NEWS 11 Mar 05

Dear Friends,     
Here is a truism (a statement that is so obviously true that it hardly needs stating!): healthy churches plant new churches!  Just read the Acts of the Apostles.  I have just come from 5 days with 120 planters in France – during which many participants read through the 28 chapters of Acts.  It is inspiring to see the activities of the Holy Spirit in the early church.  And, the Holy Spirit is still surprising and saving.  Planters from France, Denmark and the Netherlands shared case-studies. 
Ø      Anja Belder (WATT plant, Assen) told of the Spirit’s healing – and the fun of building friendships through small groups. 
Ø      Jurik Martie (Alivio plant, Delf) shared how God’s Spirit is opening doors for government support and facilities to minister to migrant communities. 
Ø      Gertjan Knopper (Almaarmere, Almere) outlined initiatives to plant a church for young families and children in the newest and fastest growing Dutch city. 
Ø      Gabriel Monet (e2e plant) shared concepts – including the use of the internet and ‘café debates’ – that are reaching postmodern Parisians.   
Ø      Lasse Bech represented the Remix team planting a church that is reaching unchurched teens in north-west Copenhagen. 
Ø      Todd Dallanegra recounted the experiences of street concerts, ‘university café dialogue’, parties, and small group Bible discussions – to plant a church in Tours, France. 
Ø      Pierre Kempf shared the struggles of planting – and the joy of seeing the long established church in Nîmes (France) now also interested in being more relevant in their witness.
Ø      Rudy Dingjan (church planting coordinator from the Netherlands) outlined support systems for a developing planting movement.       
Here is another truism: planting new churches to reach lost people is God’s idea!  Church planters are encouraging the development of networks of churches.  This is the activity of the Holy Spirit.  In this NEWS you will find snippets of God’s activities – and there will be ideas to encourage and inspire. 
Be courageous for God,
Peter Roennfeldt

—————————————
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 11 Mar 05
————————————— 
In this NEWS …
Ø      VUKOVAR CHURCH PLANT – BRINGS ‘TOUCH OF HOPE’
Ø      NEW STOREHOUSE SERVES COMMUNITY
Ø      CHURCH PLANTING & OUTREACH EVANGELISM IN CAFÉS!
Ø      GOSPEL OF JOHN – ATTRACTS INTEREST!
Ø      STANBOROUGH PARK CHURCH SUPPORTS CHURCH PLANTING & EVANGELISM
Ø      MOSAIC – IS ABOUT TO MULTIPLY!
Ø      TWO NEW PLANTS IN JORDAN
Ø      ANSWER TO PRAYERS AT FIRST WORSHIP SERVICE OF NEW CHURCH PLANT
Ø      MIRACLES HAPPEN!
Ø      CAFÉ SEED EQUIPS DENOMINATIONAL LEADERS
Ø      YEOVIL PLANNING ‘GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE’ SEMINAR
Ø      MEMBERS LEAVE CHURCHES TO GROW CLOSER TO GOD!
Ø      WEBSITES OF INTEREST 
VUKOVAR CHURCH PLANT – BRINGS ‘TOUCH OF HOPE’     Church planter Marijan Persinovic has developed an initiative call ‘Touch of Hope’ to heal some of the hurts of this town ravaged by recent wars.  On the weekend of 19-20 February fifty unchurched friends attended a ‘Healthy Family & Marriage’ conference at Hotel Lay presented by guest Miroslav Djidara.  As well as ongoing family seminars, 30 participants accepted an invitation to participate in the LIFEdevelopment.info ‘Evidence’ series – a spiritual journey of discovery for postmoderns. 
NEW STOREHOUSE SERVES COMMUNITY     “We have opened our new storehouse in Kobanya,” reports planter Laszlo Szabo.  “Last Friday (4 March) we had 200 people come to us for food and clothes. We advertised and now we have about 20 new volunteers to help us in this social work.”  The warehouse is the centre for a range of initiatives – including counselling services.   At this time it is also the venue for worship services for this new plant. 
CHURCH PLANTING & OUTREACH EVANGELISM IN CAFÉS!     Church planters in Albania participated in two-weeks of training (11-26 Feb) with Peter Roennfeldt.  The programme included presentations in street cafés and outreach centres in connection with five church plants in the capital Tirana.  Over the coming weeks this will expand to include another three planting projects as well as the university campus.  The meetings attracted unchurched friends, people off the street, and proved to be of great interest to café owners.  Leigh Rice, leader of the Adventist church in Albania, commented that he was very pleased with the fact that the church planters had not only observed a professional presenting – but, had taken part in their own programmes and now had a plan to systematically present faith and the Bible.  Dr Rex Edwards from Griggs University (who participated in teaching for one week) said, “The concept is unique.  The idea of using cafés is excellent.  You are right where the people are!” 
GOSPEL OF JOHN – ATTRACTS INTEREST!     For two months, four times each week, 40-50 people have come to community outreach meetings conducted by the Ventspils church plant in Latvia to read and discuss the Gospel of John, reports church leader and one of the presenters Valdis Zilgalvis.  “The Gospel of John provides answers to today’s problems – and step-by-step builds faith in Jesus Christ,” says Andrejs Arinsh – church planting coordinator for the Baltic countries.  “We entitled the seminars ‘Love for Life.’  People who have never known God have accepted Jesus as their Saviour.”  The series was launched with a charity concert – raising money for a family that takes children from a local orphanage to prepare them for life. 
STANBOROUGH PARK CHURCH SUPPORTS CHURCH PLANTING & EVANGELISM      Although leading the long established Stanborough Park Church (England), Robert Vine speaks enthusiastically of new plants starting in West Bletchley, North Luton and Welwyn – and plans for more in other centres.  Stanborough Park recently screened the ‘Mind the Gap’ series attracting 65-90 each evening – including up to 25 post-Christian friends.  Friends were invited to a sit-down meal before the screening.  A reunion this week brought back 15+ friends for further dialogue. 
MOSAIC – IS ABOUT TO MULTIPLY!     Starting with 8 young members Mosaic (a cell church plant in Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina) is preparing to multiply, reports Dragana Krnetic.  “The central thing in everything we do is a prayer,” says Dragana. “This is not a ‘project.’  To us, it is the way of living and thinking.  Our main question is: ‘What would Jesus do?’”   As well as friends Mosaic provides for complete strangers – showing them that they are needed and loved.  Worship events are organised to care for these new friends.  “Two big projects took place (over) a month ago,” reports Dragana.  “We collected scarves, caps and gloves for abandoned children.  Then we organized a special dinner for the homeless and pensioners on the Orthodox Christmas Eve. They really enjoyed.”  
TWO NEW PLANTS IN JORDAN     A new church is being planted in Al Hosn, Jordan reports Levon Maksoudian – leader for the Adventist Church in Lebanon and Jordan.  This new church is being planted in the middle of a small shopping area – where a group of 15 people gather to worship each Saturday afternoon.  An international English-speaking church is also being planted in Amman (capital of Jordan) and the core team held their first worship service on 26 February with 18 people – including 6 youth.  “We have an interesting mix of people,” reports Curt de Gourville.  “There are Filipinos, Brazilians, Jordanian, Americans, Mexicans and a new family from Nigeria.”  The group’s objective is to “create a place of worship where everyone feels safe and supported and where everyone finds acceptance and involvement.”  Pastor, Steve Manougian, is involving young people in restoring houses for disadvantaged families – and there are plans for health work, smoke-free initiatives, English language classes and sporting activities.
ANSWER TO PRAYERS AT FIRST WORSHIP SERVICE OF NEW CHURCH PLANT     As core members and friends of the International Church (Amman, Jordan) gathered for their first group prayer in their first public worship service one man announced – to the joy and tears of his wife – that he just (minutes before) received a call from an employer to inform him that he was successful in his job interview.  “We have been praying for him for some time now to get a change of job,” says Curt de Gourville.  “There was rejoicing as we had our first group prayer in our first worship service.” 
MIRACLES HAPPEN!     Pakistani church planter Haroon Nazir has recently moved to Thokhar Naiz Bag.  While visiting in this new community he found a family who were relying upon evil spirits and gurus to solve their problems.  Closer investigation revealed that there was a 5 year of boy in the family – paralysed and unable to stand or walk.  Haroon told them about Jesus Christ and his power to save.  “By the grace of God they took me seriously and believed the word of God,” says Haroon.  “I invited them to Sabbath worship and invited the whole group to a special time of prayer for this boy and his family.  I prayed for him.  I prayed a blessing on the oil and placed oil on the boy’s legs.  By the grace of God, after three weeks, this boy can stand on his legs.”   
CAFÉ SEED EQUIPS DENOMINATIONAL LEADERS     “Café Seed made a clear plan in the beginning and the plan has kept the mission in progress,” says Atte Helminen – commenting recently on the Café SEED project in Helsinki, Finland.  At the same time the Café SEED church plant has equipped key personnel for wider church leadership in Finland.  Sami Lampi has become a journalist for the Adventist church paper in Finland, Jani Virolainen has become a youth leader for the church in Finland, Anne Leskinen became the executive secretary for the Finland Union, Heli Otamo (a pastor and planter) has married a pastor and moved to Hungary – and Atte Helminen himself has become the leader of the denomination in Finland.  The planter/leader is now Heli Lassi (3.planter) and she is currently in the process of re-envisioning her team.  “Café evenings and worship events are going well and attracting unchurched people,” says Atte. 
YEOVIL PLANNING ‘GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE’ SEMINAR – Dana and Leslie King have designed a seminar called ‘GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE’ for members transferring into their plant from other churches. 
MEMBERS LEAVE CHURCHES TO GROW CLOSER TO GOD!     Are people growing in their relationship with God in your church plant?  Check out the website recommended by David Cox (below) and, among the many valuable resources, you will find the work of Alan Jamieson who wrote A Churchless Faith.  Jamieson reports that the majority of people who leave evangelical/charismatic/Pentecostal churches do so in order to grow in their relationship with God – not because they’ve lost their faith!   Does your church plant have a clear discipleship or growth path – intentionally equipping and building people?   
WEBSITES OF INTEREST
# Recommended by David Cox – http://resources.emergent-uk.org/
# Hosted by Branimir Schubert & relating to leadership issues – www.sdaleadlink.com
# Recommended by Nicki Carleton – http://ccc.adventist.org/ministry/Se7enSigns.pdf where you will find a new resource on Training Disciples to be Disciples
# Recommended by Peter Jeynes – a link to a site with a variety of Bible studies in .pdf format www.middlesbroughadventist.org.uk/bible%20studies/bible%20studies.php 
—————————————————————-
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS
TED Church Planting Office

Peter Roennfeldt

—————————————————————-

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.