Who is Chris Rowney?

Ordained by the Baptist Union of Victoria, I currently hold the position of Team Leader (Senior Pastor) at Warragul Church of Christ in Gippsland, east of Melbourne Victoria. I was previously serving as the Senior Pastor of Torquay Christian Fellowship on the Surfcoast of Australia for more than 15 years until mid 2018. Following which I spent a period engaged in Interim Pastoral ministry, consulting and assisting in church leadership and ministry strategy.

I was born in the 60s and grew up in a rural city in NSW Australia, feeling called to ministry as a teenager, I began pastoral ministry in Torquay, VIC, in 2003. Prior to that, along with my wife Robyn, I worked in the publishing industry, pioneering a digital prepress business in Canberra ACT. Selling the business to pursue the calling to pastoral ministry, I lived and studied in the US in the late 90s, and have since completed postgraduate studies in Theology in Australia with a research focus on how beliefs about Jesus as human and divine shape the way people practice their faith.

I will read anything put in front of me, and have a love of photography, word puzzles/games, history and science, and leading and listening to live worship.

“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” Eric Lidell

“Pictures drawn in the colours of this life… That project the perfection of the life to come.” Alec Motyer 

In the fifteen years I was Senior Pastor of TCF I became increasingly aware of the sense of God's pleasure in finding His purpose. For myself, but also as I shared with others through Sunday talks, studies and personal conversations the gladness I found in the grace and goodness of God.

Whether as a member of faculty delivering lectures and classes, or as a guest speaking to attendees at camps at conferences or to a gathered congregation at church, I desire to paint with the colours (words and experiences) we have, a picture of the inexpressible goodness found in God and revealed in the person and work of Jesus.

“There is no end to the writing of books...” Ecclesiastes 12:12

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” Flannery O’Connor - novelist

I write sometimes reluctantly, sometimes eagerly, holding the tension of knowing that the world is already full of books, and as the writer of Ecclesiastes records, there seems no end in sight of more being written! Yet also finding that as some things are written down I understand more completely what I am thinking, better recognise the emotions I have experienced, encourage at times the taking of concrete decisions, and also see that there is still much that is beyond understanding.

As Flannery O’Connor, an American novelist and essayist observed, it is often not until it is written that I fully know what I think!

On the Blog page of this site you will find occasional posts sharing those thoughts and observations of faith interacting with the whole of life, and the Resources page will have links to longer articles and also to other sites that I haver found helpful.

Drawing on my prior commercial experience and many years of leadership in church and non-profit organisations enables me to bring a valuable broad contextual foundation as a consultant on specific projects or when sharing general insights and principles for effective leadership, governance and strategic planning.

I was the principal person involved in the medium and long term strategic planning that saw Torquay Christian Fellowship (TCF) able to relocate from a ‘landlocked’ site to a larger, more accessible campus from which to facilitate ministry. An ability to envision possibilities and skills honed as an entrepreneur are demonstrated in the development of Torquay Early Learning Centre (TeLC) as a ‘pathway’ opportunity to connect faith with the community and as a source of funding able to service the site costs and direct surplus funds to ministry.

Complementing the overall strategic direction plans were more specifically detailed business plans and designs for physical facilities, personnel recruitment and service marketing.