NEWS 17 Apr 09

Hello planters,

Since first planting a church in 1972 I have been involved with hundreds of church plants in many different countries and cultures. Why is it so important? Why should planting be part of the life of every Christian, every gathering of believers (local church), and a priority for every denominational administrator/leader?

Church planting is biblical. It was the New Testament way for spreading the gospel. House churches multiplied with new house churches – in the same way that families grow. Church planting is efficient – the most effective way to reach new people with the gospel. It is also necessary for the life and vitality of existing churches – in fact we can conclude that the only thing that will save established churches (and denominations) from decline is for them to enter upon an aggressive process of planting new churches. All healthy churches reproduce and multiply – this was a New Testament reality! (If you want more details on ‘churches planting churches’ contact me on [email protected]).

Here are perhaps the most significant reasons for church planting –
Ø It puts us in tune with God’s missionary heart.
Ø It puts us where the Holy Spirit is working among new people – outside the church!
Ø It is ‘the way’ to hand on faith to the next generation (see the item Ministering with Millenials below).

It puts us in touch with our New Testament and (in many cases) denominational heritage. No denomination that started as a movement can continue to claim to be a movement if it is not seeking to reach new people and plant new groups, clusters and churches to extend God’s kingdom. And, it puts us where the future church is!

I spent a couple of hours this week with a good friend (sitting in a noisy inner city café) – sharing and praying together. He is returning to his home county in Asia to teach in an evangelical seminary and feels called by God to equip those students to plant churches before they graduate, and develop a plan to plant at least one organic church in every town and village in the country within the next ten years!

What will you do today to cultivate a movement of church planting in your region or city?

Be courageous and daring for God’s kingdom,
Peter Roennfeldt

CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 17 Apr 09 (check out
News stories

A number of these news items come from the three churches and two home churches that I now provide ‘pastoral oversight’ for –

Vive Café – ‘this is church’: Since Revive was planted by a group of Gen Y two years ago there has been a growing connection with social and justice issues – and involvement in the community. As well as supporting the Dining Room – feeding 100+ homeless people each Tuesday evening; Revive provides a community café for financially-at-risk families each Thursday evening. Vive Café is a hive of activity. As well as healthy meals for all – entrée or soup, full main course meal, dessert, etc – there are games for children, table tennis, clothes available, and extra food to take home. It’s a time of sharing, talking, getting to know each other – walking life together. Last night I washed dishes for an hour – and enjoyed getting to know the kitchen team – at least half of whom are community people just happy to serve others. Then I sat and ate with – and got to know Arthur and Philip. For some life has been – and is, cruel. Every person is welcome and cared for. Between 80 and 90 meals were served last evening. Many of the ‘next generations’ who are serving, talking with people, caring for children – and the older ones who join in to minister – will tell you: ‘this is church’! I can understand what they say – and, Jesus said this is where he is!

Australians – not so skeptical about Jesus: ‘MORE than four in 10 Australians who don’t consider themselves “born again” nevertheless believe Jesus rose from the dead, while one in 10 doesn’t believe he even existed.’ Check out this survey report. It suggests possibilities for dialogue with neighbors and contacts: The Age – April 7, 2009 –

Easter Opportunities! In some parts of the world evangelical churches takes great advantage of Easter as an evangelistic opportunity – in fact in South America, the Philippines, etc, this is the time when many major evangelistic programs are conducted. I was reminded of this on Sunday morning when Judy and I participated in a sunrise service beside Caroline Springs Lake – surrounded by about 200 mostly migrant people. Perhaps Easter could give church plants great opportunities to connect with people who don’t relate to churches much at other times.

Passover Brunch – attracts Jews. With the Jewish Passover day last week – and the feast of unleaven bread spanning the traditional Easter weekend this year – Living Waters Community Church hosted a Passover Brunch on Shabbat April 11 for almost 100 people. Barry Buirski, from Celebrate Messiah, was the featured speaker – graphically illustrating the salvation provided by Jesus Christ our ‘Passover Lamb’ and Messiah. Members invited almost 30 friends – with Jewish friends delighted to find the Gilson College Living Waters Centre decorated ‘just like a kibbutz for Passover’. Their interest in the Messiah was further awakened!

Ministering with Millennials – now available: Last October over 30 youth ministry professionals, academics and practitioners met at Andrews University to share ideas on how to retain youth and young adults in the Adventist Church! The results have been brought together in Ministering with Millennials now available at The chapter entitled Handing on Faith: Equipping the Next Generation to ‘Leave Church’ will be of particular interest to church planters.

Revive hosts ‘Church Planting Teams Training’: Revive celebrated two years as a church plant by hosting a ‘church planting teams training’ event for 20 people representing six potential plants. To maintain church health and vitality a local church must be reproducing and multiplying – and Revive recognizes the need for new clusters, groups and churches. Currently they are supporting a re-plant in Victoria – as well as missions in Thailand and Uganda. Following the training weekend – new possibilities are being prayed about.

Daniel Dialogue goes to Indonesia: When in Melbourne, Elvis & Lidya Sumanti got a copy of Daniel Dialogue and went through the lessons with friends in Gateway Adventist church plant. Elvis writes, “It is so inspirational to me and my wife. As we have been blessed, we also want to share the blessing through the lesson to our Indonesian friends.” Elvis and Lydia are now translating these dialogue guides on Daniel into Indonesian. (If you would like a copy of Daniel Dialogue and/or Revelation Seminars – with reading/discussion notes, Powerpoint slides, etc let me know.)

Disconnected Youth show interest in Planting: Last Sunday evening I spoke at a youth rally on Future Church for Next Generations! Afterwards seven young adults from one country area approached – and told how they no longer attended church. However, they indicated that they were still interested in God and wanted a relationship with Jesus. It is a very common scenario. They have shown an interest in starting a new church in their local, small country community – where presently there is no church.

If you would like an outline of ideas that you can use to equip planting teams in your churches – or to equip yourselves as a team to plant a church – let me know by writing to [email protected] and I will get resources to you – or go to for other resources.

Peter Roennfeldt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *