Hello church planters,
Each week I receive many emails from church planters around the world – and I love the commitment to building 'spiritual friendships' and sharing Jesus with friends. Rebecka (Sweden) reflected on how nice it will be to experience heaven – and wrote: "Sure will be nice to get there someday. Just gotta get all these people to come with us …" Fiona (re:vive, England) says, "We feel very honoured to be working for God – it is just such a blessing!"
Last week I teamed up with Bill Peterson and the coordinating team for church planters in Pennsylvania (USA) – equipping 17 church planting core teams. Ninety people attended the four day conference – developing planting Project Plans. Two teams came from the Mississippi coast – and have returned to plant in communities devastated by hurricane Katrina. The planting team from Lewisburg returned home with a plan to plant a second church within the next year. Bill and his team (Jeff McAuliffe, Kerry Stahl and Dave Reinwald) are laying a solid foundation for a planting movement in Pennsylvania – and I was humbled to meet four pastors who have left paid ministry to answer the call to plant churches in that state.
This NEWS is packed full with inspiring stories, encouragement and resources for planters. There is so much happening – and so much to share. (I am sorry that there is so much in this NEWS – but take the time to glance at the stories and ministry ideas!) For further ministry ideas and support – I also suggest that you subscribe to –
- A new TED newsletter that Janos Kovacs-Biro will be producing for planters in Europe. You can subscribe by contacting Janos by email – [email protected] .
- The UK Church Plant.info for planters in Britain. Gordon Lethbridge is the editor and you can subscribe by contacting him by email – [email protected] .
Great things happen and God's work is developed when people are encouraged, equipped and released to minister. Your news stories and snippets encourage and inspire. You will be blessed – and you will see your ministries multiplied. Check out the stories below and see how many were inspired by and encouraged by others. (And why not write and share a ministry idea, a challenge or some news – to encourage the almost 2,000 recipients of CHURCH PLANTING NEWS?)
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 23 Jan 06
In this NEWS …
- CLUB 39 – TOVE'S BAPTISM! (Sweden)
- NICOSIA CHURCH RE-PLANT TEAMS WITH 'STARBUCKS' & RAISES FUNDS FOR CANCER SUFFERERS
- RE:VIVE FOCUSES UPON MEETING PRE-CHRISTIANS – IDEAS!
- CHURCH IN THE PUB STARTS WITH 'ALPHA'
- ENTHUSIASM & GROWTH IN DUTCH CHURCH PLANTS
- 'HO HO HO! Merry Christmas!' at RE:VIVE
- METRO IMPACT 2006 – EQUIPS CHURCH PLANTERS IN TEXAS
- PLANNING FOR CAFE CHURCH IN WARSAW, POLAND
- 'CHURCH PLANTING NEWS' INSPIRES MISSION IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
- WATT Bodyworks RECEIVES SUPPORT FROM CENTRAL COAST COMMUNITY CHURCH
- WWAFT (a Weekend of Worship and Fellowship Together) SUCCESS – TO BE REPEATED
- NEWS Snippets
- BOOKS – RECOMMENDED BY READERS OF 'CHURCH PLANTING NEWS'
- EQUIPPING FOR CHURCH PLANTERS 2006 – OPPORTUNITIES NOT TO BE MISSED …
- PRAY FOR …
- CONTEXTUALISATION VITAL FOR EFFECTIVENESS!
- LaunchTicket MIGHT BE FOR YOU!
- FAITH@WORK IN THE MARKETPLACE
- 16 NEW CHURCH BUILDINGS FOR PLANTS IN BOR, SOUTH SUDAN
CLUB 39 – TOVE'S BAPTISM! Tove Jaensson (Sweden) made her decision to follow Jesus at the Church Planters X-Change at Friedensau (Germany) in July 05. Those present will remember the excitement of Club 39 (Linkoping, Sweden) leaders and core team members – for Tove had been growing spiritually within their fellowship. And, as with other postmoderns, Tove's spiritual growth is a journey, not one event. ":-) I am so happy," writes Tove who was baptised on January 13 by her local pastor, Karin Gille.
NICOSIA CHURCH RE-PLANT TEAMS WITH 'STARBUCKS' & RAISES FUNDS FOR CANCER SUFFERERS: The Nicosia Adventist Church, Cyprus (being replanted) conducted a special Christmas Carol Service and raised funds for the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Society. The service featured music, drama and illustrated readings – and a presentation by Mr Andreas Athanassiades, the Assistant Executive Director for the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Society. As a special treat for the many people who attended the service the Starbucks Ledra Branch provided hot chocolate and other beverages throughout the morning and after lunch. This is the second consecutive year in which Starbucks has sponsored the church's charitable efforts. "In addition to monetary support, the Adventist Church has also responded to
an urgent appeal for blood donors for the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Society and committed to becoming a regular blood bank for the charity," reports Alex Elmadjian.
RE:VIVE FOCUSES UPON MEETING PRE-CHRISTIANS – IDEAS! "Every Sunday we meet for badminton and we usually have about 7 'pre-Christian' friends coming along to that and afterwards we all converge on to Lee & Lydia's house for the traditional jacket potatoes!" says Fiona Selvige – outlining the importance of social interastion to build what Brian McLaren would call 'spiritual friendships.' "Ten pin bowling is always a great event to invite friends along to and last time we went we had 7 or more people joining in with us. Once a month we have two different lots of 'girls nights in' where we just hang out at someone's house – have takeaway or an easy meal and then watch a video/DVD. We find that it is now our 'pre-Christian' friends that are wanting to organise the next date straight away. The guys have 'boys night in' at the same time. This past Sunday we organised again 'Christmas Lights Extravaganza'. Paul and Jon drove around Grantham looking for the 11 of the best outdoor Christmas light displays and they gave us the addresses and four car loads drove in convoy to place their votes. At the end we all met up and added up the scores to find the winner. Social events are so important – there are so many people that are just longing for genuine friendship. Any excuse to have our friends join us and when I mean any excuse here are some examples – kitten warming parties, candle parties, Body Shop parties, Guy Fawkes, birthdays, house warming, ice skating, Orchestra in the Park, BBQ's – just to name a few. It is just wonderful to see people making new friends and really enjoying themselves."
CHURCH IN THE PUB STARTS WITH 'ALPHA': Michael Clarke of Cottage Beck Cafe Church (Scunthorpe, England) launched the King’s Way (a new plant) at the Queensway (the local pub) on Saturday, January 14. "He is kicking off with the Alpha Express course," report planters Isobel and Bryan Webster. "The best thing is just seeing Michael leading out. He is so natural. Perfect! … Thought you would want to know." (Many planters in Europe will remember Michael attending the Church Planters X-Change in Toivonlinna, Finland in 2003 – as an unchurched person. We all say, "Michael, we rejoice in what God is doing in and through you!")
ENTHUSIASM & GROWTH IN DUTCH CHURCH PLANTS: Adventist leaders, pastors and church planters in the Netherlands (one of Europe's most postmodern societies) are committed to reaching people with the gospel – and over 200 people were led to Jesus and baptised in 2005. On Saturday, December 17, the church plant established from the Rotterdam-Crooswijk church baptized 19 people and on the same day a Papiamento speaking plant in the Amsterdam region baptized 11 people. Reinder Bruinsma, president of the church in the Netherlands – who with his fellow leaders is committed to resourcing and releasing planting teams – says that they are experiencing "a different level of activity and enthusiasm for church growth that we did not see even in the relatively recent past."
'HO HO HO! Merry Christmas!' at RE:VIVE: A Christmas eve service with about 10 unchurched friends (plus children) was followed by a 'Christmas day Open House' (at Lee and Lydia Gallaher's) for all new RE:VIVE friends (Gratham, England). "re:vive kids came and did a special item for us," says Fiona Selvige. "It was lovely. All children were from the community and most were regular attenders. People sat and chatted for ages afterwards, sipping coffee and nibbling mince pies."
