Over the last two weekend mini-church planting summits have been conducted in Albany (in the south-west of the Western Australia) and Newman (in the desert Pilbara north-west of the state) – equipping teams from a number of scattered centers, churches and denominations. While adapted to each locale, it is an equipping model that I have used with hundreds of planting teams in many countries – using the Four-Fields (Mark 4:26-29) as a frame for Jesus’ discipleship training (Luke 10), with group work around the planting case-studies of the book of Acts. There are many more stories to share, but you will be inspired by the Eight Churches in Five Years – planting among migrant groups. Check it out below – and identify principles that relate to your situation.
PS: If you would like a Planting Churches that Multiply summit for your church or network – or resources to do this; feel free to write or call. Peter.
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 14 Mar 2012
Eight Churches in Five Years! With a team of members, church planter John Horvath with his wife Andrea are now planting a new church in Forrestfield – the eighth in 5 years in the suburbs of Perth. In 2005 John and Andrea transferred from Kiribati (South Pacific) to pastor three established churches, but having grown up as the son of refugee parents John identified with the growing number of refugees around Perth. He invited them to worship. Many had no transport, so John began busing them to church. Some members feared their buildings would not be cared for, most refugees wanted to spend the whole day at church – something quite unfamiliar to most established members, and there were different priorities with time and punctuality. John says, ‘It was messy.’ With many unable to travel to church – and recognizing their were new relational streams in which to work, a community centre in the suburb of Koondoola was found and outreach activities launched. It soon became evident that this new church was attracting diverse nationalities.
Just before the hall was hired Adventist leaders in Western Australia organized a Church Planting Summit. Glenn Townend (president) was joined by Wayne Krause and Peter Roennfeldt – and teams equipped to plant and multiply. John Horvath brought a team. These Church Planting Summits have been annual events since 2006 – with the 8 churches planted by John part of a growing network of currently 60 new groups and plants.
Koondoola All Nations Church (1) (planted in 2007) attracted people from ‘across the street’ – people who could not afford to travel to church. But the needs of other refugees around the city of Perth were attracting John’s attention. He was spending 4 hours before each worship service bus-driving, collecting interested people – busing them to church. The growing church was made up of 17 nationalities, many with great needs. Families needed food help, furniture, assistance filling out forms for government departments, activities for children – and people needed driving lessons. Church spilled out into the community – with community meals, picnics, games, evangelistic meetings, and baptisms conducted in a portable baptismal pool on the street in front of the community centre. With many Burundi people being collected by bus from Queens Park – and the differences in cultures between the national groups, by 2009 John could see it was time start a new church
Queens Park Burundi Church (2) first met in the old Sister Kate Indigenous Centre – a 10 acre compound founded by the famous Sister Kate who looked after stolen children. A church community of 35-40 very active people now meets in the Cannington Uniting Church (along with three other migrant groups) – with a strong Pathfinder Club for community children and a choir. ‘Another 7 will be baptized in the next week,’ John told me.
Meanwhile in the hall of the Adventist church in Belmont John and a team began a program of activities for indigenous children and families. It can be difficult for an established church to cope with the challenges such ministry presents – and this group has now found a home with an indigenous plant, Love Lincs, fostered by planters John Beck and Abby Aviles. At the same time John and a team began work in Ellenbrook, another Perth suburb – with door-to-door surveys, evangelistic meetings and follow-up. However, although gospel seed was sown, John says, ‘The time was not right.’ This year (2012) a new team funded by the Linc Church, planted in Lansdale in 2006-7 has moved into the area to plant a new church.
Rivervale All Nations Church (3) began in 2010. For some time John with members had been providing breakfasts three mornings each week for children at the local public school – as well as conducting a monthly kids club with 80 children attending. Families were being visited and Bible studies shared with families – with many being bused to Koondoola. With good interest in the community, the community centre was rented and Rivervale church was planted with health and family outreach – and evangelistic programs leading to 20 baptisms.
Both the Rivervale Karen Church (4) and Spearwood Church (5) were also planted that year. While still being bused to Koondoola, Karen people began gathering in a house in Maddington. Many others wanted to join, a building was hired at Rivervale and the Rivervale Karen Church was planted. About 45 transferred from Koondoola causing quite a gap there for a time – but, Koondoola has rebuilt through reaching more Burundi and local community people. The Karen church now attracts 85 worshippers and this year organized a week-long convention for Karen people from across the city. The Spearwood church plant, while small, connects with Croatian people.
Kelmscott All Nations Church (6) was planted the next year, in 2011 – with New Zealanders, Sudanese and Liberians becoming followers of Jesus Christ. Evangelistic meetings and community health programs have met the needs of many – and the local Champion Lake has been an idea baptismal site for those who have chosen to declare their faith in Jesus. About 15 people gather for worship. John supports and equips a team of 5 Bible Workers who work with each of these new churches – visiting house-to-house, finding new interests and sharing the Word of God with families. ‘Some from other world religions need special support in coming to faith in our societies,’ John says.
Mirrabooka Sudanese Church (7): Sudanese were attending Koondoola – but it was difficult for there was no translation. John and members saw the need of a new church planted into this relational stream. The Dryandra Community Hall in Mirrabooka was rented – for weekly Saturday evening worship services – and a monthly Saturday morning worship gathering is held in a back-yard shed. Planting in this community involves a large investment of time – mingling with people, helping with house and car-maintenance, teaching people to drive, providing practical instruction on how to cook in an Australian house, teaching children music – and providing activities to keep the children out of trouble on the streets. John has launched an initiative with children – especially during school holidays, teaching them to memorize whole chapters of the Bible (with incentives) to keep them out of trouble. Camp-outs are also an important activity.
‘There is a great need for helpers in ministry to the youth and women of migrant families,’ says John. ‘We really need to hear from people who could become involved – people with a passion to serve.’ (If anyone would like to team with John – you can contact him by email [email protected] or mobile 0429 796 159)
In Forrestfield (8) John has had a team working for five years – prayer walking, a weekly prayer meeting each Wednesday, sharing literature in letterboxes, visiting from house-to-house. The needs of the community have been identified. A community concert was recently organized with violinist Jaimie Jorge in the Forrestfield Forum Shopping Centre – to raise funds for a couple whose house was destroyed as the result of a gas explosion.
Church planting has connected John to the countries represented by the relational streams coming to Jesus. To create bonds John and Andrea have been visiting the homelands of migrant people to conduct evangelistic meetings, assist in planting new churches and build for them simple meeting structures of bush timber and metal roofs. They have helped plant a new church in the Nairobi Prison, another in Timor, built two church buildings in Sudan – and in 2012 will be conducting evangelistic meetings in Burindi to plant another church and assist in the building of another simple structure. John looks back and sees how God shaped him for planting multiplying churches among diverse peoples in Perth. Secular people, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and atheists are coming to Jesus.
Resources (more resources & stories – www.newchurchlife.com)
Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI) – Church Planting Training with Dr John Bond, senior pastor of Lifestreams Christian Church & Master DCPI Trainer since 2008
Church Planting Essentials (CPE): 30 April — 2 May, 2012
Churches Planting Churches (CPC): 3 May — 5 May, 2012
This Dynamic Church Planting Training is designed for pastors, church planters, evangelists and denominational leaders who want to be equipped to plant healthy church planting churches in any community.
For Registration form contact Irene Farmer Irene—(08) 9313 1600 or by email: [email protected]
DCPI has the vision of planting 5 million new churches. http://dcpi.org/
Download Planting Churches that Multiply – Conversation Guide from https://www.newchurchlife.com/index.php/resources/ for equipping teams in postmodern contexts.
Missional Communities Australia – discipleship workshop 6-8 March 2012 @ Crossway: For information and online registration is at www.missionalcommunities.com.au
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS