Dear Church Planters
Some weeks have passed since you received the last NEWS. During these weeks I have visited new church plants in Jordan and Lebanon; spent a week with pastors and planters in Hungary; experienced the commitment of 12 church planting teams in the Netherlands; shared 3 days of learning (at Kings Park, Northampton) with 84 leaders and influential planters committed to fostering a church planting movement in the 10 countries they represent; and shared in a North England Conference ‘Church Planting Awareness Day’ at Grantham.
Exciting new churches are ‘emerging.’ Just this afternoon, I have read a special edition of the South England Conference COMMUNICATOR – and viewed a companion DVD. With stories and pictures, guest editor Humphrey Walters brings together some of the excitement of 19 new churches and companies established since January 2000 and a further 34 planting groups and initiatives being launched at the present time. And, what started as ‘Lights Across London’ has already spread to ‘Lights Across the Provinces.’ This is not some fad or latest fashion. This is New Testament church!
Plans are coming together for the Church Planting X-Changes for western & northern Europe (Friedensau, Germany: 24-31 July 2005) and central, eastern & southern Europe (Budapest, Hungary: 1-7 August 2005). Our theme for these X-Changes is Emerging Churches – for an Extraordinary Life with Jesus.
It is an extraordinary privilege to be planting churches to reach lost people for Jesus.
PS: In the next NEWS I will share some case-studies from the Netherlands.
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 15 June 05
In this NEWS …
Ø TARTU PLANTING TEAM LIKES CONVERSATIONAL PRAYER
Ø TEEN CAFÉ – ON THE BUS IN YEOVIL
Ø KIDZ CHURCH REACHES UNCHURCHED ADULT
Ø AMMAN INTERNATIONAL CHURCH GROWING
Ø FACEOUT – ON THE MOVE
Ø QUETTA CHURCH REVITALISED
Ø SMALL GROUPS GROW INTO CHURCH PLANTS
Ø MOORCLOSE NIGHTS – WILL START AGAIN IN SEPTEMBER 05
Ø ‘UPPER ROOM’ MEETING IN CAIRO
Ø ‘MOSAIC’ IS PRAYING
Ø SOMETHING NEW IN LEBANON – ‘PRAISE WORSHIP’
Ø CHURCH PLANTS IN DENMARK ENCOURAGE & INSPIRE
Ø INTERNATIONAL Church Planters X-Changes 05 – Friedensau, Germany (24 – 31 July 2005) & Budapest, Hungary (1 – 7 August 2005)
TARTU PLANTING TEAM LIKES CONVERSATIONAL PRAYER: Planning meetings to develop their planting strategy in Tartu (Estonia) close with conversational prayer. “We think it is a really good way of praying and we enjoy praying like this,” core team members report. As well as planning they have now invited unchurched friends to barbeques and are planning to invite all their friends to a ‘big event’ in mid June. They are also ready to start small groups with unchurched friends.
TEEN CAFÉ – ON THE BUS IN YEOVIL: The Yeovil Church Plant (England) recently purchased a double-decker bus and a week ago piloted a Teen Café on the bus in an area where young people hang out. The brightly coloured bus is a mobile café serving drinks, smoothies, ice cream and cakes to the local teenagers.
KIDZ CHURCH REACHES UNCHURCHED ADULT: Kidz Church – a church totally for unchurched kids in Llandrindod Wells (Wales) – meets every last Saturday of the month. “We do everything big church does and more,” says planter Rosemary Lethbridge. “Children are coming from our Kidz Club, Gymnastics Club and from the ‘Welcome to Your New Home’ ministry.” One dad who has been against everything ‘church’ came to see why his daughter was having so much fun. He says he can’t wait till next time. The kids are enjoying it so much they are bringing their friends.
