It is really encouraging to hear of the creative approaches being used to restore relationships in your communities – and the ways in which God is leading you to extend his kingdom into the hearts of your friends.
There are a lot of things happening – and serious planning taking place as well. Last week there was a meeting in Finland – planning a national church planting strategy. There was also a meeting in the British Union – along with people from North and South England – developing support strategies for planters. There is a developing commitment that Adventism in Europe should be a church planting movement!
You will enjoy these short news items – and ministry ideas.
Share some ideas from your group or plant this week.
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 4 Sept 04
In this issue:
# A CHURCH PLANTING STORY – from Ron Gladden!
# KCF HOLDS FIRST OPEN DAY!
# ‘WHAT WILL GOD DO NEXT’ AT APEN DOR?
# LINDA HARRITZ – IMPROVING!
# ROMANCE AT COTTAGE BECK CAFE CHURCH
# NATIONAL X-CHANGES IN 2004
# ‘GYM FELLOWSHIP’ – with Laverne
# BAPTISM BRINGS ENCOURAGEMENT!
# TIME BANKING – to BUILD COMMUNITY
# POWERFUL PREACHING NEEDS A PLAN …
A CHURCH PLANTING STORY – from Ron Gladden!
“A week ago, I was in St. Louis with Jody & Sonja Dickhaut and attended The River, our new church in a western St. Louis suburb. Sixty were in attendance including 26 pre-Adventists,” writes Ron Gladden.
“Across town, Keith & Ann Trumbo had 56 at Grace Connection including 25 pre-Adventists – and they had 4 baptisms. The attendance of the two parent churches before we planted was 225 on an average Sabbath. The attendance last week for those two churches plus the ones we planted was 341. Praise God for a 50% increase in attendance in such a short time! Add to that over 130 that come every week to our Spanish and Korean churches, and the 90 or so that attend our African-America church, and St. Louis will never be the same again. Pray for each planter, pastor, spouse and church leader in that great city.”
KCF HOLDS FIRST OPEN DAY!
“Yesterday I visited Eddie’s church plant in Kennington where they had their first ‘open day’ for their community,” says South England Conference church planting coordinator, Aris Vontzalidis. “It went very well indeed. They had poetry, drama, praise and worship – and the community hall was laid out cafe style with people around tables discussing Acts 2:42-47 using the LIFEgroups ‘bookmark’ questions. In the afternoon they had an exhibition of their various ministries – basket ball, hair cuts, health check up, ‘food for the brain’, small groups, etc. Visitors had the opportunity to express an interest. And, of course, there was lots of good food! Many visitors came and I was so glad to see lots of tattoos and cigarette buds in the yard – which all goes to show that the church is rubbing shoulders with seekers. Praise God!”
‘WHAT WILL GOD DO NEXT’ AT APEN DOR?
“The Planters X-Change was a refreshing experience for Torben & myself,” writes planter and pastor, Arne Kristian Andersen. “When we got home, we had a core group meeting, probably one of the most inspiring core group meetings that we have ever had. While praying our living room was filled with the electricity of anticipation, and our thought was: ‘What will God do next?’ Prayer is the key, and it will be even more central to us in the work ahead.”
“This autumn we are starting two more Bible study groups. We have a few unchurched on board as well. The leaders will meet regularly for ‘Power-Up’ to inspire and to pray. In addition we are starting an accountability group for men, and I believe that the latter group will be of great spiritual significance for many of us. We also have a group of men
– including 4-5 unchurched – that meets for social activities such as water skiing, bowling, pizza etc.”
LINDA HARRITZ – IMPROVING!
Those who were at the X-Change will recall that we had a special time of prayer for Linda Harritz – who was thrown from a horse and left in a coma. “Linda is much better now,” says Martin Vukmanic. “She came out of the coma some days ago and has been moved from Karolinska Hospital to another hospital. We have been praying for her in our cell group and hope she will soon recover and get out of the hospital. Keep on praying.”
