Dear Church Planters,
This is a call to prayer. Church planters need special prayer – for they are on the cutting edge for God. Revitalizing and planting new churches to reach lost people always stirs opposition – for this is a spiritual work. There are those who will call church planting the ‘latest fad’ – forgetting that it is what Jesus told us to do. There are those who want church to remain comfortable – and even those who wish to control the activities of the Holy Spirit. But early Adventist pioneer Ellen White said, “Upon all who believe, God has placed the burden of raising up churches” (MM 315) – and there are hundreds of true believers in Europe who have seen what God can do in their lives and communities and who are determined that Adventism in Europe will be a Church Planting Movement!
It’s time to pray! In the next two weeks approximately 1,000 mission driven believers committed to revitalizing and planting new churches in Europe will meet in Norway, Germany and Hungary to exchange ideas and receive the fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. These church planters believe the words of Jesus, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses.” (Acts 1:8) As with the disciples before Pentecost, “it may require several days of earnestly seeking God and putting away of sin.” (MLT 58) Young adults will be praying at ‘Prosess’ in Norway this week. 600 church planters will spend at least 1.5 hours each day praying at the Church Planters X-Change next week (Germany, 24-31 July) – and, over 200 planters will do the same the following week in Budapest, Hungary (1-7 August). The week after that (8-14 August) I will join pastors and members in the Czech Republic for a full week of study and prayer to and for the Holy Spirit.
It’s time for Holy Spirit baptism. We will be praying for power and courage to witness to Jesus. We will be praying for church pastors and leaders. We will be praying for the new church planting leaders of the Trans-European Division – Janos Kovacs-Biro, Don McFarlane and Daniel Duda. It is a time of transition for some of us – but there is a strong commitment across Europe to church planting. In the words of Ellen White, “I entreat the church members in every city that they may lay hold upon the Lord with determined effort for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” (CH 548) Now that may be ancient and quaint English – but, do it! “For the daily baptism of the Spirit every worker should offer his/her petition to God.” (AA 50)
It’s time to pray,
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 18 July 05
In this NEWS …
v PRAYER FOR CHURCH PLANTER!
v ‘MOSAIC’ PRAYS & MEETS NEEDS!
v RE’VIVE GOES PUBLIC
v COMMUNION SERVICE ATTRACTS PEOPLE TO JESUS IN ALI DEMI EVANGELISTIC SEMINARS
v VUKOVAR’S ‘TOUCH OF HOPE – HEALING THE HURTS OF WAR’
v CENTRAL EUROPE CHURCH PLANTERS X-CHANGE – ATTRACTING MANY NATIONS!
PRAYER FOR CHURCH PLANTER! Many church planters in Europe have been encouraged to reach unchurched people by Ken Houliston, planter of Southside Community Church (Brisbane, Australia). Last Friday Ken was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Ken and Anne-Marie, there are hundreds of church planters joining with friends, planters and pastors in Australia in a prayer-chain for you and your family!
‘MOSAIC’ PRAYS & MEETS NEEDS! Leader of the ‘MOSAIC’ plant in Banja Luka, Bosnia i Herzegovina, Bozidar Mihajlovic, advertises each week in several local newspapers seeking for people with special requests for prayer or spiritual support. Each morning planting team members meet for prayer. “It has renewed our group, affected the lives of all of us, and became a strong foundation for our lives,” says team member Dragana Krnetic. “We gather every morning to pray for the needs of the people of the city. I can not tell you how powerful and wonderful it is!” The prayer time starts at 5 o'clock and continues until 8 – with team members coming at different times. “The presence of God is miraculous,” Dragana says.
RE’VIVE GOES PUBLIC “I was talking with Lee Gallagher this morning,” reports David Cox – church planting coordinator for the British Union. “Re’vive had their first kids church in the museum with 5 or 6 un-churched kids, followed by their first ‘seeker-service’ at the same venue in the afternoon with 5 or 6 of their unchurched friends who have been attending their house church on and off for some time.” The Re’vive team have been building friendships. “They're really fired up with what is happening,” says David.
COMMUNION SERVICE ATTRACTS PEOPLE TO JESUS IN ALI DEMI EVANGELISTIC SEMINARS Evangelistic meetings 4 times each week in the Ali Demi (Tirana, Albania) outreach centre led to 2 meetings each week for a month – and then continued every Saturday evening for another 2-3 months. “We maintained a group of around 15 to 20 that came somewhat regularly,” reports planter Felicia Phillips. “The highlight was a communion service to celebrate Easter. I made it clear that it was for those that wanted Jesus to be their Saviour and who wanted to enter into communion with Him. It was a lovely opportunity to explain the meaning of the cross, the bread and the wine. What a beautiful sight to see everyone participate!” Ali Demi is a predominantly Muslim area of the city.
VUKOVAR’S ‘TOUCH OF HOPE – HEALING THE HURTS OF WAR’ The name ‘Touch of Hope’ is fitting for a new Adventist church plant in the devastated Croatian city of Vukovar. Church planter Marijan Persinovic concluded the workshop series entitled ‘Touch of Hope – Healing the Hurts of War’ for people traumatized by war, with a 2 day (8-10 July) residential seminar at the Adriatic Union Seminary at Marusevec. 10 participants (including 8 unchurched friends) explored the theme "Forgiveness and Healing" – while enjoying good food, recreation and the exploration of local castles. “The weekend concluded with a ‘healing service’ according to James 5:13-15,” reports Marijan. “This was powerful experience for many were traumatized in the war. Some want to read the Bible more.” A year of hard work, the building of friendships and seminars to heal the wounds of war were affirmed with the first worship service and a baptism of 3 people in a new worship-community centre on 25 June 2005 – to which the Croatian government gave about 100.000 euro. That day was also special for 8 friends received diplomas for completing the ‘Search’ seminar – and 5 unchurched friends made decisions to prepare for baptism. “We now have 11 members and 8 friends who come to worship each week,” says Marijan. “We will continue with evangelistic activities and training for members – and the Croatian Conference will organise the new church on September 24.”
CENTRAL EUROPE CHURCH PLANTERS X-CHANGE – ATTRACTING MANY NATIONS! Church planting coordinator for Hungary, Laszlo Szabo, reports that about 100 people from Bulgaria, Rumania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Slovenia, Serbia and Poland have registered for Central Europe Church Planters X-Change to be held in Budapest, Hungary during 1-7 August 2005. Laszlo indicates that these are just those “coming from outside of Hungary” – and then there will be those from Hungary as well. “I think it is going to be a good X-Change,” Laszlo says. Peter Roennfeldt will coach and team teach those that are becoming the new leaders of the church planting movement in Europe.
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS