Since late Friday (when I arrived in Brussels from Cairo) I have been visiting churches and new planting initiatives with Jeroen Tuinstra (leader of Adventist churches in Belgium and Luxembourg) and church planting coordinator, Rudy Dingjan. We have shared with a church that has birthed new churches – and 5 planting initiatives –
1. Antwerp church: has supported language plants over some years – and is again host to a new international church plant.
2. Antwerp International church: When I visited last this church plant was overflowing with people. It has started again, having now multiplied.
3. Antwerp Ghanian church: This became the largest group in the international church – and is now intentionally planting among Ghanians.
4. Antwerp South plant: From the pain of conflict with the mother church some years ago, Antwerp Zuid is focused upon reaching new people.
The main Antwerp church has the potential to encourage other plants, house and simple churches. Their growing experience in fostering new initiatives could make this a planting hub (Acts 19:1-10). We think of such a church as a ‘grandmother church’ – releasing and affirming, encouraging and blessing. (The ‘mother church’ metaphor can have the connotations of control!)
5. Charleroi church plant. Although only a small church, the members have recognized that they must relate to relational streams with whom key members are connected. A small team has formed, believers who have wide connections – and they are inviting friends to join them for meals, and now times of worship. A new church is emerging in the town – as new people become disciples!
6. Russiophone church plant: A dedicated team of 10 believers from a mix of Russian speaking countries are connecting with friends to introduce them to Jesus and faith.