AMMAN INTERNATIONAL CHURCH GROWING: The 18 member group that started to meet on 5 March 2005 has almost doubled with about 32 now meeting each Sabbath. “There are new people meeting with us each week,” reports planter Steven Manoukian. “The group includes a wide range of nationalities.” On April 15 the church had its first baptisms when a Moldovan and a Sri Lankan from a Hindu background gave their lives to Jesus and were baptised in the Jordan River. A weekly two-hour social event is attracting over 35 young people aged 7-18 years. One Swiss mother said, "My daughter cannot wait to come again, I will be bringing 3 more Russian children next week." A weekly sporting event is attracting more young men than the new church plant can handle. “The purpose of these social activities is to get to know the young people and gradually introduce them to the love of Christ,” says Steve. The small church planting team is also involved in small group Bible reading and community social work.
FACEOUT – ON THE MOVE: Having rented rooms in Haslev (Denmark) the team has been busy painting, decorating and furnishing in preparation for an open-house gospel concert – and there was a baptism last week.
QUETTA CHURCH REVITALISED: The Quetta Church in Baluchistan, Pakistan has been revitalised – and members and leaders are active in sharing their faith, reports pastor and planter Abbas Gill.
SMALL GROUPS GROW INTO CHURCH PLANTS: The Bracknell Branch Church (England) was started two years ago by Seth Asare in his home. There are now 80 members. The Angaza Group (England) started as a prayer group of 8 people in July 2003 – and there are now 35 people receiving regular Bible studies.
MOORCLOSE NIGHTS – WILL START AGAIN IN SEPTEMBER 05: These times of praise, worship, reflection and prayer have brought spiritual life to many. They will resume in September (after summer) “with double energy.” “This could really mean 'double' as we might increase the Nights on a bi-weekly schedule,” reports Geert Tap. (For more details contact [email protected] )
‘UPPER ROOM’ MEETING IN CAIRO: About 300 people gathered for a full day of prayer, testimonies and fellowship in the Ramses Square Centre to focus upon the promises of the Holy Spirit – for growth and miracles. The theme for the day was “Looking upward, outward and forward” sums up the focus of the day. Egypt Field leader Kjell Aune says, “The idea of an ‘Upper Room’ meeting can be recommended.”
‘MOSAIC’ IS PRAYING: The ‘Mosaic’ team are focusing upon building friendships – and providing support in visiting cancer patients and establishing ‘share groups’ to support people through their problems. Small groups are strengthening. Team member Dragana Krnetic reports, “We are also gathering every morning for prayer at 07.00 o'clock.”
SOMETHING NEW IN LEBANON – ‘PRAISE WORSHIP’: Something new and fresh is emerging on Middle East University campus. Although in its embryonic stages a Friday evening ‘Praise Worship’ has started with the value of ‘come just as you are’ – and attendance is growing week by week. “Last week there were youth who have not attended church for years – as well as some older folk who have never been to a worship service,” says Levon Maksoudian, leader of the church in Lebanon and Jordan – and an inspiration behind the ‘Praise Worship.’ People are invited to use their gifts and talents – assisting in organizing and leading the praise singing, developing PowerPoint presentations, coordinating the music production, etc. Each Friday includes personal ‘faith journeys’ – stories of coming to Jesus or how he has spoken today. Others who have read a particularly inspiring story are invited to share. Scripture is read. The atmosphere is relaxed. Individuals and groups are prayed for. After an hour of praise, all are invited to a cafeteria for refreshments. Birthdays are celebrated. People relax and mingle. “There is a spirit of rejoicing in God’s presence,” says Levon.
CHURCH PLANTS IN DENMARK ENCOURAGE & INSPIRE: A small team of church planters from the Czech Republic visited Copenhagen and gathered many valuable planting ideas from a variety of plants. Plants that can be visited in one weekend include –1) Copenhagen Café Church – for worship, prayer, outreach, small group & study ideas.2) Remix & Plug In – for ministry to teens.3) FaceOut – an initiative to relate to unchurched teens, youth and adult friends.4) A Baptist church plant that have seeker services in a public cafe – webpage is www.re-gen.dk5) And, Café Retro – webpage www.cafe-retro.dk
INTERNATIONAL Church Planters X-Changes 05 – Friedensau, Germany (24 – 31 July 2005) & Budapest, Hungary (1 – 7 August 2005): Emerging Churches – for an Extraordinary Life with Jesus!
CHURCH PLANTING NEWSTED
Church Planting Office