Hello church planters,
Last week Judy and I moved into a home in the western suburbs of Melbourne (Australia). We are enjoying getting to know the vision of those at Living Waters – a church plant connected to Gilson College (650 students). There are exciting possibilities – and we will really enjoy this work. I am working with a creative young pastor, Mark Baines (called Bainsey here). During the next couple of months we (at Living Waters) will be reading through the book of Acts. Some are getting together in small groups to read, reflect and pray through this story of the Holy Spirit's activity in the lives of early believers. Last Saturday afternoon one group (with friends) met in a local Caroline Springs cafe to read and discuss the book of Acts. A great idea! Also, each week I have been sharing the story of one of the plants in Europe. (So planters in Europe – send me new stories and some up-to-date pictures!)
Folk at Living Waters are experimenting with fun ways to connect with the community. Sunday (12 Feb) morning a team of young people from Gilson College and Living Waters were at the Weet-Bix Kids Triathalon (with almost 3,200 participants – and about 1,500 others turned away!) to paint faces, clown, give away balloon animals, etc. In the afternoon the 4×4 Club was out. And, discussions with community personnel are identifying needs. (We are building on the ideas of 'Irresistible Evangelism' – and if fact on Saturday Bainsey and I shared a presentation on 'Playing Golf for God.')
You will enjoy this NEWS. During the next two days I will participate in an emerging church planting dialogue with Baptist leaders from Australia and New Zealand. I know we will pick up some great planting ideas – and I will share them next time. Be courageous for God!
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 13 Feb 06
In this NEWS …
- PUBLICAN DECLARES: 'CHURCH IN PUB ('The Kingsway in the Queensway) MAY CHANGE PEOPLE'S LIVES'!
- SHARE THE EXCITEMENT OF 'REMIX' – SEE THE PICTURES!
- MEN'S GROUPS – MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
- THERE WILL BE A METRO IMPACT 2007!
- WESTERN AUSTRALIA CHURCH LEADER – CALLS CHURCH TO PRAY FOR A PLANTING MOVEMENT
- 'INSIDE OUT PEOPLE' launch 'INSIDE OUT MUSIC'!
- 'SOCIALS TO SAVE' – PROVES TO BE EFFECTIVE, FUN EVANGELISM!
- CHURCH PLANTERS PARENTS CONFESS JESUS!
- THE HEART OF 'MOSAIC' – THE HEART OF A CHURCH PLANTER!
- UK CHURCH PLANTERS X-CHANGE – Farewell VELDA & DAVID COX
- 'MIRA' YOUTH PLANT – HOLD FIRST PUBLIC WORSHIP SERVICE
- REMIX – NOW BUILDING A HOUSE CHURCH COMMUNITY
- EQUIPPING FOR CHURCH PLANTERS 2006 – OPPORTUNITIES NOT TO BE MISSED …
PUBLICAN DECLARES: 'CHURCH IN PUB ('The Kingsway in the Queensway) MAY CHANGE PEOPLE'S LIVES'! The local Scunthorpe (Lincolnshire, England) newspaper printed almost a full page news story about "The Kingsway in the Queensway" (an Adventist church plant in the Queensway Hotel). That night, planters Bryan and Isobel Webster received a call from Yorkshire TV – wanting to come and film the church the following Saturday. "The clip was shown on the Monday evening news, showing Michael Clarke leading out, a flash of the Alpha course, and interviews with Michael, Bryan, and the landlord of the pub," reports Isobel. Although not a believer (in any way) the landlord said, “Maybe something will happen here that makes people choose a different path in their lives!” The Yorkshire TV camera-man regularly drinks in the Queensway, he knows Michael (a chef at the pub) – although Michael didn’t know what his work was! "The camera-man really believes that pubs are where church ought to happen! He thinks that is where Jesus would go to meet people."
SHARE THE EXCITEMENT OF 'REMIX' – SEE THE PICTURES! There is something special about just seeing a baptism. Remix has pictures of a recent baptism on their homepage – www.re-mix.dk. And, Tina Kjeldal says, "the next teenager is already on the way." Pray for Remix and the teens of northwest Copenhagen. (You may also like to check out www.plug-in.dk.)
