People are on the move. Even 50 years ago it would have been impossible to imagine the impact of these movements upon the religious profile of most global north countries (Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand). These impacts include –
Many church buildings and cathedrals in the global north are again filled with vibrancy – even though interest in Christianity in those countries has declined.
These believers are sharing faith, leading others from their people groups to the Lord and multiplying church plants.
Whether these can lead many from the global north to faith and fellowship, and turn the tide of unbelief, is still not clear. However we certainly see some reaching their global north communities. Check out www.newchurchlife.com –
– Pentecost with X-preszo – a multicultural community church plant
– BoS is Simple Church – a new multicultural house church
And, there are new church plants specifically reaching the majority populations of global north countries. Their fellowships are open to all, but their ministries and styles are specific. They don’t reach all, but some!
Be courageous – and keep multiplying
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 15 June 2012
Gospel Choir Becomes Church Plant: A number of students in Toulouse (south France) observed the interest people have in gospel music. They formed a group which, with unchurched friends, grew to be a contemporary gospel choir. Because many of the songs were in English, the leaders spent time explaining the meaning of the lyrics. Non-believers participated in worship and prayer events – and increasing numbers became believers and were baptized. This gospel choir is now a new church!
Charity – also Church: The community ministry of a group of professionals in welfare and counseling support in Delft (the Netherlands) continues to meet the needs of single mothers and needy families. As the group formed to meet needs and serve their city, they became a legal charity. This became the basis of their church planting initiative, the name of this ministry, and is the name of their church of over 200 worshippers and friends today – Alivio.
A Uniek Celebration: Earlier this year Uniek – a church plant in Utrecht that was founded by young adults, along with Middlepunt in Permarend, were welcomed as churches. Together with Xpreszo and another plant called Compass, which will be welcomed into the network in September – this is four this year. No one would call this a massive movement, but that is OK. For the young adults and families who have found a spiritual home at Uniek, this is the activity of God!
Jubilee Weekend Church Planting Camp attracts Friends: Over Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee weekend in the United Kingdom, The Watering Hole church plant held a camp for their community – attended by 65 people, including 40 friends from the community. Planters Rosemary and Gordon Lethbridge are doing a great work, reports Aris Vontzalidis, church planting coordinator for South England – who spent the weekend with them. ‘It was so good to see the activity of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives,’ he says.
Plusses & Negatives of House Church: You may have more, but these are some I have observed:
+ : they are relational and people feel involved and are supported.
– : they can become in-house and insular: it is necessary to be very intentional in inviting new unchurched contacts and friends.
+ : they are zero-cost – with funds available for the support of the poor, justice issues and mission.
– : they (like many traditional churches) can degenerate into generalized talk about the Bible with very little Bible reading: it is important to put aside times – maybe some months each year, to read books of the Bible together.
+ : they are sensitive – people are aware of the needs, crises and celebrations of those involved
– : they can be taken over by domineering people: house churches can be just as toxic as some conventional churches – with control freaks and bullies. Participating in a network of experienced supporters can provide counsel in these areas.
+ : they can multiply easily – however, we often find multiplication is not part of their DNA. Some say, ‘When we get to 20 we will multiply!’ This rarely happens, for the DNA of multiplication never expresses itself in these terms.
Multiplying in a Pauline Way! You won’t find that Paul the apostle grew a house church to 15 or 20 and then multiplied! You won’t find Jesus suggesting this. So how did the early churches – and they were all house churches, multiply?
Resources (more resources & stories – www.newchurchlife.com)
Inspire Church Planters Summit 2012: June 25-27 (NSW Australia, Baptists): http://inspire.msd.org.au/ – with four specific tracks designed to suit whatever stage you are at in planting http://inspire.msd.org.au/track-details/.
Organic Church Planters GREENHOUSE Conference: July 27-29 with Neil Cole @ Central Baptist Church, Clifton Springs, Bellarine (Victoria, Australia)
Missional books & videos: ‘I have just been reading a book by Felicity Dale An Army of Ordinary People – and have found it a amazing book full of encouraging stories,’ writes planter John McLean. Check out http://missionalbooks.net/ for this and a bunch of other resources about house and missional churches.
Download Planting Churches that Multiply – Conversation Guide from https://www.newchurchlife.com/index.php/resources/ for equipping teams in postmodern contexts.
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS