Check out Andrew Turner’s new book: Fruitful Church: a Manifesto for Sending. It is excellent! A must read. ‘At the heart of this book is the suggestion that we should measure success not by the number of people that come in to our church, but by the number and caliber of believers who are sent out from it’. (p. 17)
Follow the disciple making path of Jesus – a great opportunity to walk where Jesus walked! There are limited places still available for 15-30 June this year. Why not take this opportunity? For more information, itinerary & costs – contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Shiftm2M is a journey on which Christian leaders intentionally shift from doing ministry to cultivating movements by following Jesus’ example. Resources are provided (reading guides, podcasts, videos) to explore the life of Jesus as it unfolded – from beginning to end. Live-in retreats at key intervals provide opportunity to process and apply the discoveries being made. At the end some are equipped as facilitators to multiply the process with others – and each year or two the opportunity is given to visit Israel to walk in the steps of Jesus. Shiftm2M is available in Australia – and in Europe this year. The first European retreat will be held 27-30 OCT 2015 at Friedensau University, Germany. For more information & registration, check out Shiftm2M.
MC² is a simple and transferable training process that equips people to share their faith and develop multiplying faith-communities resulting in church movements. MC² Training starts Sat 18 Oct (Melbourne) & Fri 14 Nov (Sydney). For more details go to MC² Training 1.
For dialogue groups that would like to explore the great stories and prophecies of Daniel – click here for reading guides and a Facilitator’s Guide.
To share the rich meaning of John’s Apocalypse: ‘the revelation of Jesus Christ’ (Rev 1:1) – click here for verse-by-verse & topical reading guides, supporting PowerPoint Presentations and a Facilitator’s Guide.
Is there a most proven method of successful church planting?
During the 80s and 90s the emphasis was on planting community churches. This involved complex programming and community centre type properties – both expensive.
Since the late 90s the model has been smaller groups and more relational activities – rather than programs. The environment has also changed – but small groups and relational activities are proving more successful in reaching unchurched people today. This includes small groups dedicated to Bible reading.
The most successful models will focus upon the priority of making new disciples – leading new people to Jesus. Make new disciples – and when there are new disciples in a number of small groups, bring them together into a new gathering (church).
Having been asked a series of questions about church planting, I thought the responses may generate other helpful comments. The questions are relevant to all, although this time raised by Adventist planters.
How successful have Adventist church plants been in Australia? If successful – Why? If not – why?
In most States church planting has not been a strategic focus for Adventists. New churches have started – when members moved from an existing church (perhaps because of tensions), or if a number of members found they had settled in a suburb or area far from an established church – and, most of these have developed into viable churches. In the early 1990s there was an initiative to plant churches in the State capitals with the specific goal of reaching unchurched secular people – but this was not fostered into the 2000s, as society became more post-Christian. Some were effective, a couple derailed.
Since 2006 WA has strategically focused upon church planting. It is not that planting was prioritised ahead of other ministries but it was put on the agenda – in the mainstream – along with education, youth ministry, aged care, personal ministries, etc. With other ministries, the State denominational office fostered church planting as a main arm of evangelism and mission! A planter was appointed to coordinate planting State wide. This strategic emphasis has resulted in new disciples – and viable new churches. During this period of time, the Samoan churches in Melbourne (VIC) have strategically multiplied churches. Hopefully other States implement planting strategies, and more local churches become multiplying planting hubs. Research demonstrates that only when churches are being planted that growth is seen in global north environments. I think we need to be planting the equivalent of 10% of the number of existing churches each years for effective growth. That will only happen when there is a strategic focus upon disciple making – and planting!
Easter Saturday the SOS plant at Southend went out onto the streets – singing, sharing; providing an 8-point health check, ‘citizen’s advice’, an ADRA water pump demonstration (popular with the children), hot drinks etc. One of the organizers, Dr Colin Gordon, says: ‘An estimated 3,000 people benefitted from the day’s program!’ See SOS
Great observation from Peter Hobbs (e/m), Salvation Army planter on the Bellarine Peninsula, (Vic, Australia): ‘After nearly 4½ years of sowing with unbelievers in the community we are starting to see these “unchurched” believers stepping up in leadership roles within our plant. Now with a majority from outside church culture our ‘church’ looks nothing like a church most would recognise, but like an extended family spread out around the Bellarine with older brothers and sisters looking after young ones. We want to praise God because we had no idea this is how God would build his church and what this indigenous church would look like’. Check out Bellarine Salvos.