NEWS 1 Aug 08

Hello planters,

It is some weeks since you have received the NEWS. It is not that there has been no news. When we came to Melbourne I became the team-leader of a small church plant – and now, we have five plants and house churches. Church planting has changed dramatically over the last 10 years (even more so in the 38 years since I first started a new church). Right now I am detecting shifts in thinking that could have enormous implications for the future of church – and I sense God is in this.

Multiplication is back on the agenda. The New Testament idea of planting new churches that plant new churches is back. Local churches are becoming planting farms!
Paul’s approach is being rediscovered. After planting no more that 10-20 churches, Paul could say: “there is no more place for me to work in these regions (Jerusalem to the Balkans).” (Rm 15:23) Paul’s plants were radical communities.
The potential of scattered people. Those who were scattered (Acts 8:1) – Greek speaking Jews of the diaspora – became the source of explosive growth for God’s kingdom across the Roman Empire. What potential today!
Church planting is taking place everywhere – without money and without approval. Those involved in planting movements know that God’s money and leaders are still in the harvest – and only His approval is needed!
End-visioning is back – finally! It is not what we think is possible, or what we think we will build – but what future does God have in mind? I think this is what Paul had in mind – and so he could work in such a radically different way!

We will come back to these ideas (and others) in the future – for some may be yet wondering what is so different about these – and some stories in this NEWS will highlight them. (Share with me what you think of these paradigms!)

Go to and read about –
The local church that has planted eight churches – with a vision of planting one new church a year!
The story of a new church plant’s involvement with a soup kitchen.
The Strawberry Choir – that is bringing church to kids!

Be faithful,
Peter Roennfeldt

News stories

This is Church – God’s activity in the community: On July 9, Gill, one of the first people in Cottage Beck Road that Bryan Webster spoke to about the idea of a Café Church in their community, was baptized. Isobel writes: “It was a lovely baptism, we had it outside in ‘the cage’ at the back of the Café, and her sons and their families were all there, and her husband Martin, who she married five years ago – he’s has been a friend of Café Church all along too.” 24 community friends were present – including the family next door, who were married at the Café. Isobel also says that after the baptism, “Bryan just talked a bit about having God as family, and talked about what it meant to him, and one of Gill’s friends suddenly said something like, ‘How can you be one of these Christians when you’re just sounding so normal, like your life is a mess like the rest of us? Christians usually make me feel like a failure but you make it sound like anyone can be one!’ It was really all very simple and lovely!”

20 new missional groups & plants in Western Australia: Church planting coordinator for the Adventists in Western Australia, Phil Brown, reports that there are now over 20 new Adventist missional groups and church plants in their state.
In Beverly a new group is forming – with 24 people attending a recent worship time.
In Dongara – 2 people have requested baptism. Phil is planning to conduct a “mini church planting summit” for groups in the area.
Uilii (Willie) Mauga has started a new group for Samoans – with about 10 meeting fortnightly to study the Bible together.
North Perth Adventist Church is fostering a plant among former Yugoslavsia Outreach – and about 25 people (including children) are now meeting each week, with 3 small groups meeting together during the week.
In Mandurah, Bart and Diane who attended the April Church Planting summit at Logue Brook, have a group of 9-10 people meeting in their home.
Pastor Peter Fowler – in addition to the Mens’ Network which has 3 groups – is developing a House Church Network.

The Oasis – a new church launched in Melbourne: “72 people, 26 ‘seekers’, an unforgettable morning and afternoon, $600+ for our church budget, a legendary lunch! Praise God!” writes Darius Ignasiak – reporting on the first public worship service of this new church in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Care Groups are meeting. Values are already clearly established – participation, acceptance, sharing, worship, witness and conversation! For the first worship service Acts 11:19-30 and 13:1-4 were read – and all involved in discovering the experience of Antioch as a multiplying church. Many of the “pioneers” of this new church are second and third generation Polish Adventist. The Oasis now meets at the Performing Arts Centre at Rowville Secondary College. They are committed to Embracing & Sharing the Love of Christ. Find more on Facebook by searching for “TheOasis Church” (note that TheOasis is one word) or on Myspace, “The_Oasis_SDA_Church”

Community Involvement – social programs, debt advice & Youth ALPHA: The Watering Hole Church Plant (Totton, England) conducts monthly social events in their community – over summer this has included a beach fun day. Through trained volunteers they now offer a Debt Advice service to their community – and the teens in their teen club will be invited to a Youth ALPHA. They are also supporting the local school – with one member serving as a governor and some involved in the kids gym.

Cottage Beck Café Church – offers base for community initiatives: While recognised for its Christian witness, Cottage Beck Café Church provides a more neutral environment for the planning and support of initiatives such as Street Pastors , a monthly Pastors’ Breakfast – and other initiatives.

Check out ‘the Back Room Café’ – in Melbourne! This is good!

Resources, websites & equipping

Aug 23: ‘Empower’ – equipping for church planting in Western Australia – meeting at Café 7 at 3.30 pm.

Sept 1-5: ‘Be the Church’ with Wolfgang Simson: Wolfgang Simpson – author of Houses that Change the World – is conducting this conference at Life Expedition, 488 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Register at

Oct 4: ‘160 Nations – 1 People’: This is the first of a series of conferences on intentional mission to the people of the 160 nations living in Melbourne. Melbourne Conferences for Ethnic Evangelism (MCEE) have invited key Christian teachers to equip believers to reach people of the major world religions. During this first conference specialists in Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam will share insights on how to reach these people groups with the gospel. Plan to attend at the Arrow on Swanston, 488 Swanston Street, Carlton. For more information contact Kumar Abraham [email protected]

Peter Roennfeldt

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