MEN'S GROUPS – MAKING A DIFFERENCE! Peter Fowler, pastor of the Carmel Adventist Church (Western Australia) is fostering a network of men's groups. "They are about spiritual nurture," Peter explains. "Our intention is 'to understand the spirituality which Jesus taught men so that as men we can live with integrity and make a difference in the world.'" Peter indicates that he is finding that men are "very willing to engage with this construct of spirituality because the focus is not church but relationships in home environments." The majority of those involved at this stage have been 'burnt' (to some extent) by churches. Peter says, "We go away on weekends separate from our regular weekly meetings and process issues specific to men around spirituality, fatherhood, relationships with spouses, forgiveness, etc … I am beginning to understand that there is a need to create environments for men separate from institutional church." (For more details you could contact Peter Fowler – [email protected])
THERE WILL BE A METRO IMPACT 2007! Tom Evans (from the Adventist Church in Texas) reports that 1,100 people attended their Metro Impact 2006 for church planters (Jan 06). The inspiring conference closed with 17 people being baptized and more than 20 decisions for baptism in the near future. Tom reports that, "Metro Impact 2007 will be in Dallas." As soon as we have the details we will let NEWS readers know.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA CHURCH LEADER – CALLS CHURCH TO PRAY FOR A PLANTING MOVEMENT: Glenn Townend, leader of the Adventist church in Western Australia, has encouraged Christians to pray every Tuesday that the Holy Spirit will cultivate a planting movement across the State. He believes they are already seeing the Holy Spirit moving in people's lives. Another "So You Want to be a Church Planter" event has attracted strong support. And, Glenn writes: "I believe we need to focus our prayers in a couple of ways: (1) asking God to raise up teams with team leaders for all the new churches, (2) to really prepare us for the church planting School (March 28- April 1), and (3) that young people catch the vision and take up church planting."
'INSIDE OUT PEOPLE' launch 'INSIDE OUT MUSIC'! Three or four years ago Dana and Leslie King (Yeovil, England) found community teens were happy with an adapted 'Pathfinder' type program – but, even then "there was a clear divide between those who found 'God' acceptable and those who found even the mention of 'God' uncomfortable." Committed to reaching unchurched teens – the Time Out Teens Club 2006 (meeting each Monday) includes a 12 minute challenge (with subjects like anger, language etc) and a 'healthy tuck shop menu' (with fruit, healthy toasted sandwiches, etc). "The 12 minute challenge and discussions have led to the writing of an 'anger' rap that has been not only humorous but life challenging," reports Dana. Interest is strong – with numbers attending the club growing from 17 to 25 street teens in January. Expect to hear of CD's of 'Inside Out Music' being released.
'SOCIALS TO SAVE' – PROVES TO BE EFFECTIVE, FUN EVANGELISM! "I'm experiencing that 'socials to save' are the greatest evangelistic tool that we have here in Tirana, Albania." writes planter Felicia Phillips. "People love social events and will come out. Several ladies have explained that they need new friendships. We had 50 at our Christmas celebration on Sabbath the 24th of December. We included community members in our dramatized narration. Even a grandfather came (a truly remarkable thing in Albania) to see his grandkids portraying the shepherds and wise-men. Our social events always have a deeply spiritual focus.
CHURCH PLANTER'S PARENTS CONFESS JESUS! As church planters we rejoice in the news that Ermira Kollarja's parents have openly confessed Jesus Christ as their Savior. Emira is a faithful and hardworking church planters in the suburbs of Tirana, Albania. It has involved a spiritual journey of five years. Fellow planter Felicia Phillips says, "The family is sure that God is answering their prayers. Mira and I rejoice. It's exciting to see the whole family of six eagerly looking up texts in our weekly Bible study."
THE HEART OF 'MOSAIC' – THE HEART OF A CHURCH PLANTER! Dragana is just one person in 'Mosiac' – a plant in Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina. But her heart represents the heart of all involved in 'Mosaic.' She writes, "My favorite activities are connecting with and focusing on the forgotten, poor, sick and helpless people rejected by the society. This category is 'invisible' for most – especially during holidays (including 'religious' holidays) when most people spend their time with family and in warm houses." 'Mosaic' prepares packages and shares meals with homeless people – and finds a special ministry in hospitals. They celebrate birthdays with people. They have also been cleaning the windscreens of cars – leaving a small card with a phone number and a message of friendship. And, they are also launching a mobile DVD club – with spiritual DVDs.
