NEWS 21 Dec 07

Hello Planters, 
It is many weeks since the last Church Planting News. These have been busy months. In October/November, Judy and I visited church planters and planting projects in Belgium, France and Switzerland – and also spent a few days with friends in the UK. This NEWS is a series of very short stories. You will pick up new ideas – be encouraged and inspired! Check them out – and be courageous for God. 
I wish you every blessing.
Peter Roennfeldt     
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 21 Dec 07
News stories, resources, websites & equipping – including:
·         Maranatha Club for Kids on the Street!
·         Sharing with Mothers – leads to Small Groups for Children!
·         Melton Church Plant – Christmas NEWS!
·         LINc with Parents!
·         LOVE LINKS – an Outdoor Church Plant
·         l’essen’Ciel – planting in Nîmes!
·         Small Groups in Bordeaux
·         Norseman Kids’ Program – Growing!
·         All Nations Community Fellowship – to Plant a New Church
·         Watering Hole Prayer Request
·         Christmas at the Watering Hole
·         Mornington New Life House Church – Celebrates Christmas!
·         Weekend Generates Planting Possibilities!
·         Healthy Churches Plant Churches
·         Sharing Faith in the Local Bar!
·         Lyon St Clair Church Plant
·         FIRST EVER Forge Grass Roots Mission Festival – 11-13 April 2008
·         Church Planting Summit in Western Australia – April 25-27 2008
·         Go and Plant Churches of All Peoples!  
Maranatha Club for Kids on the Street: Seven years ago Helena & Charles started a Saturday Maranatha Club for kids on the streets of Antwerp, Belgium. The club meets in the basement of the Catholic Church – given free for their use. Young adults from five different church denominations assist with a program of music, games, Bible stories, crafts, prayer – drinks and biscuits. 60 children come each time. They visit the community and the parents of the children every second Wednesday. Helena (known as Aunte Leentje to the kids) says, “I love the children – and I see them change.” This team is taking church to the community! 
Sharing with Mothers – leads to Small Groups for Children! When taking her children to their school in Bordeaux (France), Anna met other mothers and sometimes they talked for hours. Because she had other things to do Anna made excuses to avoid spending so much time with them, until but one day when one of the ladies told her she was missed and that it was important to them that she had spent time with them. So, Anna again spent time with these mothers. One day one of the mothers said that her children were asking about life and death and that she (as an atheist) did not know what to answer. She asked Anna to answer these questions for her children – and other mothers joined in the request. Anna realized that the answers she gave to children at church would not work. She had to think differently – and also respect the trust her atheist friends were putting in her not to brain wash their children. She explained that she could not speak dispassionately about the Bible – and invited one or two mothers to be present when she answered questions. This has grown into 2 weekly groups of children with whom she shares. 
Melton Church Plant – Christmas NEWS! (Victoria, Australia) When they contacted their local area newspaper to place an advertisement for a Christmas Day lunch for community members without family, a reporter came out and published a report on their plans – complete with a large picture of core team members. A number of people have called the phone numbers listed in the news report – booking to come and also offering assistance.  
LINc with Parents! The LINc church plant (Lansdale, Western Australia) is conducting a monthly kids’ program led by Leticia and Peter Dose – with more than 30 children now attending, with only 2 or 3 church kids. The parents are staying and getting involved as helpers in the program. The LINc group meets twice a month for worship and on Wednesday nights for prayer and discipleship training. During 2007 they have conducted an Alpha course, the kids program and also social events at the local school.  
LOVE LINKS – an Outdoor Church Plant:  Pastor John Beck and a team have been working on building indigenous groups in the Perth, Western Australia. At a recent Sabbath meeting at Bells Rapids they had 35 people attend, some of whom are new and keen. They like to meet out doors when the weather is good – which appeals to indigenous Aboriginal people – and have purchased sound equipment for outdoor concerts. A Bread delivery ministry and home groups have helped establish contact with many people 
l’essen’Ciel – planting in Nîmes! The l’essen’Ciel (the essential place, heaven!) church planting project started in 2003. They have rented a multipurpose store-front, office building in a residential part of Nîmes, France. Their involvement in the community includes –1.      Cultural Parties – including Arabic, Slavic, Brazilian, American (Thanks-giving), Christmas, New Years, Mothers Day, ice-cream parties, etc. They have another six community parties planned between Oct 2007 and June 2008.2.      Social Community Involvement – for the increasing numbers of unemployed people attending worship, also involving their own unchurched friends to meet the needs of these people. 
Small Groups in Bordeaux: Because of over-crowding and parking problems in their central city building, the established Bordeaux (France) church sold their building 5 years ago. It has been a long process getting land and approval for a new building – which will be in the suburbs. Because they have not had a building of their own, they were “forced” into small groups for prayer and fellowship. This has proved to be a positive experience and there are now 15 small groups in Bordeaux – with 6 for un-churched people. They can now see that even with their new building (possibly ready for use in 2-3 years) that they will need at least two new church plants in the city. 
Norseman Kids’ Program – Growing! Church plants take a different form in very isolated rural communities. Nancy and Angela have 14-17 kids aged 2 to 12 coming to their program each week. They will sing at the local community carols by candlelight and this Saturday will do a nativity play at the Scout Hall, followed by supper for those who attend. They expect about 20 adults. Next year they plan to run a woman’s day and to advertise their programs.  
All Nations Community Fellowship – to Plant a New Church: All Nations Community Fellowship – also known as the Koondoola Church Plant (in Perth, Western Australia) – is planning to start a new church in the Maddington area of the city in 2008. John Horvath and the team have worked hard with many outreach programs, visits, bible studies and practical ministry throughout the year. Currently they have approximately 100 attending worship each week in the Koondoola community center – with Burmese, Aboriginal, Asian and Anglo Australians present.  
