Hello church planters,
A week ago (10 Dec) I spent a Saturday with Wayne Krause and Central Coast Community Church. It was an exciting day – observing the continuing journey of this community church that first went public in April 1999. As well as Bible classes, contemporary worship and Kids Church – there were baby dedications, the celebration of baptisms, affirmation and encouragement.
During the day I caught up with Mick again – the first time since his baptism some weeks ago. "My life has changed," Mick told me. "Baptism changed me." This has been a journey of some years for Mick – from no relationship with God to belonging to Him. I could see that Mick is enjoying the 'tranformation' that comes from a growing relationship with Jesus. This is what church planting is about.
At this time of the year media and commercial interests – as well as community carols, charity fund raising events, and 'Road to Bethlehem' dramas in parks or shopping centres – focus attention upon the birth of Jesus. He sacrificed his rights and joys to reconcile us to God. And his life and mission challenges us to bring the justice, peace and harmony of the 'kingdom of God' into our communities. Of course this may involve us denying our rights so that 'spiritual friends' (ie. secular modernists, postmodernists, Muslims, New-agers, Jews, etc) can hear and see the simple story of God's love in us – and also journey with Him. This is also what church planting is about.
This NEWS includes more stories of involvement in communities. There are ministry ideas, resources and equipping opportunities. You will be inspired to be radical and courageous in planting new churches. I wish you every blessing during this season and pray that each will grasp the opportunities of the New Year to multiply churches to reach new people.
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 19 Dec 05
In this NEWS …
- 'THE KINGSWAY AT THE QUEENSWAY'
- MUSLIMS, SIKHS & OTHER BELIEVERS – SHARE SPIRITUAL GROWTH JOURNEY
- LIBEREC MIRACLE
- PERTH YOUTH RALLY FEATURES CHURCH PLANTING
- PRAYER FOSTERS PLANTING MOVEMENT – EVERY TUESDAY
- ADVENTISM – PLANNING FOR A CHURCH PLANTING MOVEMENT IN SERBIA & MONTENEGRO!
- CHURCH PLANTING IN SOUTH ENGLAND …
- MINISTRY IDEA!
- EXPLORING NATURAL CHURCH PLANTING – RESOURCE AVAILABLE
- CHURCH PLANTER FACES TRIALS
- PRAYER REQUEST FROM SYNAGOGUE PLANTER IN FLORIDA!
- MIDDLESBROUGH – INVOLVEMENT & EQUIPPING
- EQUIPPING FOR CHURCH PLANTERS – OPPORTUNITIES NOT TO BE MISSED …
'THE KINGSWAY AT THE QUEENSWAY.' Michael from Cottage Beck Café Church works as a chef at The Queensway pub. His boss has offered him the use of an upstairs room for free on Saturdays – and he will launch with Alpha in January 07. "Michael plans to start by using Alpha in quite an informal way," says Cottage Beck planters Isobel & Bryan Webster. "We are not going to advertise widely. This is intended for people we already know who are asking about what we believe – and they are all people who would never attend anything in a traditional church. After Alpha, the meetings will continue as simply Bible readings together." To interact with friends who may come to the 'Kingsway at the Queensway' Michael started Bible reading times in his home on November 26.
MUSLIMS, SIKHS & OTHER BELIEVERS – SHARE SPIRITUAL GROWTH JOURNEY. Church planter L recently spent days in solitude and prayer. When she turned her mobile phone on again – she had received a text from Muslim sister M with a message from Psalm 77: "I cry out to God without holding back. Oh that God would listen to me. All night long I pray with hands lifted toward heaven pleading. There can be no joy for me until he acts." Planter L was impressed during her time of solitude to begin a house of prayer and impressed to introduce the communion service with footwashing, bread and wine. Another community friend affirmed the idea of communion. 15 followers of Isa (including Muslims and Sikhs) celebrated the Lord's supper (Dec 05). "We had readings from the holy books, a song and prayers in Arabic," says planter L. The readings were from from Isaiah 53 and the Injeel (Gospels) reminding the group that Isa must suffer. Planter L reports, "Everyone took part. I mean everyone. In everything. The footwashing, the singing, the bread and 'juice'. At the end we shared a meal together."
LIBEREC MIRACLE (Czech Republic) One year ago two friends started to meet and pray. Within a few months 7 people were meeting – praying for the city of Liberec. Then dramatically – doors of opportunity opened. A well known building in downtown Liberec was sold by the city leaders and bought by two business partners – one being an active member of the church. He approached for praying 'cell group' and challenged them to develop a community centre with 8-10 rooms. According to Petr Cincala this has become a project of faith and miracles since August (2005) – with the establishment of a NGO charity (The Society of Generations), planning, renovation and the launch of their first community seminars ('Art of Communication') on at 9 am on Sunday 27 November (just hours after the completion of renovations at 3 am). A wonderful environment has been created – where a wide range of activities will take place. "The goal in these activities is to strengthen the moral and ethical consciousness of citizens, to strengthen familial & generational cohesion, to build tolerance among groups, to help people in oppressive living situations, to guide parents & children in a responsible approach to life, & in so doing to prevent negative effects in families & in society," writes Petr.
PERTH YOUTH RALLY FEATURES CHURCH PLANTING. A Primal Church Workshopat the Saturday afternoon youth rally in Fremantle (Western Australia) attracted a lot of attention. Writing to the youth of Western Australia, Glenn Townend, the Adventist church leader in the State encouraged young people to get involved in mission, "I would like to invite you to the 'So You Want to Be a Church Planter' workshop – to develop your skill and sense of calling to God's mission and purpose in your life. Please tell your friends about it."
PRAYER FOSTERS PLANTING MOVEMENT – EVERY TUESDAY. "We can conceivably see that in the next couple of years nine new churches will start in WA. We have an aim for 30 in the next 3 years," says Glenn Townend, the Adventist church leader in Western Australia (WA). "This is an aim that God has given us. You can be a part of that. We are serious about renewing the Adventist church as a church planting movement." A commitment has been made to make God's renewing work and this church planting movement the focus of prayer each Tuesday. Potential planters and teams are being provided with 'assessment' and support by the leaders.
ADVENTISM – PLANNING FOR A CHURCH PLANTING MOVEMENT IN SERBIA & MONTENEGRO!
Church leaders in Serbia and Montenegro are planning to join the commitment of the Trans-European Division of Seventh-day Adventists (covering 39 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Pakistan) to: Adventism in Europe – a Church Planting Movement. Laslo Galus, teacher of practical ministry at the Belgrade Theological Seminary, reports that preparation is underway to launch the Church Planters Matrix in 2006 – a training program pioneered by Church Resource Ministries (CRM) to equip administrative leaders in fostering and supporting a broad based movement of church planting.
CHURCH PLANTING IN SOUTH ENGLAND …
- Robert Vine reports that the Northolt plant led by Leonard Mujaya and Peter Matsa from Zimbabwe – which launched worship services in July – is attracting "between 30 and 50 with lots of children." It is meeting in a school in the middle of a big housing estate.
- A 'house-group' is being planted in Poole (population 150,000) – with Friday evening meetings. The church in Bournemouth is overcrowded (population 144,000 – an interesting prophetic number!). Pastor and planter, Ian Lorek, is planning for the first public worship services.
- As part of the Lights Across London initiative to plant more than 20 new churches in the next 5 years – and also the Lights Across the Provinces – Humphrey Walters (South England Conference President) has developed a proposal for a 'house church movement.' Further details can be obtained by writing to Humphrey Walters [email protected] .
- ONE CHURCH PLANTER SUMS UP 2005! Olga and Michael Murga served for some years in Israel – planting churches. They are now in Ukraine. Olga is a tireless evangelist and writes, “The year will soon finish, God has helped me make (conduct) 10 series of evangelistic meetings, more then 300 people have been baptized – and, four new churches were organized. Praise for Lord!” However, the challenges are great. Olga writes, “Every time I have big problems before or after the evangelistic programs. Please, pray about me! I very much need support in your prayers.”
MINISTRY IDEA! Planters Fredrick & Annette Cornelius (Perazim Outreach Ministries – Nashville, Tennessee) take their mandate from Matthew 22:1-14. Once a month they will go out on the streets and invite anyone they find to a banquet. "First we’re going to meet their physical needs and find out how we can correct their situation," says Fredrick. "Once they see God’s love in action, they’ll be ready to take their next step.” The reaction from the community has been very positive.
EXPLORING NATURAL CHURCH PLANTING – RESOURCE AVAILABLE. "We have been working with planters helping them to apply Natural Church Development to their plants," says Phil Alessi of CRM (Church Resource Ministry). The resource Exploring Natural Church Planting is detailed at www.naturalchurchplanting.com .
CHURCH PLANTER FACES TRIALS. “I've been walking David's valley of shadow of death, the Emmaus road, been by Elijah's dried up brook, went to Mt Pisgah (maybe once), by Peter's fire, been on 'Thomas street', under Nathaniel's fig tree, beside Namaan's Jordan, struggled at Jacob's Jabbok, and have been with the 3 Hebrew boys in the furnace furnace (except I felt more like one of the soldiers than the Hebrew boys)!" shares one planter. She says, "I think I've been everywhere except on Calvary's road.” But remember – if you’ve been to any of those places in your church planting journey (or spiritual journey) recently, God has been with you. He was in every one of those places – and that is Calvary's Road!
PRAYER REQUEST FROM SYNAGOGUE PLANTER IN FLORIDA! Jeff Zeremsky is planting a synagogue to share Y’shua (Jesus) with Jewish people. He writes, “A Jewish lady who attended our services in the spring, including our Passover service, came again for the High Holy days last month. She has now accepted Y'shua as her Messiah. This has caused great persecution in her life from her Orthodox family, including their having a full funeral for her. Please pray for her to have strength through these trials.”
MIDDLESBROUGH – INVOLVEMENT & EQUIPPING. Pastor and planter Peter Jeynes reports that the Middlesbrough church (England) is on the move. They are selling their church property and looking for a new site that will relate to their community. And, they are equipping and involving friends. A new preacher has been trained – Kim Ham-Ying (20) and Peter reports, "He did VERY well – even making a short appeal." The weekly social function has expanded, Kim's little brother Ryun Ham-Ying has asked for baptism, and three ladies who live in the street near the church have asked for Bible studies.
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS