportunities we have to encourage the local believers in Gundagai and continue to be encouraged by them.


Team Leaders – Mark Stephens and Steph Leung

We had a great first Sunday helping with the 10am service. Our team helped in children's and youth ministries, participated in the adult worship, and then joined the church membership class. There was an amazing morning tea (enough to feed a village), and warm hospitality was the order of the day.

Today we met with the whole staff team, reviewing the Sunday service, preparing for next week, and discussing how the church transitioned from an Anglican church plant to an FIEC church. And again, we were well fed!!

Prayer points:

  • For continued growth is learning how to be a church that honours Christ and proclaims him faithfully
  • For our participation in SRE and learning how to use this mission as an evangelistic opportunity
  • For safety and energy with long drives to and from our host church


Team Leaders – Alan Thompson and Alayne Thompson

Our team arrived safely in New Zealand on Saturday afternoon after a smooth flight. The people of Levin have already shown themselves to be generous hosts in driving to meet us at the airport and getting all our gear back to their homes. We enjoyed some time on Saturday afternoon and evening getting to know our hosts at Levin Baptist, playing French cricket and enjoying homemade wood-fired pizza in the lead pastor’s backyard.

An early start on Sunday morning saw Grace and Kathleen milking cows on a dairy farm before joining the others at church. It was an encouraging time to attend Levin Baptist. Ollie preached on Philippians 2, and we were privileged to witness the baptism of six men and women (ranging from their teens years through to their eighties!) who each shared their stories of how the Lord has been at work in their lives. Our God is good and He is at work! It was great to get to mingle with the congregation afterwards and get to know more of the local church in Levin.

In the afternoon, we headed to Waikawa Beach for “Adventure Club” where Andrew retold the story of Luke 24 and challenged the kids to consider the resurrection of Jesus in the lead up to Easter. We then hit the water and did some kayaking up the river before retiring back to our billets for dinner with our lovely hosts. 

Prayer points:

  • Praise for safe and smooth travel for the team to get to New Zealand
  • Praise for the encouraging stories of those who were baptised and for the way God has been at work through Levin Baptist Church
  • Pray for the team as they set out for the week and engage in various ministries with the church and conversations about ministry life in New Zealand


Team Leaders – Ed Grudier and Alison R

The West Asia mission team will spend two weeks partnering with local believers in a city of around 1.3 million. Whilst this area has seen gospel growth in the last few years, there are still very few believers. Thank God for the work that he has done in this part of the world and for the perseverance of believers under difficult circumstances.

Please pray that the team will be an encouragement to our brothers and sisters in this city, and that we will be humble learners from them. We will spend most evenings participating in university ministry, so ask God to lead us to students who are open to the Gospel and who are eager to connect with the university ministry workers and the local church. Finally, join us in interceding for this city; that many more people will hear Christ proclaimed and be transferred from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of the Son.

Team Leaders – Jonathan James and Barbara

Give thanks for the way God’s church has grown so rapidly over the past few decades in many parts of the nation we will be visiting, for the many harvest workers who God has sent, and for the team who will be hosting us.

Please pray God would:

  • Grant good sleep, protection of health, and completion of all necessary tasks in the lead up to leaving on Saturday.
  • Help us to learn and better understand the context as we meet long-term team members and hosts.
  • Protect us from accidents, motion sickness, and blocked roads as we travel.
  • Strengthen and energise us, grant us perseverance and protection as we walk into the lower mountains, and help us to build good relationships with local guides.
  • Make us an encouragement to young believers and enthuse and embolden them to be disciples who make disciples by reaching out to the unreached people group living up the mountain.
  • Use us to make connections with local people we meet along the way that long-term workers and local believers can deepen in coming months.
  • Send more workers to this region and encourage future believers who face the prospect of ostracisation.
  • Grant us close and healthy relationships among the team.
  • Help us to discuss what we see and hear well.
  • Provide opportunities in the capital for us to connect with mountain people visiting there, and learn from and be a blessing to long-term workers.
  • Guide our thinking in our ongoing debriefing and help us to better discern how he would have each of us serve him in the future.

Team Leaders – Ian Maddock and Jodi Crain

  • Pray for safe travels to and from Northwest Tasmania.
  • Pray for those delivering sermons and talks at St Stephen's Wynyard – that they would speak boldly, faithfully, and winsomely.
  • Give thanks for those in Wynyard who are opening their homes and hosting the team this week, and that we would be an encouragement to them.

Team Leaders – Janson Condren and Carolyn Woods

Please pray for us as we ... learn and relate to Hindu culture, learn to give simple and relevant testimonies, learn and use Bible storytelling skills in church and non-church settings, have gospel conversations with unbelievers, and grow in our ability to love people very different from us.

Team Leaders – Mark Stephens and Steph Leung

Please pray for:

  • Open hearts to listen and learn from a church plant.
  • Adaptable spirits to adjust to whatever is required of us.
  • For teaching SRE within Prairiewood High, Parkland High, and Fairvale High.
  • For the café-hopping day on Friday, where casual conversations might be required.
  • For safe travels for the team, to and from each day.

Team Leaders – Alan Thompson and Alayne Thompson

Please pray that:

  • We'd be an encouragement to SMBC grads on staff there, Dave & Prue Catto and Andrew and Sophia Sinclair, and to the congregation.
  • We'd learn a lot from their experience.
  • We'd have good gospel conversations in the various events for all ages that we'll be a part of.
  • Those giving talks and sharing testimonies would be clear and faithful.
  • We'd raise up more gospel workers for needy NZ

Team Leaders – Matt Vander Heiden and Kiri Vander Heiden

Please pray:

  • For the planning and preparation that still needs to happen.
  • That God would be preparing the team our time away – that we’d look out for what he is trying to teach/reveal to us about himself and ourselves.
  • That we would be an encouragement to the church in Gundagai.
  • For team unity and opportunities for relationship building among the team.

Team Leaders – Rob Smith and Chris Kotsaris

Moree is a country town in northwest NSW of approximately nine thousand people. As with many rural centres, it has been in a slow decline over the years because of mechanisation replacing jobs once undertaken by labourers, and with farmers buying up properties rather than new people moving in. There is an Indigenous community comprising 22% of the population, the rest are predominantly Anglo-Saxon. The farming community is very prosperous and most of the businesses in town are focused on support for agriculture. There is also an extremely high welfare dependant community in town which brings with it a lot of social problems. There is a strong racial divide in the community.

The church is mostly Anglo-Saxon with two services each Sunday – 15 people at the 7:30am service and 80–90 at the 9:30am service. They currently have a staff of three full time clergy. They run 12 Bible study groups during the week, a playgroup on Wednesday mornings, a youth group on Friday evenings and are planning to start an afternoon kid’s club later it the year. They teach SRE at both public schools in town. They also participate in regular services and visiting at the local nursing home. They are desperately underrepresented with Indigenous congregation  members and are struggling to find a way into the Indigenous community with gospel work.

Team Leaders – Karl Deenick and Kristen Young

The personalised mission team will be doing their mission at various points over the year. Give thanks for a wide array of opportunities for the students in the team, from Muslim ministry, to various opportunities for ministry to other cultural groups, one overseas mission, community chaplaincy and a few church-related missions. Pray that each student's mission would help them as they think about future possibilities for ministry. Ask God to use the mission to help equip the students for a lifetime of serving him wherever he takes them.

Pray that the work of the students would bear fruit in the lives of those to whom they ministry, in conversions to Christ among unbelievers and maturity among existing believers.

Some thoughts about College Mission


How many College Missions have you done and where have you been to on those Missions?

I think I've been on about 14 college missions. They've mostly been to NSW churches outside of Sydney, with an additional couple in Queensland, and Canberra. So far I've only led overseas missions to New Zealand and Tasmania. So, in total I think I've been to Evans Head, Scone, Townsville, Brisbane, Moree, Ballina, Mt Albert (in Auckland NZ), Tenterfield, Canberra (Gungahlin), Lismore (including Nimbin), Hobart, Canberra (Tuggeranong), Howick (in Auckland NZ), and Forster.  

What have been some of the highlights of College Mission?

Hmm, so many to mention. Of course, it's always a delight to know that you've been an encouragement to a local church and their minister and staff, and to be a part of what God is doing through them there. Often college mission is with a graduate so as a faculty member it's also extra special to see them in their own ministry context and students enjoy hearing and learning from someone who's gone before them, so to speak.

Getting to know the variety of ways churches seek to build up their congregations and reach out to their wider communities is always fascinating. Many are under-resourced so they're grateful for any help we can bring for a week. Sometimes new programs are begun during the mission week and sometimes contacts that have grown cold are reconnected during the week. Sometimes we just join in with what normally happens in the church's life, and the feedback is often that having a team of keen SMBC students is like a "shot in the arm" for the church and spurs them on. Yet, we are the ones who are encouraged as we see faithful believers serving in whatever way they can. We aim to serve where we can and follow the lead of the local staff/leaders there, but we learn so much from them.

Our day off can also be interesting as you get to see some of the key local landmarks. One year we went to the military base (including the fitness course and firing range) and a Cowboys game in Townsville! But we also got to spend a couple of days on Palm Island (off the coast of Townsville) and had the privilege of seeing how ministry is done among the aboriginal communities there. Getting to know the hosts or family that you're staying with can also be a highlight. An extra special highlight of any college mission week though is also getting to know one another as a team much more than we expected to!

What have been some of the challenges?

Well not every event always goes as well as we'd like it to. Sometimes not as many turn up to something as the minister was hoping (once or twice no one turned up to an event!), and it can be a challenge preparing things for an audience that you don't know. Sometimes the minister has been facing difficulties from the congregation. These can be lessons in learning the regular ups and downs of ministry and lessons in trusting God to be at work and depending on him in prayer.

What sorts of things can we be praying for our hosts, our teams, ourselves and our leaders as we go on College Mission?

Pray that the team would be an encouragement to the pastoral staff or local missionaries and the local believers, and that time spent with billets and getting to know them in their homes would be an encouragement to them. Pray for those who have opportunities to speak in various ways that they'd speak faithfully, clearly, and engagingly and that there would be receptive hearts. Pray for harmony, enthusiasm, joy, patience, and perseverance (and good health) for the team, that they'd work together well. And pray that we'd share wisely in the conversations that come up with both local believers and those that don't know Christ; humbly, gently, and clearly pointing to Christ. Ultimately we pray that God would be glorified in all we do and say.    

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