ROMANCE AT COTTAGE BECK CAFE CHURCH
Church planters Bryan and Isobel Webster report that Andrew and Eija (originally from CafeSEED, Helsinki – and who has supposed to be concentrating on work as a volunteer at Cottage Beck!) are engaged. “So whatever else Cafe Church does, it’s definitely done that right!” say Bryan
and Isobel. “Isn’t God lovely!” Andrew and Eija –
congratulations from all your church planting friends.
NATIONAL X-CHANGES IN 2004
Within the next week or so we will give details of your national church planting X-Changes for 2004. You will not want to miss these times for sharing, learning, praying and encouraging each other.
‘GYM FELLOWSHIP’ – with Laverne
The weekend away with her almost 50 friends from the ‘gym’ proved to be enormous fun. Friendships and trust have been built. There are all kinds of possibilities being suggested for the future – kids activities, a women’s netball team, regular ‘summer camps’ or retreats, health education and self-development programmes for the women, an end of year party, etc, etc. Keep praying!
BAPTISM BRINGS ENCOURAGEMENT!
God is really blessing the FaceOut group in Denmark. The baptism of a friend last Friday evening and the fellowship of prayer is encouraging individuals and families to walk in a closer relationship with God. This close relationship is increasing the burden that they share for their lost friends.
TIME BANKING – to BUILD COMMUNITY
Time Banking is a scheme whereby individuals register with a Time Bank Manager, and exchange skills. As an example of how it operates – consider the following. An elderly housebound lady spends an hour addressing envelopes for a local charity, and thus earns an hour’s credit with the Time Bank. A teenager later walks that elderly lady’s dog for her, and an hour is credited to the teenager’s Time Bank account, and debited from the elderly lady’s. The teenager is thus able to “pay” for a plumber to come out when his mother can’t get the washing machine to work; the plumber has registered with Time Bank because for a few hours a month he can credit enough hours to his Time Bank account to “pay” a nearby retired man to do his gardening – and all without any money changing hands.
The great thing about this scheme is that every one is equal, regardless of skills. The elderly housebound lady’s hour is worth exactly the same as the plumber’s hour.
When we heard about Time Banking, we recognised how valuable it could be to us in our church plant at Cottage Beck Cafe Church, where we are attempting to restore a sense of community and worth to the neighbourhood. We have registered with the national scheme, and Cottage Beck Cafe Church is now a registered Time Bank. You can find out much more at <www.timebank.co.uk>.
In our case in Britain, we register our bank with the national Time Bank register, because they supply all the software we need, police checks and insurance advice, and a tremendous wealth of experience. It’s not a scheme I would have liked to work out alone. So perhaps if you contact them through their website they will be able to tell you if there is such a scheme already near you. Please get in touch if you have any other questions – hope this is of some help.
– – Bryan Webster, Cottage Beck Cafe Church, Scunthorpe, North England Conference <INTERNET:[email protected]>
POWERFUL PREACHING NEEDS A PLAN …
In his book ‘Unleashing the Word’, pastor Adam Hamilton says that until 1992, his sermons were all lectionary-based. “Each week I would choose one of four preassigned texts, and away I’d go. I had no overall plan for what I hoped to accomplish by my preaching over time . . . It was simply a week-to-week effort of preaching the best sermon I could from the assigned text . . .
“Imagine with me a carpenter going to a job site each week, finding plenty of wood and nails, and then working on building whatever he or she got excited about building that week. The carpenter might decide one week he wanted to build cabinets. The next week he was excited about building garage doors. The next week it might be pouring concrete. No one hoping to build a house would work that way. No, if you want to build a house you must develop a set of plans, put together a construction timeline, and then work this plan step-by-step so that each part of the house is built in its proper order until the plans are fulfilled.”
“In the book, Hamilton talks about his own efforts to develop a preaching plan that would meet the critical needs of his church.” – PreachingNow No. 2, Vol. 32