Then, on New Years Eve RE:VIVE invited friends to join in a progressive tea and party! RE:VIVE core team members are also involved in a local radio show – and building friendships at the station and in the community. "In January we will be moving our RE:VIVE kids time and venue," writes Lee Gallaher. "We now get at least ten un-churched kids every fortnight." And some of the new RE:VIVERS have asked for 3 of their children to be dedicated, which as Lee says "is tremendously exciting!" Lee concludes: "Hooray for the privilege of working in partnership with our awesome God!"
METRO IMPACT 2006 – EQUIPS CHURCH PLANTERS IN TEXAS: The Texas Conference hosted a church planting summit called Metro Impact 2006 (18-21 January) for church planters and planting coordinators. Planting coordinator Tom Evans was joined by Alejandro Bullon (from South America) & planter Bill McClendon to cover subjects such as coaching for planters, Natural Church Development, a metro strategy for planting, and two presentations on 'Why I’m a Seventh-day Adventist.'
PLANNING FOR CAFE CHURCH IN WARSAW, POLAND: The headquarters of the Adventist church in Poland is in Foksal Street – a very popular cafe and restaurant district in the city. "There are over 20 restaurants and cafe within a 'stone throw,'" reports Joe Smoczy?ski. "This is an opportunity which we should not overlook." The basement area of their large worship and office centre is available – and so a planning process is in place to launch a cafe ministry where young adults can be introduced to faith. There are about 15 Adventist cafe churches in Europe. A few operate as a business – while most operate as a ministry. All have some form of worship event in their cafes.
'CHURCH PLANTING NEWS' INSPIRES MISSION IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA: CHURCH PLANTING NEWS touches the lives of many in dozens of countries around the world. Eli Kema-Temoana from Pacific Adventist University (Port Moresby, Papua New Guniea) writes that she is "really encouraged" by the reports and ministry ideas in the NEWS. She and her sister have been inspired to use their holidays to share faith in the new suburb of Garabada – about 50 kilometres from the capital Port Moresby. "A community has already established. A lot of people have moved onto their new blocks of land and are building their houses," Eli writes. "I’m planning to go home over the holidays to run Branch Sabbath Schools (children's programs, singing and Bible classes) with my sister on the block of land where we are living. Please pray for us." Eli's 'project' is the beginning of another church plant!
WATT Bodyworks RECEIVES SUPPORT FROM CENTRAL COAST COMMUNITY CHURCH: Trish Williams – pioneer of CCCC Bodyworks – was excited to learn that the WATT church plant in the Netherlands is developing Bodyworks to equip members to grow as disciples. "We will be happy to help them in any way possible, and perhaps they can help us in some areas too," says Trish.
WWAFT (a Weekend of Worship and Fellowship Together) SUCCESS – TO BE REPEATED: A number of planters joined Bryan and Isobel Webster for a WWAFT – held at Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire, England. Cornelius church planter Harald Geisbrecht from Oslo (Norway) spoke about encounters with the Holy Spirit. Another WWAFT is planned for 2007.
NEWS Snippets –
- British Adventist church planting leaders will meet for Matrix Module 6 training with Ian Hamilton (Church Resource Ministries) – 26-29 January 2006.
- Over 60 planters and leaders from South England will attend a UK Church Planters X-Change with Stuart Williams as guest, speaking on the theme 'Church and Mission in a Strange New World.'
- During the 3rd weekend in February Aris Vontzalidis (South England) will train planters on how to use Alpha to start house churches. This will be repeated in May 06 in Bristol.
- Aris also reports that the group of young people planting in St Austel are making many friends with unchurched and invited them to Friday evening discussions.
- The Newbold church planting team is now conducting a monthly worship with many unchurched friends attending.
- TWINNING has proved very positive for the re:vive(UK) and WATT (Netherlands) plants. WATT team members Arjen and Janneke say that their contact with re:vive is "very nice."
- CHECK OUT the two new plants in Stockholm, Sweden – one International and the other contemporary Swedish. Visit the websites at c-side.adventkyrka.se and Salt.adventkyrka.se.
BOOKS – RECOMMENDED BY READERS OF 'CHURCH PLANTING NEWS'
- The Politics of Hope by Jonathon Sacks – Chief Rabbi in England: This is an enlightened book that will give any reader an alarming insight into what is really occurring within our globalised world. To be effective, church planters need a global understanding of the societal forces shaping our world. This book is one of the best I have read on the subject. – Ian McKean. (Ian provides leadership support and training in a childhood development company in New Zealand. Ian has wide experience in Christian ministries – and is involved in North Harbour Community Church, planted about 10 years ago.)
- Christi-Anarchy and Not Religion but Love – both by Dave Andrews (an Australian – described by Mike Riddell as "one of the leading prophetic voices of our time." ): These two books have completely changed my perspective on Christianity and the church. They relate well to ‘church planting’, especially the second book – Not Religion but Love. Both books are available on Amazon.com or from Christian book stores. They are quite radical, but always emphasising Christ's sort of ministry. – Michelle Lewis (Michelle works with ADRA-UK with experience in teaching and aid/development work in Mongolia and Africa. Michelle is deeply interested in spiritual development and church plants that are truly Christian.)
EQUIPPING FOR CHURCH PLANTERS 2006 – OPPORTUNITIES NOT TO BE MISSED …
- UK CHURCH PLANTERS X-CHANGE – Sowing the Future: 27-29 January 2006 at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire (England): For more details contact Paul Haworth [email protected] or Aris Vontzalidis [email protected] .
- CHURCH PLANTERS X-CHANGE: Monday 31 July – Sunday 6 August 2006 at Kromeriz (Czech Republic): Applications will be limited. For more details on this first X-Change in the Czech Republic contact Church Planting Coordinator Martin Vesely – [email protected]
- SOUTH FRANCE MISSION CAMP: 18-23 August 06 (France): For more details contact Pierre kempf – [email protected]
- 'SO YOU WANT TO BE A CHURCH PLANTER' WORKSHOP: Saturday 28 January 2006 – 3-8 pm (Western Australia): at the Landsdale Christian School, 77 Queensway Road, Landsdale. Anyone interested in starting a new group to reach new people is welcome to attend. Be challenged and inspired by what God can do with people who dream and work with him. A meal is included and a donation is all that is requested. For further details call the Western Australian Conference Office 08 9398 7222.
- ALPHA – 2006 (Melbourne, Australia):Many participated in the launch event (23 Nov 05) – and here are some more important dates: 25 Feb 06 for a training day at Swanston Street Church of Christ (10.00 am – 3.00 pm) and 27 Mar 06 as the date for the invitation and launch with the first Alpha dinner during the week commencing 27 Mar 06. You must book for the 25 Feb 06 event by going to www.alphainvitation.com or by calling John Graham for details (mob) 0423 165 3290.
- CHURCH PLANTING SCHOOL: 28 March – 1 April 2006 (Western Australia): The first for the Adventist church in Western Australia. Experienced planters will share – assisting planting teams to develop project plans. Church leader, Glenn Townend, introduces the presenters – "Wayne Krause the Church Planting Institute Leader for Australia and NZ, Roger Govender Australia's Church Planting Facilitator, Peter Roennfeldt – one of the worlds most experienced church planters and teachers (fresh from Europe) and Phil Brown the new WA church planting director… It will be challenging, fun and spiritually fulfilling. Each person who attends needs to be a part of a team and we need at least 4 people from each team to be part of the Church Planting School. I would ask you to ask people to join you and pray for God to send the right people to make the team that will start a church that will reach the community and stop wasted lives." For details call 08 9398 7222.