UK CHURCH PLANTERS X-CHANGE – Farewell VELDA & DAVID COX: Church planters in the UK took the opportunities of the X-Change to farewell David and Velda Cox who are taking up ministry assignments in Cyprus. Teams of planters gathered around them to pray for them – and David prayed for the teams. David and Velda will be missed by the many planting teams they have encouraged. However, as one planting team say, "We praise the Lord for Aris Vontzalidis and Paul Haworth who both encourage us and resource us – and for all the church planters who encourage and support each other."
'MIRA' YOUTH PLANT – HOLD FIRST PUBLIC WORSHIP SERVICE: After two years of building a small core group (12 people), reading the Bible with their friends, sharing social opportunities (sports, gym evenings, etc) – and demonstrating that Christianity is 'cool' – the Kaunas “Mira” Youth Church (Kaunas, Lithuania) had their first public worship service on 14 January 2006. Planter and pastor, Giedrius Rimša, explains that the name 'Mira' means 'myrrh – a sweet smelling perfume. "The main emphasis is on friend-ship evangelism, encouragement and introducing friends to Jesus… It has worked amazingly well, as most of our young people have taken it seriously.” Reporting for the Baltic countries, Guntis Bukalders says that the group was prepared through weekly training and attendance at the Church Planting X-Changes conducted with Peter Roennfeldt in Latvia, Finland and Lithuania. Commenting on their first worship service, Šarune Rimšiene (a 'Mira' team member) writes: "We really had a good time studying the Bible, worshipping God … and socializing with tea, biscuits and lots of mandarins (they were really in demand that night)!"
REMIX – NOW BUILDING A HOUSE CHURCH COMMUNITY:Planters of Plug-In (Copenhagen teen club) and Remix (a monthly worship event unchurched teens) have now launched regular house meetings on Friday evenings in Tina Kjeldal's home. "It gives a good atmosphere to have these kids with their rough attitudes come into a livingroom to sit on the sofa," says planter Lasse Bech. "It seems like they find a resting place. We run the house meetings like a cell-group. First we eat a meal, we 'talk about God' (a simple Bible study), and then we have smaller prayer groups. We also hang out playing games, talking, listening to music, and just having a good time."
EQUIPPING FOR CHURCH PLANTERS 2006 – OPPORTUNITIES NOT TO BE MISSED …
CHURCH PLANTERS X-CHANGE: Monday 31 July – Sunday 6 August 2006 at Kromeriz (Czech Republic): Applications will be limited. For more details on this first X-Change in the Czech Republic contact Church Planting Coordinator Martin Vesely – [email protected]
SOUTH FRANCE MISSION CAMP: 18-23 August 06 (France): For more details contact Pierre kempf – [email protected]
ALPHA – 2006 (Melbourne, Australia): Here are some more important dates: 25 Feb 06 for a training day at Swanston Street Church of Christ (10.00 am – 3.00 pm) and 27 Mar 06 as the date for the invitation and launch with the first Alpha dinner during the week commencing 27 Mar 06. You must book for the 25 Feb 06 event by going to www.alphainvitation.com or by calling John Graham for details (mob) 0423 165 3290.
CHURCH PLANTING SCHOOL: 28 March – 1 April 2006 (Western Australia): The first for the Adventist church in Western Australia. Experienced planters will share – assisting planting teams to develop project plans. Presenters will include Wayne Krause the Church Planting Institute Leader for Australia and NZ, Roger Govender Australia's Church Planting Facilitator, Peter Roennfeldt and Phil Brown the new WA church planting director. For details call 08 9398 7222.
AVONDALE COLLEGE – MA WINTER SCHOOL Church Planting Courses: June-July 2006: Church Planting: A Theological Framework and Church Planting:Principles & Practice will be taught by Peter Roennfeldt. For registration and more details on pre-requisite reading, teaching modules, dates and assignments contact Peter Morey (Graduate Studies Coordinator, Distance Education Unit) – phone: +61 (0)2 49 802 174; fax: +61 (0)2 49 802 177; e-mail [email protected] .
GATEWAY Connecting 2006: 3-5 October 2006 (Victoria, Australia): Rick Paynter and Gateway Family Church will be presenting another Connecting Conference in 2006. More details will soon be available at www.gateway.asn.au .
NATIONAL NEW CHURCH CONFERENCE – in Orlando, Florida (USA), 25-29 April 2006: The National New Church Conference is the largest gathering of church planting leaders in North America. It includes over 30 workshops and main sessions featuring presenters such as Gene Appel, Mark Driscoll, Alan Nelson, and Ron Sylvia. For more – visit http://www.startingchurches.com/index.php
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS