In 1988, when Matthias Media opened its door (there was only one) in a dingy office in Kingsford, where a stingy ray of sunlight struggled feebly down between the houses tall,1 our ambitions were pretty modest. We wanted to make a difference—to produce really first rate resources that would help people at the coal face of gospel ministry—but as we turned out the first copies of The Briefing on the Gestetner duplicator that lived in the little back room near the toilet, I can’t say that our vision reached very far afield. We hoped to produce some good material for the network of churches in our own local area and region, and anything beyond that would be a bonus.
Never in our most wild erratic fancy did we imagine how things would grow over the next 25 years. We’re now not only the largest evangelical publisher in Australia (not a massive achievement, granted), but have become known all around the world for producing good quality, Bible-based material that churches can use with confidence.
In one sense, as things have grown and evolved, nothing has changed. We have the same goals, and the same theology. We’re still trying to produce and distribute the best possible Bible-driven resources in order to equip Christ’s people to make and grow disciples in his name.
But of course some things have changed. Our eyes have lifted beyond Sydney and Australia to see the possibilities of spreading these resources everywhere. And of course the technology has changed. The new digital technologies that are now so widespread present us with an opportunity to do something we could only have dreamed of doing in the past: and that is to provide cheap, simple, seamless access to a huge range of ministry resources for any church or Christian group anywhere in the world.
That’s the vision behind our new website: GoThereFor.com. It’s an online platform where gospel-minded Christians anywhere in the world can find resources, ideas and encouragement for fulfilling the Great Commission in their lives and churches.
At the heart of GoThereFor.com is a digital warehouse of ministry resources—small group Bible studies, ministry training courses, daily Bible reading guides, Sunday School curriculum, youth resources, children’s resources, preaching resources, and more.
Initially, most of these will be all the Matthias Media resources you already know and love, but as time goes on, we’re looking forward to adding excellent resources from other trusted evangelical ministries and publishers—such as the new edition of the Introducing God evangelistic course, by Dominic Steele and the team at Christians in the Media (which should be available on GoThereFor.com by the end of this year).
The basic idea is that you can download, stream, print, copy, email and generally distribute and use of all these resources within your church or small group—as much and as often as you like. You can distribute free log-ins to anyone in your church so that they can make use of the material when it suits them. You can re-format and adapt the material to your own local context (we’re supplying the files in a range of formats, including MS Word files that so that you can do some fiddling to make the material more useful in your context). You can even order super-cheap physical copies of the resources if that works better for you in some circumstances.
It’s a completely new model for giving churches simple, flexible access to the best ministry resources. Rather than buying physical booklets or DVDs piece by piece, you pay us a modest monthly amount so that we can maintain the platform and keep adding new resources to it—and you then get the lot. (Go to GoThereFor.com/Resources for all the details.)
We’re pretty excited about the potential of GoThereFor.com. And in this short space I haven’t even mentioned other aspects of the site—such as the Ideas feed, which features a regular (free) stream of articles, interviews, and other helpful content on disciple-making ministry; and the Encouragement forum, which will host interaction between disciple-makers from all over the world—sharing questions, conversation, ideas, discussions, and stories—all for mutual encouragement, and all for free by registration.
So maybe our vision is a bit bigger now than it was in that dingy room in Kingsford. We want GoThereFor.com to become the world’s online home for disciple-making resources and ideas.
We hope you’ll join us.
- For readers outside Australia, and for Aussie readers unfortunate enough to be educated after Australian poetry was largely dropped from the curriculum in favour of studying Cornflakes packets and feminism, this is an allusion to what was once the most well-known poem in Australia, ‘Clancy of the Overflow’. ↩