NEWS 13 Dec 10

Hello planters,

In the current WikiLeaks saga many are having their worst suspicions of institutional control and secrecy confirmed. Talk hosts are being deluged as high profile backers weigh in on the side of freedom of expression. Parallels have been drawn on how the printing of the Bible by the Gutenberg Press challenged information control by the Roman Catholic Church – for the release of documents via the internet is challenging the information controls of governments and financial institutions. (ABC 774 Jon Faine Dec 9 – Melbourne Australia)

Have you stopped to ask: How is cyber information and social networking changing the very essence of church? What opportunities are being offered for New Testament forms of church?

Last evening I visited with some young adults who, while very committed to Jesus Christ – and church, are finding institutional forms of church frustrating and disconnected from life! In recent times they have rarely attended church ‘because it became more and more irrelevant’ – but are again seeking one that is ‘not just a performance, but a church that is participatory and where the Bible is read and applied to life’! They are now considering cultivating a new community of faith for their de-churched and unchurched friends and acquaintances!

This is a growing trend. A week ago, 20 to 25 people involved in cultivating new communities of faith spent two days in dialogue – exchanging stories of how they are connecting with and sharing faith in their neighborhoods. And, a couple of weeks ago I participated in a conference on discipleship and missional church. Alex Absalom – co-author with Mike Breem of Launching Missional Communities: A Field Guide (Sheriar Press, 2010) shared excellent resources for missional discipleship in established and new churches. (There are links to some resources below.)

There is no one way to reach people with the gospel – but: Is it time for you to start a new community of faith to unlock the good news of the Kingdom to your friends?

Be courageous,
Peter Roennfeldt

CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 10 Dec 2010 (more resources and links at

Church in the Park – and Home! Even a ‘house church’ can be insular – a huddle that does not interact with those around. Chris and Dean Beveridge have found a concept that works well in their community – they alternate between gathering with friends in a park and meeting at their home. A BBQ in the park every second week attracts people – and all who come by are invited to join them for food, games or just to chat! Key people in their community of faith have been found in the park. The gathering in their home every other week now regularly numbers 25-35 adults and about the same number of children – most without church or faith connections.

Ideas from participants at the New Communities of Faith dialogue –
Since Chris & Dean have chosen to actively live by the principle of ‘loving the person God puts in front of you’ many opportunities to share faith have come – including some that have been really inconvenient!
Anna & Andrew have experienced the evangelistic priority of parties – using BBQs and family parties to interact and connect with people in their town.
Try this idea! Visit residents in your neighborhood to ask if they would participate in a progressive evening of creative activity for community teens – providing simple food and a fun activity for small groups who would come to their homes. Families and elderly people welcomed the opportunity and the teens had a ‘fun time.’ To ensure ‘Safe Place’ requirements are met, a qualified adult can accompany each group of teens.

‘The Lounge’ Church Plant in St Austell (England) invites community to Lord’s Supper! ‘Every time I picture Jesus I see a feast before Him,’ says planter Steve Hulbert. ‘The feast of communion (Lord’s Supper) represents our freedom from the slavery of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.’ On Saturday December 4 young people from all kinds of backgrounds were invited to a feast at ‘The Lounge’ – to learn about and experience the Lord’s Supper. Steve says, ‘It was beautiful … I saw young people I knew who professed no belief in God or little interest in religion join in with eating, sharing, reading, singing, praying for one another, and celebrating the freedom that Christ has given us… Many who had never been to church experienced something new.’ – BUC News Edition #712 (10 Dec 2010) e/m news of the Adventist Church UK & Ireland

Boaters’ Men’s Breakfasts & the Church-on-the-Water – reaches Fishing Community! After a lifetime of ministry in the city, Pastor Keith retired to the fishing/boating community of Paynesville (Victoria, Australia) nine years ago. Upper most in his mind was the question: ‘How do we reach this town for Christ?’ He first established a kids’ club that grew within weeks to 60 children involved in fun activities. Eight years ago Pastor Keith organized the first annual Boaters’ Men’s Breakfast – featuring a speaker such as an adventurer in the boating field, usually a non-Christian; followed by a short talk by himself from ‘the Word’! When the boat ‘Enterprise’ came to the lakes the idea of the Church-on-the-Water was born – and within a few weeks it was up-and-running. 100 locals regularly attend the monthly worship service on board the ‘Enterprise’ – participating in worship and enjoying the food!

