I need to apologise to Ian Hamilton (Church Resource Ministries – UK). I reported that he had told me that approximately 300 had attended an ‘Alpha’ dinner. Sorry. I was wrong. Actually there were two Alpha suppers that week – one on the Thursday and the other on the Friday evening
– with the attendance being 330 & 360 respectively. “They were great,”
writes Ian. “I’m helping with this next Alpha series, leading one of the expected 15-20 groups.”
This is encouraging news. Lost people can be reached with the gospel – and it is worth every effort to reach them. During the last week I have attended the ‘Sprout’ conference (for new church planters in the US) and also a ‘Purpose Driven Church’ conference with Rick Warren. It has been so encouraging. Two big impressions – (1) lost people are worth every effort (think of what Jesus did!) and (2) the Holy Spirit is leading people people to reach thousands for the kingdom (but, it takes hard work).
Read Acts 2:1-4 (about the Holy Spirit annointing the believers on the day of Pentecost) and then note this comment by Ellen White, “God is willing to give us a similar blessing, when we seek for it as earnestly.
The Lord did not lock the reservoir of heaven after pouring His Spirit upon the early disciples. We, also, may receive of the fulness of His blessing.” (R&H, June 4, 1889) And this is what Peter promised. (See Acts 2:38, 39)
Church planting is a spiritual work. You are involved in extending God’s kingdom – of accomplishing God’s purpose. Don’t expect it to be easy. There will be criticism and opposition. That is OK. You are doing the work that Jesus wants you to do! – and, you will be encouraged by these NEWS items. There are stacks of good ministry ideas here as well!
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 10 Oct 03
In this NEWS –
# FRIENDS WITNESS BAPTISM AT CafeChurch … this is what it is about!
# ‘ALPHA MARRIAGE COURSE’ – INVOLVES THE COMMUNITY # ‘SPROUT’ – ONE INSIGHT …
# ‘PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE & CHURCH’ – www.PurposeDriven.com # NEW CHURCH PLANT IN NORTH WEST COPENHAGEN – ABOUT TO LAUNCH # ‘PLUG IN’ VIDEO OVERNIGHT!
# ‘E2E’ – GROWING IN PARIS!
# ‘WELCOME HOME’ – SPOTTERS IDENTIFIED
# ACROGYM FOR KIDS!
# ‘TIME OUT TOGETHER’ CHARITY TOUCHES LIVES # TREASURER EXCITED BY CHURCH PLANTING!
# LOREN PRATT REPORTS ON NORTHPOINT CHURCH PLANT – with HALF-BIRTHDAY CAKE!
# GYM FELLOWSHIP WITH LAVERNE
# YOU SAY … GOD SAYS … (was this written especially for church
# UK CHURCH PLANTING NEWSLETTER – Issue 1 # PUBLIC MEETINGS BUILD UP CHURCH PLANT IN SLOVENIA
FRIENDS WITNESS BAPTISM AT CafeChurch … this is what it is about!
“This Sabbath we had our baptisms,” writes Betina Wiik (30 Sep 03). “Those being baptised had invited a lot of non Christian friends.
There were about 35 people present who wouldn’t have come if it wasn’t for their friends inviting them to see their baptism. Only one of the most hostile didn’t enjoy it. Several said they would come again and others said that even though they didn’t believe, they understood why the people that they knew loved this church because of the fellowship.”
‘ALPHA MARRIAGE COURSE’ – INVOLVES THE COMMUNITY
“We have found a local restaurant that is willing to host our ‘Alpha Marriage Course’ and give us a special discount on the meals,”
reports planter Rosemary Lethbridge. “It was still too much for the
budget so the team prayed asking God if He wanted us to continue or maybe wait for a later date. We felt impressed to go ahead and book (with only 2 out of 7 weeks of money confirmed). Within 4 hours of that decision we had a donation of £250! More money is still needed but we know we are on the right track.”
‘SPROUT’ – ONE INSIGHT …
An evangelical church planter with thousands now attending told of a core group of 10-15 people making thousands of door to door visits, using television and newspaper advertising – and making over 50,000 phone calls to invite people to their opening worship service! Just over 500 people showed up. The next week attendance dropped to 350. Now there are 1,000’s!
Now, we may not do it the same as in the US – but, what would be the results for your church plant if you made that number of personal contacts in the next year?
‘PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE & CHURCH’ – www.PurposeDriven.com
www.PurposeDriven.com10,000 people worshipping and learning together in one venue – and 1,000’s of churches linked in a commitment to dedicate 40 days to learning what it means to live a ‘Purpose Driven Life’ and to plant and foster purpose driven churches. It was inspiring – and visionary. Go to www.PurposeDriven.com or to www.Pastors.com to find out more – or to access the resources for your church plant.
NEW CHURCH PLANT IN NORTH WEST COPENHAGEN – ABOUT TO LAUNCH
“If every thing works out the way we have planned we will start out with worship services for teenage in the spring,” writes planter Tina Kjeldal. “We will do it together with CaféChurch, the kids in Lasse Bech’s church, and our own ‘Plug In’ kids (and ‘hallelujah’ – they are coming and some new one as well). This is what we have been praying for and working for – for years!”
‘PLUG IN’ VIDEO OVERNIGHT!
“We just had a video overnight in Plug In with the kids, which went very well,” says Tina Kjeldal. “We had some very good ‘God talks’, and especially got to talk about the spiritual world and the importance of knowing Jesus! It is so wonderful when you can see that they ‘get it’.
They were really interested and wanted to talk more about it, so that’s what we’re going to do!”
‘E2E’ – GROWING IN PARIS!
After careful research – and with the full support of the leaders of the church in France – planter Gabriel Monet and his core team gave birth to a contemporary church plant in Paris called ‘E2E Eglise de l’Espérance.’ Designed to reach the majority Parisian culture they have focused upon a variety of contemporary worships, shared ministries and small groups. Now in their second year they are adding seminars on the Bible and practical life (time management, parental education, newstart, etc). “We are glad that we’ll get some money with the 13th Sabbath offering this next December,” writes Gabriel. “We started with a core group of 25 people, and today we regularly have more than 50 worshippers every Sabbath.” (Encourage Gabriel – <INTERNET:[email protected]>.)
‘WELCOME HOME’ – SPOTTERS IDENTIFIED
To get connected with the householders of 400 new houses (that’s approx 1600 people!) ‘Welcome to Your New Home’ has been launched in Llandrindod Wells in Mid-Wales. Church planter Rosemary Lethbridge reports that group members, local business people and members of the community gathered for a launch party – when the scheme was explained. “The evening consisted of a PPP about the mission, values and various elements of the scheme,” Rosemary says. “The children put on a puppet show about being a good neighbour and there was a demonstration of how to go to a new home.”
The scheme uses a folder containing money saving offers from local businesses, local information, an introduction to the Adventist Discovery Centre course TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE, a LIFE.info magazine and details of church run projects. This information pack is delivered to each new household – when people move in – by a “spotter” along with a tin of homemade cake. The aim of the project is to provide a much needed friendship ministry to a stressed section of the community who are needing to make new friends in a new town.
“Local businesses have commented on how pleased they were to be invited onto the scheme and have paid tribute to the church for thinking of the project,” says Roemary. “They have also offered suggestions on how the scheme, possibilities to more widely advertised and, in some cases, how they could more involved. We have already recruited one ‘spotter’ from the community and plan to hold monthly ‘spotters’ meetings.”
ACROGYM FOR KIDS!
“Acrogym is a mixture of sports acrobatics (balancing in pairs and
trios) and gymnastics,” says planter Rosemary Lethbridge. “The club is open for all children between 5-15 years of age. It is self-financing and we now have 2 parents helping out!”
‘TIME OUT TOGETHER’ CHARITY TOUCHES LIVES
Church planters Dana & Leslie King of Yeovil Family Church have seen their children’s work and unchurched parenting group form into a registered charity ‘Time Out Together’ – a partnership with the community to provide a range of ministries for kids and families. These include 25-30 early teenagers in a weekly Pathfinders / Teen Time – as well as 18 kids (9-13 year olds) in a Tuesday ‘Streetwise Performing Arts Club’ and
20-25 younger kids in ‘Tyros Time Out.’ Approximately 50-70 community people attend the annual Family Camp in Cornwall and 30 kids attend the twice-yearly Pathfinder Camps for the community.
Pray for Dana & Leslie. They usually spend most of every Tuesday praying for their contacts and community friends. God is blessing the hard work and constant prayer for the direction of his Spirit.
TREASURER EXCITED BY CHURCH PLANTING!
Reflecting on the 12 new churches added to the South England Conference at the recent session – and the reports of ‘several ongoing new church plants establishing themselves’ – conference Treasurer Earl Ramharacksingh
comments: “It really is an exciting and challenging time to be working within the SEC.”
LOREN PRATT REPORTS ON NORTHPOINT CHURCH PLANT – with HALF-BIRTHDAY CAKE!
Some European church planters have met and been inspired by Loren Pratt’s story of replanting a church in a small north Queensland
(Australian) town. He is now planting in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Loren writes, “Northpoint church is starting to happen. We had our first baptism three weeks ago with two people baptised in the motel pool where we meet and we have another baptism planned for the first of November. We had our 6 month birthday yesterday and celebrated it with half a birthday cake. Contacts are mainly coming from our letterbox drops, advertisments in the local newspapers, prophecy seminars and our Saturday ‘3’ program – which is a special program on the third Sabbath of each month with guest speakers, music and food.” All activities feed into and grow out from small groups. “We currently have two cell groups,” Loren says.
(And, that is good – because this has started from nothing! If you want to contact Loren Pratt you can write to <[email protected]>.)
GYM FELLOWSHIP WITH LAVERNE
This is an ongoing story of friends being built, visits and meals, walks in the park, new people from different cultures and spiritual backgrounds (from major world religions) joining the ‘gym fellowship’ – and many deep spiritual discussions. Friends have indicated interest in visiting a spiritual home group. “Prayers to be continued please,” writes Laverne. “I do love this job. Thanks again for all your support.” (We are praying for you Laverne.)
YOU SAY … GOD SAYS … (was this written especially for church planters?) You say: “It’s impossible” – God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27) You say: “I’m too tired” – God says: I will give you rest (Matthew
You say: “Nobody really loves me” – God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John
You say: “I can’t go on” – God says: My grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians
12:9 & Psalm 91:15)
You say: “I can’t figure things out” – God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6) You say: “I can’t do it” – God says: You can do all things (Philippians
You say: “I’m not able” – God says: I am able (2 Corinthians 9:8) You say: “It’s not worth it” – God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28) You say: “I can’t forgive myself” – God says: I forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1) You say: “I can’t manage” – God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19) You say: “I’m afraid” – God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7) You say: “I’m always worried and frustrated” – God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7) You say: “I don’t have enough faith” – God says: I’ve given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3) You say: “I’m not smart enough” – God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30) You say: “I feel all alone” – God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
UK CHURCH PLANTING NEWSLETTER – Issue 1
If you would like to receive the newly released ‘Church Planters XChange UK’ – contact Gordon Lethbridge < INTERNET:[email protected]>. Issue #1 came our on Oct 9. You will enjoy the read – news, resources, ideas, prayer requests, etc.
PUBLIC MEETINGS BUILD UP CHURCH PLANT IN SLOVENIA
“I am back in Slovenia and finishing 8 public meetings which have attracted old and new people,” reports David Currie, former TED Ministerial Secretary. “Some folks are preparing for baptism. There is an interest group of more than 20.”