Dear Church Planters
This has been a great week. Last weekend I was at Kikhavn
(Denmark) for the ‘Youth Matters’ conference. Gilbert Cangy, South Pacific Division Youth Leader, provided inspiration for the 150 present – and shared the ‘Underground’ concept of planting new groups to reach unchurched people. Utrecht church planters – led by Jean Luca Murk – provided workshops on planting. And, Betina Wiik (Copenhagen Cafe Church), Tina Tjeldal & Lasse Bech (Plug In) joined me in sharing workshops on planting Adventist churches for postmoderns. They all did a great job!
Then on Monday Judy and I came to Collonges (France) – and I have been teaching a course on church planting. Last evening we had a case study of a new innovative church plant in Paris. Gabriel Monet shared the exciting story of ‘e2e’ – a new church plant designed to reach lost people with ‘Hope’! We will share more in the future.
Pray for each other – and share your stories.
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 13 Mar 03
RIGA CAFE-CHURCH – ORGANISED! (Latvian Conference)
“The Riga Cafe-church was born and organised on March 8,” reports church planter Dzintars Geide. This important event was attended by the conference president Viesturs Rekis, other visiting pastors and the former president. “The hall was full although we did not advertise the event at all. The founders of the new church have been announced.”
Dzintars Geide says, “God has blessed us enormously. It’s even hard to believe what God is doing. Since we started our last series of worships in the afternoons an average of 10 non-churched people are coming every Saturday. Some of them are taking an active part in service as musicians with us. We invite all visitors to take an active part.”
One of Latvia’s well-known musicians-composers is enjoying the company of the Cafe Church. “He wrote a special song for an Agape evening
– when we will celebrate and remember Christ’s life, death and resurrection,” Geide continues.
Another well known musician – Raimonds Macats and his band – will give a charity concert on April 26 in a 500-seat hall to support Cafe Church. He does not represent Adventist tradition but is an active Christian in his own church as well as active musician and composer.
COTTAGE BECK LAUNCHES NetCAFE & the WORLD’S BEST LENTIL CURRY! (North England Conference)
“God’s timing, as ever, is perfect. Having Eija (from CafeSEED in
Helsinki) start work at Cottage Beck Cafe Church at the same time as we launched the internet Netcafe was just right,” reports planter Bryan Webster. “We had a full page write-up in the local paper, with the Editor promising the paper’s full support of anything Cafe Church does because he so approves of what we are doing in the community.”
With Eija’s work, Cottage Beck Cafe Church is now open four days a week, Monday to Thursday. “At the moment Netcafe is only open from 3pm until the Cafe closes at 6pm, because we feel it needs to be supervised the whole time,” says Bryan. “However, after the newspaper article, a lady came in and volunteered to supervise for three hours each Wednesday and Thursday.
She will also help anyone who wants to learn how to use computers and the Internet.”
Cottage Beck Cafe Church has also launched a new meal. “The latest person who has to do Community Service for the Probation Service is a chef of Indian background. He is working at the Cafe two days a week for the next several months – and is training Eija how to do things,” says Bryan.
“If you appreciate Indian
cooking you will understand why we are delighted! The lentil curry we now offer might just be the world’s best!”
Bryan and Isobel Webster say that Eija is really perfect for Cafe Church. “Of course she is attracting customers as well. The newspaper covered the human interest story of an attractive young volunteer from Finland – with two pictures and a half-page story!”
FISHPOOL COMMUNITY CHURCH – PLANS FISH & CHIP SUPPER FOR COMMUNITY!
“We are planning a fish and chip supper at a local fish and chip restaurant,” reports planter Peter Jeynes. “The aim is to invite friends to become friends with others. We will provide a vegetarian alternative. There will be an after dinner speaker who has been told to keep it light and humorous.”
PASTORS OF GROWING CHURCHES – common characteristics!
This will be of interest to church planters. In an article in ‘Growing Churches’ (Summer 2002), Barry Campbell points out some common
characteristics found among pastors of growing churches –
# These pastors focus on reaching people.
# They have leadership ability – though it may take many different forms or
# They place a priority on preaching. “They discipline themselves to spend time in the study even though there are phone messages to be returned and even though there are ministry calls to be made and even though there’s planning to be done. The messages they bring are always practical, always relevant, and always delivered in a manner that makes it easy for people to
# They love for their people.
# They have a positive attitude and approach.
# They enjoy people skills.
# They cultivate an intimate relationship with God. “These pastors spend time in prayer. They read the Bible daily and allow what they read to impact their lives. They are filled and guided by the Holy Spirit. Pastors of growing churches have a close, personal, and growing walk with Jesus.”
Campbell also notes that pastors of growing churches have a variety of needs, including fellowship with other ministers, help from staff and lay leaders, and accountability. (You can read the entire article at
www.lifeway.com) – PreachingNow Vol. 2, No. 9.
OUTRAGEOUS OUTREACH – FREE PSALM READINGS!
If you receive the e-mail newsletter from “Off the Map”
([email protected]), you already read about a bizarre outreach in Salem, Massachusetts. The brief background: Salem hosts an annual “witches convention” to which 40-50,000 people show up. Some are witches or aspiring witches, others are just curious, some attend to get in touch with a witch to get a palm reading or whatever. A church plant decided to infiltrate the convention and offered “Psalm Readings” as opposed to “Palm Readings.” Here is a paragraph from the website about it…
“In order to blend in (and have some fun) Phil and his church opened a couple of booths. Apparently it can cost up to $60 for a 30-minute palm reading, so his group ran a free psalm reading booth and people stood in line for 45 minutes waiting their turn. They also hosted a free Dream Interpretation booth where they listened to people’s dreams and then told them how much God loves them and wants’ to help them.”
What would Jesus do? I have my opinion: I think He’d give them free Psalm readings! Have a great week. – Ron Gladden