Doing Life Together – Always a Meal & Always a Blessing! Chris and Dean Beveridge are convinced that ‘church’ is ‘doing life together’ – and the best way is to do it around a meal! Worship is a gathering for a meal – and interaction. ‘Every gift of food is welcomed, and I make a fuss over the dishes that new friends bring,’ says Dean. ‘We eat, we share!’ This is followed by ‘the blessing’! Some who have been part of the group for some weeks lead – but then all get involved. ‘Every time we gather we take our children on our knees – or we kneel before them, and express our thanks for them, telling each child individually what we appreciate about them and what blessing we desire for them,’ Chris and Dean explain. ‘People without a Christian background quickly catch on – and get involved, blessing their children!’ For those who are couples, husbands also bless their wives. The practice is taken from the Jewish blessing of families each Shabbat – ‘and children and families love it!’ Following ‘the blessing’ there may 15-20 minutes exploring the Bible – and people are encouraged to read through books of the Bible in their homes.

It is Multiplication Time! The apostle Paul did not plant churches that simply grew bigger – he planted into households that multiplied into other households. What would it mean for our communities if every church or church planting team were to multiply by equipping and releasing another team of at least four believers to multiply into their communities in 2011? New people would be reached with the gospel by these new churches! It is multiplication time!

Equipping opportunities …

Church & Adventist Identity in the 21st Century: Avondale College invites you to attend this international conference – 16-19 January 2011
# Speakers include: Dr Richard Rice – contemporary theological issues; Dr Reinder Bruinsma – missiologist, church leader & prolific author; Rudy Dingjan – coordinator Netherlands church planting; and church planter, Peter Roennfeldt.
# Themes include: identity in the 21st century / fresh expressions of church in western environments / old and new church interaction!
# Workshop options will include:
Creating Lasting Community through Small Group Networking: Lorin Pratt
How to Pass on Faith to the Next Generation: Julie Judd
Adventist Identity in Church Planting: Wayne Krause
Apologetics in a Contemporary Context: Grenville Kent
Online information & registration: visit or contact Avondale College Advancement Office on (02) 4980 2252
Western Australia Church Planting Summit – March 4-7, 2011 @ Logue Brook Dam: Plan to participate in a developing movement of church planters. In 2010 over 100 planters were equipped and inspired – in 2011, it may be 200+. Contact Marilyn Ostring for registration details [email protected]. Presenters include Glenn Townend – Adventist leader in Western Australia, Milton Adams – Simple Church practitioner & specialist, Peter Roennfeldt – church planter & consultant! Every existing team of church planters is encouraged to enlist and bring a team of four who could launch a fresh expression of church!

Exponential 2011: On the Verge! God is up to something. A growing number of church leaders sense it. Could the church be on the verge of something big? What if the next great movement stands knocking at our door? Come find out more at the largest gathering of church planting leaders on the planet – the 2011 Exponential Conference. The Exponential Conference and the Verge Conference are joining forces to host this historic, international event, On the Verge, April 26 – 29, 2011 in Orlando, FL.

Resources …

Social Networking is Changing the Church: See this 20 minute presentation Institutions vs. Collaboration by Clay Shirky

Launching Missional Communities: Presentations by Alex Absalom – co-author with Mike Breem of Launching Missional Communities: A Field Guide (Sheriar Press, 2010) at the 3DM Conference an be downloaded from these links and will be available from –

Covenant and Kingdom
Learning Circle and Huddle (with short recap of Covenant & Kingdom)
Building a discipleship culture
The leadership square
Missional Communities 1
Missional Communities 2

Great doctrines of the Christian faith in the Gospel of John: Here are some ideas –

The being and nature of God 1:1-18
The Word of God 1:1-2; 5:31-47
Jesus – Creator & Saviour 1:3, 4, 10
Holy Spirit – Counselor & Presence 7:25-43; 14-16
Human nature & Salvation 3:1-21
Baptism 1:29-34; 3:5, 22-36
Forgiveness, new life & witness 4:1-38
Sabbath – life through Jesus 5:1-47
Death & resurrection to life 5:21-29; 11:1-44
Two resurrections 5:28-29
Resurrection on the last day 6:25-71
Commandments & grace 8:1-11
Real disciples – the ‘church’ 8:31-47
Sabbath – sign that Jesus is God 8:48-42
The glory of God & judgement 12:20-50
Foot-washing & Lord’s Supper 13:1-38
Second coming of Jesus 14:1-3
The presence of Jesus – ‘Christ in Us’ 14:12-23
Prayer 17:1-26
Salvation story 18:1-20:9
Sanctuary ministry 1:29; 2:12-25; 6:1-15; 7:1-43; 19:28-42
Resurrection body 20:10-31
Great commission 20:21-23; 21:1-25
Restitution – restoration 21:15-23


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