NEWS 19 May 06

Hello Friends,      
Look at these stark facts presented at a conference in Sydney two weeks ago – a picture of reality! Wayne Krause (church planting coordinator for Adventists in Australia) revealed that in the 21 years (1984-2004) the Adventist membership in Australia grew by only 4,540 – while the population grew by 5 million. That is less than 220 per year – with less than 1,000 new members for each one million population increase. And the reality is much worse. Many others who have left or ‘grown weary’ are not recorded in official figures. Glenn Townend (leader of the Adventists in Western Australia) explained that with 5,435 Adventists in Western Australia they had a net gain of only 33 in 2005. “Is that good enough?” Glenn asked rhetorically.      
     Think of the multi-millions of dollars spent on maintaining churches and schools, conducting evangelistic seminars and meetings, printing and distributing literature, developing DVD’s and media outreach materials in Australia each year over the last 21 years. Some suggest we should do more of the same. But, while affirming the importance of their diverse initiatives in Western Australia – age care, health initiatives, children’s programs, care for established churches, Christian school systems, etc – Glenn Townend said, “We have to do things differently. We have to try new things. We must remind people that our heritage is that of a church planting movement.”      
     What does reality look like where you are? What will you do about it? You will be inspired by this NEWS – and the story of planters and developing planting movements. 
Be courageous,
Peter Roennfeldt  

In this NEWS …  
·        CRM LaunchPad FOR SEVEN TEAMS
·        ‘UNLEASHING THE MISSION-SHAPED CHURCH’: 6 day conferences:
·        TED CHURCH PLANTING InFOCUS’ – Just Out!  
NEW CHURCH PLANT IN MELBOURNE – IS PLANTING ANOTHER CHURCH! The Gateway Adventist Centre – a relatively new church plant in the Melbourne CBD (central business district) – is planting at Swinburne University called Swinburne Gateway. Gateway (which celebrated their 33rd and 34th baptisms at Easter time) is supporting this new plant with leadership, mentoring and volunteers. Chai Tian is the leader. Two CARE groups have been established – and more than 10 people are studying the Bible. CARE stands for Christ Attitude Reflected in Everyone. Gateway Planter, Johnny Wong, says that after establishing a number of CARE groups the plan is for Swinburne Gateway to start monthly worship services. 
CHURCH PLANTING – BASIC PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY! In northern Mexico (including Mexico City and other huge cities) all future Adventist pastors must plant a church before entering ministry. Before being accepted into ministry – all seminary graduates spend one year planting a new church “before they have a chance to settle into the rut of maintaining existing churches.” In preparation for this year long assignment – 100 young people go into the region for one week to pass out literature, do community service projects, pray with people in their homes, etc. Then a Christian bookseller works in the area for a year. It is after this groundwork that “two young pastoral graduates are assigned to each area for at least a year,” reports Homer Trecartin – who also reflects upon the impact it would make if all existing church “pastors, professors and administrators” were rotated through a plan of spending a year planting a new church in an un-entered area! (Homer Trecartin , Musings, May 14, 2006) 
SALT Café REACHING UNCHURCHED FRIENDS: SALT Café attracts 50-70 people at it monthly Saturday afternoon opening in Galston (Sydney, Australia). Good food, music, humor and drama provide a relaxed environment for believers to mix with their unchurched friends. A 20 minute presentation – relevant to the needs of community friends – is also a feature. SALT stands for their values of Sharing-Affirming-Learning-Together. Cheonneth Strickland and some of the core team are now reviewing their discipleship path.  
EVANGELISTIC DINNERS ATTRACT UNCHURCHED! Over a 4 week period five 'Dinners with Geoff' ­will be conducted in the western suburbs of Melbourne. The idea is simple – and works. Unchurched friends are invited by the members of new church plants to enjoy a FREE restaurant meal and listen to a presentation by the presenter of ‘The Search’ video/DVD series – Geoff Youlden. The first dinner (sponsored by the Northpoint plant) attracted 92 people – with 68 non-member guests. The second (with the Werribee church) saw 63 people attending and 21 guests – who greatly enjoyed Geoff’s presentation. “I was in Melton last evening for another ‘dinner’ – with about 70 community folk,” says Peter Roennfeldt. “Geoff’s presentation was well received and many enrolled for a follow-on series of Bible seminars.”  
GOD’S ACTIVITY IN TEXAS: Tom Evans writes of church planting in Texas –
·        The Frisco Plant: Boyan Levterov “is having information meetings for those most interested.” His first meeting attracted 23 people. The area is projected to have a 40% population growth in the next 5 years. 
·        Victor Jaeger continues to be on the cutting edge of Spanish church planting. His goal this year is to develop 3 groups as church plants – with their own facility. One has already grown into being a church plant and purchased a facility. This new church scored an average of 71 on Natural Church Development – with every area above 65.  Another group has 75+ attending and a contract on a church property.  Both of these churches are lay-led. The church plant personally led by Victor has about 75 in attendance.
·        Jose Marin envisions planting up two new churches each year – reaching second and third generation Spanish. 
PLANTING IN SOUTH ENGLAND! You will be inspired and may get ministry ideas from this –
·        LONDON LIVE – a church plant for young professionals in central London – starts tonight (Fri 19 May at 19.30) at the Regent’s Hall (Salvation Army Building) 275 Oxford St, London W1C 2DJ. “The idea is to create an environment that builds life changing passion for God, challenges them in their faith and provides an easy platform for connecting with other young people,” reports Aris Vontzalidis. “This will be achieved by a high quality contemporary monthly Friday night service (including music, drama and speaker), weekly small groups and periodical workshops.”
·        CAYA (come as you are) is a new teen church plant in the Stanborough Park community. “CAYA attempts to break down some of the separating walls between the teens and the church,” reports Aris. CAYA begins with food – and then provides a variety of presentations, dramatic monologues, interactive games, etc to share a relationship with Jesus.
·        TWO CHURCH PLANTS IN YEOVIL: Church planters across Europe have been inspired by the tireless efforts and creativity of Dana and Leslie King – planters in Yeovil. On March 12 the group of 30 multiplied to form two new church plants – the Yeovil Adventist Church (led by Shekar Thananki who has been equipped by Leslie and Dana) and Inside Out… People.
·        SureWay Community Church (in East London) is led by lay church planter Mfakazi Ndebele. Mfakazi migrated from Zimbabwe a few years. His Zulu name means witness – and although he works as an IT Consulting Architect to pay the bills – he has led this church plant since 2002. Starting with a core group of 12 people – there are now 40 worshipping each week. The mid-week youth outreach attracts 20-30 community youth. Mfakazi is married to Sharon and they have a 16 year old daughter Thabiso. 
MAKE YOUR BUSINESS CARD COMMUNICATE! While in Sydney a couple of weeks ago I met Craig Vanas – Mile End Community Church planter. Craig gave me his business card – and on the back is their Mission, Vision and Values –
·        What we’re doing: Sharing Jesus Christ with everyone in ways that make sense, give meaning, offer hope.
·        What we’re becoming: A Spirit-filled Christian community, that supports people, builds relationships, grows communities.
·        What we value: people, relevance, attitude, community, teamwork, integrity, cell groups, excellence, spirituality. 
CHURCH PLANTING MOVEMENTS BRING IN THE HARVEST: "These are days of great harvest, and nowhere on earth is the harvest greater than in the growing number of church planting movements God is stirring around the world," says David Garrison, global strategist with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB). Garrison studied church planting movements extensively in many nations, and sees several universal elements, of which the main three are: extraordinary prayer, abundant evangelism and intentional planting of reproducing (house) churches. The IMB released an encouraging video on church planting movements around the globe that can be viewed online:  (From JOEL-NEWS-INTERNATIONAL-549 * 9 MAY 2006) 
CRM LaunchPad FOR SEVEN TEAMS: Ian Hamilton of Church Resource Ministries (UK) spent 3 days in Sweden with seven Norwegian and Swedish Adventist church planting teams. This is the final phase of the MATRIX process of equipping national leaders to foster church planting movements. (I remember well the day Ian and I spent a coupler of hours at a St Kilda café in Melbourne, Australia – planning the MATRIX concept for teams across Europe!)  
RELIGIOUS REVIVAL AMONG SYDNEY YOUTH! "Forget sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll – there are signs of a religious revival among the young in Sydney, Australia," writes Sophie Gyles for pop magazine Radar. In Sydney more people go to church each week than attend any other event, including football grand finals. The church is booming, but observers point out that this increase in spirituality doesn't mean people are also committed followers of Christ. There's also an element of hype, because it's 'the next cool thing to do'. Nevertheless for many young people the change is real. Full report: (From JOEL-NEWS-INTERNATIONAL-550 * 16 MAY 2006) 
FORGE INTENSIVE: 24-27 JUNE 06 – CREATING RADICAL DISCIPLES FOR MISSION: FORGE is offering an intense and interactive three days at the University of Technology (Sydney, Australia) – exploring what it means to make disciples in the 21st Century. Peter Horsley writes, “This intensive is about creating radical disciples for mission.” The speakers are some of Australia’s leaders in the field of discipleship – Mike Frost, Mark Sayers, Tim Hein and Kevin Crouse. Go to or write to [email protected] for more details or to register. FORGE intensives have become well known to cutting edge planters in Australia. 
·        ‘MARKET EVANGELISM’: for a FREE Market Manual & newsletters contact Roger Goodwright [email protected] .
·        ‘In 2 Action’ Christian Coach Network – Newsletter Available: for more details write to Rob Steed [email protected] .
·        Coach Training Date Announced: The first Coach Accreditation Training residential will occur at Philip Island 21-23 July 06. For more details write to Rob Steed [email protected] .
·        SaltyFish: cat/a/lyst: The May 06 issue of SaltyFish: cat/a/lyst – a young adult network – is the 100th! It’s informative and challenging. Write to A Allan Martin [email protected] .·        Texas Church Planting News: to subscribe write to Tom Evans [email protected] .
·        SEEDS 2006 at Andrews University, Michigan (7-10 June 06): For more information and to register, you can go to and click on <SEEDS> or write to Marti Schneider [email protected] 
‘UNLEASHING THE MISSION-SHAPED CHURCH’: 6 day conferences: Between 7 and 16 June 06 there will be six day conferences – sponsored by Church Army Australia, Gospel Outreach Ministries and Task Force on Mission – in Australia. These will be conducted in Sydney (7 June), Melbourne (8), Launceston (9), Orange (13), Brisbane (15) and Canberra (16). For details on workshops, costs and registration details contact Tim Scheuer [email protected] . 
TED CHURCH PLANTING InFOCUS’ – Just Out! The first of the new TED CHURCH PLANTING InFOCUS has arrived (19 May 06) – just as we are completing this edition of CHURCH PLANTING NEWS. To receive this new church planting newsletter for Europe – contact Janos Kovacs-Biro [email protected] or Roma Paley [email protected] .

Peter Roennfeldt


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