Australia has always been a land of immigrants. Today, 23 percent of Australia's population is foreign-born, with the largest number of immigrants (32 percent) coming from Asia. Most of the population lives in one-third of the country in the southeast and along the coastal areas of the south and west. One-third of the continent is virtually uninhabited, with another third very sparsely populated.
With only 19 percent of all Australians attending a church of any kind, and a solid 25 percent of the people disavowing any religious beliefs, a spiritual vacuum exists in present-day Australia—a vacuum that is being rapidly filled by cults and Eastern religions.
Baptist Mid-Missions started Baptist Mid-Missions of Australia through William and Glenna Grant in 1968. A church was organized in Benalla in July 1969. The work grew to include 10 missionary families, six indigenous churches, a Bible college, and a camp ministry. Victoria Baptist Bible College (VBBC) was begun in 1972 and was fully turned over to Australian leadership in 2015. Several VBBC graduates are pastoring churches, and numerous others are involved as Christian workers in their local churches. Currently there is one church plant in process.
While the work is progressing, the challenges and opportunities are greater than the present personnel can adequately handle. Metropolitan Melbourne is a vast multicultural mission field. More workers are needed to reach these people and teach the truth of the gospel. The strongest opposition to the work is the apathy toward spiritual matters.
Because of governmental changes regarding the granting of religious visas, it’s become prohibitive to enter Australia through this means. However, missionaries can find opportunities through other legitimate, creative means of entry. This includes securing employment in an existing Australian business or organization or by creating a business venture. The Australian government is not opposed to Christian church planting done in a person’s spare time.