For the last two weeks Judy and I have been in Western Australia. As well as sharing in the annual Church Planters Summit (with Grant Morrison of the Move Network and Wayne Krause, planting Coordinator for Adventists in the South Pacific), I conducted mini-summits in Albany (400+ km south of Perth) and Kalgoorlie (600 km east) with church planter John Horvath; and at Geraldton (400 km north) with house-church networker, Peter Fowler. We met great people, visited new evangelistic initiatives, and listened to stories of friends and neighbors coming to know Jesus Christ. The focus of our teaching was How Jesus Made Disciples – sharing our experience with Jesus and inviting people to follow Jesus.
Jesus commissions us to ‘make disciples’ of all relational streams. (Matt 28:18-20) Making disciples comes before planting a new church – for church plants are gatherings of new disciples!
Be faithful & courageous in making new disciples this year,
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 14 Mar 2013
NSPYA Community Church: In 2010 three young families joined pastor Ben Tavao and his wife in praying and planning ‘how they could BE church in order to connect and live with Jesus 24/7’. The result, a new church called NSPYA – with mostly Samoan families meeting in the Cockburn Community Hall (Perth, Western Australia). In the first two years 20 people have been baptized as disciples. Contact initiatives include: Food & Celebration, Fathers and Mothers Day programs, socials – including Touch Footy, kids programs, and a ‘Cross-Fit’ Fitness Class (at 6 am). Once a month the worship service is ‘unplugged’ – meeting in the bush or on a beach!
Dongara House Church: Except for the first Saturday each month, when they travel to join another house church at Morewa, believers in Dongara (350 km north of Perth, Western Australia) gather in the home of Gerry and Doreen Blum for fellowship, prayer, Bible reading and lunch. Although those involved love it, this is not an introverted group – Eva, who has lived in the town for 13 years, has a wide circle of friends; June has been in the district for decades; and, each week Gerry writes a full page for the local ‘Rag’ (community new-sheet), providing spiritual insight and regular news of where their house church meets, activities in the community and invitations.
Community Participation: The Dongara house church has been meeting for just over two years – with members involved on the local Ministers Fraternal, conducting and supporting the annual community Day of Prayer and Christmas Carols in the park, serving on the School’s Chaplain committee and raising funds (including jumble sales). Their goal is simple and evident: to invite people to know and follow Jesus. Gerry Blum says, we rely on the Holy Spirit, ‘Recently I knelt and prayed that God would bring more people into fellowship with himself. I had hardly risen to my feet when there was a knock on the door, and two ladies wanted to find join us and follow Jesus’.
Ozone House Church: Starting with Dave, Sandi and their 3 girls, Ozone now involves about 15 regulars – mostly teenagers (near Perth, Western Australia). The group is dynamic, spontaneous and fun. Deep multicultural friendships are developed and their networks extended through games nights (every 6 weeks), engaging with community projects, inviting work associates to join them. Worships times are very interactive – starting with lunch, sharing what God has been doing in their lives during the week, singing, Bible Exploration and prayer. It is ‘very fun’!
ACTS University Church Network: Starting with a university campus church plant at Curtain University (Western Australia) in 2006 – led by Dr Sven Östring, this network has now expanded to Murdoch University (2011), with groundwork also laid for new plants at Edith Cowan University (2011) and University of Western Australia (2012).
Dialogue Cafe in Central London: Pastor and planter Geert Tap saw need for a space where churched people could bring their friends. ‘If we want to connect with the city we find ourselves in,’ explains Geert, ‘we need to open our doors in the evening when people stroll the streets of London in search of a great place to relax, have some good food, and meaningful conversations.’ Operating since October last year, an average of 125 people come to the café each time it is opened. [Kirsten Øster-Lundqvist – BUC News #817]
Inspiration: check out www.newchurchlife.com for brief items including –
Church in the Neighborhood
Simple Forms of New Testament Church – and Today: go to www.newchurchlife.com and click the left-hand tab, Simple Missional (or http://www.newchurchlife.com/index.php/simple-missional/).
Resources (more resources & stories – www.newchurchlife.com)
Mission13 Catalyst Training with Alan Hirsch in Melbourne, Australia – 21 March 2013: for registration details, time and place go to www.buv.com.au.
Books to check out –
Steve Addison, What Jesus Started (2012). Available from Amazon.
Garrie Williams, The Healing Power of the Holy Spirit (2012) – edited and updated, published in August by Amazon in about seven countries and has been very gratifying to see the paperback and Kindle versions of the book selling. Also it has been published as an ebook by smashwords.com so now it is available not only on Kindle but on just about every brand of ebook reader. This information is now on our website trinitypowerministries.com.
Check out Oikos http://www.oikos.org.au/ for lots of helpful information and links for those exploring discipleship, home church, simple church, organic church and missional movements.
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