- AVONDALE COLLEGE – MA WINTER SCHOOL Church Planting Courses: June-July 2006: Church Planting: A Theological Framework and Church Planting:Principles & Practice will be taught by Peter Roennfeldt. For registration and more details on pre-requisite reading, teaching modules, dates and assignments contact Peter Morey (Graduate Studies Coordinator, Distance Education Unit) – phone: +61 (0)2 49 802 174; fax: +61 (0)2 49 802 177; e-mail [email protected] .
- GATEWAY Connecting 2006: 3-5 October 2006 (Victoria, Australia): Rick Paynter and Gateway Family Church will be presenting another Connecting Conference in 2006. More details will soon be available at www.gateway.asn.au .
- NATIONAL NEW CHURCH CONFERENCE – in Orlando, Florida (USA), 25-29 April 2006: The National New Church Conference is the largest gathering of church planting leaders in North America. It includes over 30 workshops and main sessions featuring presenters such as Gene Appel, Mark Driscoll, Alan Nelson, and Ron Sylvia. For more – visit http://www.startingchurches.com/index.php
PRAY FOR …
- Sudanese Planters in Cairo: Members of our Sudanese church plants in Cairo were caught in the attacks by thousands of security forces in the Mohandesin area of Cairo on 29 December 2005. One active member, Betty Asenzo Bernard, was killed – and several members are still missing. Some unofficial reports indicate up to 216 died in the conflict.
- Ken Houliston: A number of planters and leaders ask about Ken's health. As far as the doctors can tell, Ken does not have cancer – but a fungal growth on his brian and also lungs. It is apparenetly very rare. He is of good courage, is back at work as able – but appreciates your prayers and interest.
- FDIC or Faith Development in Context: Some of our Muslim brothers and sisters tell dreams of "a man whose face shines like the sun who comes dressed in white and fills with peace." The description is that of Isa (see the Revelation chapter 1). Those working in Muslim communities witness a desire on the part of many to grow spiritually.
CONTEXTUALISATION VITAL FOR EFFECTIVENESS!
In early December 2005 Lester Merklin, Director of the Institute of World Mission at Andrews University, joined other leaders for a consultation in Kyrgyzstan – where he again observed the importance of relating the gospel within the cultural context of the people. Sensitive to Kyrgyzstanis being a “secular” Islamic country, those who have established the "national" church in Bishkek hold services "in a more Islamic style." "They don’t do all of the rites of a mosque, but the church building looks more like a city mosque and the worshipers sit on the mats listening to the reading of the Bible," says Lester. "It was a very enjoyable worship time in a contextualized way."
LaunchTicket MIGHT BE FOR YOU! The LaunchTicket coaching system grew out of a vision to plant churches that never stop making an ever-larger impact for the kingdom. It is designed to support the church planter stay focused on and excel in the priorities necessary to launch a church. There are three foundational components – a personal coach, module material, and strategy workshops – and operates two launch tracks a year. For more information check out www.launchticket.org .
FAITH@WORK IN THE MARKETPLACE: Bruce Moyer cultivates a support ministry call Global Partnerships to train and support business people and professionals who establish successful businesses, business connections and services in various countries – with a commitment to sharing the gospel. For more details – contact Bruce by email at [email protected]
16 NEW CHURCH BUILDINGS FOR PLANTS IN BOR, SOUTH SUDAN: Beat Odermatt, leader of the Adventist church in South Sudan reports that they wilol build 16 permanent style worship centres in the Bor District of South Sudan – with funding that was allocated for 10 buildings. "Local leaders, Isaiah and Joseph, both feel that it is a waste of money to put down cement floors," says Beat. "They say that they can make a very durable floors using cow dung and clay. This is what they use in their houses. They tell me their big need is to have a roof that isn’t eaten by the termites – the rest they are able to do for themselves. When their economy improves they will upgrade to cement and fired bricks and glass windows but for now they urgently need a solid roof. So we have geared up to prefab the trusses for 16 churches so that we can have these buildings up before the big rains in June."
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS