Ben Cochrane Moves In
Ben began as the new pastor at Somerset in March 2022. Having had a few months to settle in, it’s a good time to touch base and find out more about him.
I was born in the Northern Suburbs of Brisbane and am the second of four siblings. My dad was (and still is) a pastor in the Pentecostal Church, so much of my childhood revolved around the church. My parents modeled for me a sincere passion for Jesus and a costly commitment to His people.
Because I grew up in a Pastor’s household, I was exposed to the Gospel from an early age. However, after experiencing a number of personal crises in my late teens, I started engaging with my faith with fresh eyes. All of a sudden it was as if the Lord Jesus became real to me in a way that He hadn’t in the past. Since then, I have been on a spiritual path of discovery in the Lord.
My wife, Sharmani, and I arrived in Tasmania in March 2022. For some years we felt drawn to this beautiful place and to serve God’s people here. It all came together when an opportunity arose to serve as Pastor of Somerset Baptist.
Sharmini and I love the wild beauty of the North-West. The cooler climate is also a welcome change from the sweltering humidity up in Queensland. But what we enjoy most about living here is the people. The locals have just been so warm and generous towards our little family.
Changes, changes everywhere
The best piece of advice I have ever received is to be patient! God works in His own time! Because I have the tendency to rush and be impatient, this was some sound advice.
I am the pastor of Somerset Baptist. As a pastor of a small church, you tend to have to wear my different hats! But I consider the primary focus of my role to be helping others follow Jesus. In a world that is rapidly changing, this is getting harder and harder to do.
I spend my time shepherding people. Depending on the given week, this may look different. It may look like doing an Alpha Course with someone exploring the Christian faith. It may look like visiting an older member in a nursing home and encouraging her in her faith. Or even meeting up with a younger member for a coffee and reading the Bible together and thinking about how it applies to our lives.
All this variation is part of what makes ministry exciting.
I get excited by witnessing God’s transforming power at work in the lives of everyday people. This might sound really basic, but I get a front row seat to this!
My big challenges focus around how our culture is becoming more and more post-Christian. Many of the older ways of reaching the lost are simply no longer effective. Part of the challenge of ministry today is having to think of new ways to re-engage people with the message of Jesus.
Please pray for our family as we continue to settle into a new community. Pray for boldness to step out of my comfort zone and make connections with people in Somerset. And, most especially, pray for patience.
I am looking forward to . . . seeing God show His faithfulness.
I am worried about . . . whether I have what it takes.
I am confident that . . . God has my back!
I am joyful about . . . watching my family grow and seeing God’s transforming grace in people’s lives.
I would like to change . . . my pessimism.
I am at my best when . . . I’ve spent five minutes in silent prayer, and had my morning coffee!
With thanks to Frans Ammerlaan (Sassafras) for his assistance in compiling this interview.
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