Watering Hole Prayer Request: “Every 10:02 am we are praying the Luke 10.2 challenge – for more workers for the harvest,” says Rebecca Torsten – prayer coordinator for the Watering Hole planting project in Southampton, England. “We would greatly appreciate your support in this prayer request for more workers.  If you have the possibility to join us at 10:02am every day, you would be very welcome!” 
Christmas at the Watering Hole: After a year of planning, training and involvement in their community, the Watering Hole team shared their first community worship service on December 15 – giving their un-churched friends and local community a chance to celebrate Christmas with them through a community carol service. 
Mornington New Life House Church – Celebrates Christmas! Ken and Heather Raymond moved to the Mornington Peninsula (south east from Melbourne, Australia) to plant a new house church. They look for opportunities to involve their small (but growing group) in bigger events. A week ago they invited their friends to attend with them the Road to Bethlehem – an annual dramatized outdoor event conducted by the Nunawading Adventist Church and attended by thousands. “Four of our group plus two of their parents, two friends, two of our kids and four of their friends (the AOG pastor, his wife and kids) attended the Thursday session with us,” Ken and Heather write. “They loved it and it made a big impression on them.” 
Weekend Generates Planting Possibilities! Lex Akers, District Superintendent of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Queensland, Australia invited interested people to spend a weekend exploring the possibilities of planting new churches. Lex reports that 14 people representing 5 churches participated – and he sees the potential of 5 new churches coming from this over the next couple of years. At the end of the session Lex asked them, "If you were planting a church, what would it look like?" Fourteen “fantastic ideas” were shared, including –1.      Get together with a group to care for those who have left the drug scene (this person has had this experience)2.      Meet with a group of business leaders at work (this person is a prominent business person in the city)3.      Have a monthly get together of single mums in the area with tips on how to cope, peer support and a discussion of how God can help (this person has been on her own for 20 years, because her husband has been in a high care nursing home)4.      Start a war games room with a chance to talk about God each meeting (this person is in a club that plays war games with toy soldiers, etc)5.      Plant a new church in a growing suburb near their church6.      Meet regularly with a group of widows in the church and in the community to share faith and love 
Healthy Churches Plant Churches: In Pastors Pointers (VIC, 14 Nov 07) John Denne reported on a recent Natural Church Development Conference in Sydney, Australia. Research assessments on 11% of Australian churches reveal that:·  Churches that plant churches are the healthiest churches.·  The healthiest churches (those with the highest average scores) plant the most churches.·  Churches that plant after doing their first NCD profile, register as being healthier when they do their second profile. For these churches that have planted another church the key characteristics that have grown the most are “Gift based ministry,” “Empowering Leadership,” & “Inspiring Worship” – and it was observed that “Effective Structures” is never a minimum factor for them. Further, the Minimum – Maximum spread decreased after planting. ·  The biggest positive change in these church-planting churches was in the response to: “I know my spiritual gifts.” This was followed by “The leaders in our church concentrate on the tasks for which they are gifted,” and then: “I know which goals our church will pursue in the coming years.” The highest rating average for all churches is “Loving Relationships.”  
Sharing Faith in the Local Bar! Genevieve was a politician in Marseille, France – and her husband is also well known from his political and business career. Genevieve invites influential friends to meals in her home and the local bar – and their “spiritual interest” is awakened simply by the fact that she, an intelligent community leader has chosen to be a Christian and leader in a small church. Genevieve and her friend Yvette (her pastor’s wife) visit friends in the local bar – where they have also arranged discussions and topical debates on The Passion of the Christ and The Da Vinci Code, etc. Advertising is put around the bar and community. Opportunities have opened for them to also minister to the prostitutes in the area. Genevieve and Yvette know that their friends will not necessarily come to the church building – and so they are taking church into Geneveive’s community.  
Lyon St Clair Church Plant: For some years a group (about 50 attend) has been renting a building in the St Clair area of Lyon, France. However, they are building a new church building and will move out of the area. A core team has decided to stay to plant another new church. They are already conducting –1.  Holiday clubs for children in the local community.2.  Art Expos – with good attendance!3.  A ‘welcome snack’ – for new people in the community. 
RESOURCES, WEBSITES & EQUIPPING EVENTS – 
FIRST EVER Forge Grass Roots Mission Festival – 11-13 April 2008: The Forge Grass Roots Mission Festival 2008 will depart from the normal conference format – spilling out onto the streets of Melbourne (Australia), with artists, musicians, practitioners from all over the country and the world. You will get a chance not only to listen to missionaries but actually work with, observe and interact with artists, activists, church planters, and some of the most amazing mission workers in Oz and in Melbourne City – from Order 614, Urban Seed, Steps, St Martians, God Squad, Community of Hope (New Age), etc. To find out what mission workshops you can go do and register go to www.festival08.forge.org.au 
Church Planting Summit in Western Australia – April 25-27 2008: Contact Phil Brown for more details – [email protected] 
Go and Plant Churches of All Peoples! Tim Stafford says that “crusades and personal witnessing are no longer the cutting edge of evangelism. See http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/september/36.68.html
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS
Peter Roennfeldt
m +61 0423 333 614
h  +61 (0)3 8361 8641

 

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