A couple of weeks ago I was in Brisbane for a Central City apologetics conference. On the Sunday I caught up with some planning to team up with a commercial café – as a place for getting together with unchurched friends to share life, support charities and share faith. I was really encouraged with the creativity – and recognition of mission as the activity of God’s heart (missio Dei). Encouraging the others involved, one of the team, Naomi Jaques, wrote: ‘Prayer is the breath of our spiritual life and so often I seem to struggle through hyperventilating when I could be energized and filled with His power and energy with my approach to life.’
Why hyperventilate when you could be energized? And –
Be creative for God,
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 22 Mar10 (check out www.newchurchlife.com)
Stories & news
JCC connects to community & worships! The Joondalup Community Church (JCC) launched with their first gathering in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, on March 6 with 36 people present. Dave Butler-White reports that a number of them also went along to the community run ‘blue light’ (police) disco that evening to assist as chaperones for the 165 young people (8 to 14 year olds) who attended. Dave says, “It is not recommended for the ears – but 3+ hours a month is not too difficult an effort to reach our ‘4-14 Window’!” we heard about.
Samoan Church Plant: On March 13 a new groups of Samoans met at the Thornlie Community Centre (in Perth, Western Australia) – the first gathering of another church plant in the city. There were Bible classes for kids and adults – with 27 present! That is about the size of a New Testament church – and what the apostle Paul would have called a ‘church’! In New Testament times all churches met in homes, were extended families (oikos) and multiplied from there! Some of the core team attended the Western Australia Church Planting Summit just a few weeks ago. Church planting leader Uili Mauga says, ‘The entire group that came (to the summit) thoroughly enjoyed it and have learnt a lot from it. The Holy Spirit is just moving in their lives.’ Now they are putting what they learnt and experienced into practice!
7-9 @ Carmel: This is a fresh opportunity for secondary students at Carmel College to ‘experience God’ and also ‘participate in community service programs.’ At the Western Australia Church Planting Summit the ‘4-14 Window’ was discussed, the research that indicates most who accept Jesus do so between 4 and 14 years of age. Most churches do well at this – but many young people disconnect from churches in the 16-20 age group for they are not released to create the next generation of churches. 7-9 @ Carmel may facilitate this.
Principles from the Welsh Revival: Glenn Townend, leader of the Adventists in Western Australia, has sent on these principles from the Welsh Revival a little over 100 years ago –
1. Confess all known sin
2. Get rid of anything questionable in your life
3. Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit immediately
4. Confess Christ publicly whenever you have an opportunity
Ongoing Impact of Church Planting Summit: ‘That summit was another milestone in my ministry,’ says pastor and church planter Abby Aviles from Western Australia. ‘Our people, young and old, caught the vision. After we went home that Monday our core team met in the evening to put onto paper our plans for the next twelve months. The discipline of prayer became evident. I have never prayed so much in my life. But I can see the Spirit working in ways beyond me. In short, right now we have 4 core teams working on the ground preparation for three church plants in the next twelve months. I can’t believe this. BUT IT IS HAPPENING. Sometimes I thought we prayed too much!’ Leaders of denominations and those committed to cultivating church planting movements in regional or State areas find that it is import to have (1) an annual church planting summit or equipping/inspirational event, (2) a morning or afternoon training/sharing opportunity every two to three months, and (3) support systems to mentor.
Core teams working! Abby Aviles reports on core teams working around Perth in Western Australia –
In Ellenbrook we have 2 core teams from Morley and Koondola, working on alternate weeks doing ground work. ‘We letterbox and door-knock – distributing literature and meeting people,’ says Abby. After just two days working for about one hour each days they have 4 requests for Bible study – and one gentleman indicated he wants to join a small group. Some from Morley have family members in Ellenbrook – and they are highly motivated to be involved to witness to their family.
In Lockridge/Kiara, Abby says, ‘I tried to test the water and worked for two hours, letterboxing and door-knocking. I found a family of 4 who wanted to come to church …’ The mother wants to start a children’s Bible group in her front-yard!
In Kenwick – ‘A week after the Western Australia Church Planting Summit we formed another group in the Kenwick area – with 15 people present,’ says Abby. ‘Our aim is to have another group before April ends. We will have three core groups spearheading the ground work for this area.’ This group will have a baptism this coming Saturday, March 27.
God’s Kingdom Growth – ideas conference @ Dandenong Polish Church: The Dandenong Polish Adventist Church has focused on their communities – with a Children Fun-Day attracting over 600 people and a ‘Songs of Advent’ Concert in their parking lot, with around 200 participating. There are now plans for an International Food Festival – and a commitment to relating to the multiple nationalities in the community. On Friday and Saturday (March 19 & 20) a conference event was held with Peter Roennfeldt, exploring biblical stories and principles relating to God’s Kingdom Growth – with enthusiastic conversations about The Kingdom & the Church (Mark 4); Evangelism made less difficult (Luke 10); The six-steps in ‘church formation’; a Case-study in Church Planting (Acts 11); and How to be a Church Planting Hub – like Ephesus (Acts 19).
Cottage Beck Café Church – centre of community & activity! Cottage Beck Café Church in Scunthorpe, north England, acts as a hub for authorities in the town (police, council, media, etc) working together for the good of the community. It also connects denominations and faith groups in the town – and links people to Church in the Pub. Recently the entire wooden front of the Café (which was seriously rotting) was replaced – as well as custom made cupboards built in the lounge area, the main working part of the café, by a very skilled worker doing community service. Each person who comes into contact with Cottage Beck Café Church is highly valued. Pray for planters and team leaders – Isobel & Bryan and Eija & Andrew.
Equipping Church Planters in Sudan: An email from Maywald Jesudass (who cultivates church planters in the Middle East and northern Africa) tells of the Middle East University Off-Campus graduation at Arua in northern Uganda of 44 Sudanese for ministry in Sudan as pastors and church planters. The inspiration to provide this educational program – equipping pastors while they are fully engaged in evangelism and church planting – came when 97 pastors joined Rein Muhlberg and Peter Roennfeldt in Yei (south Sudan) for a field school during which three new churches were planted. These church planters establish a base church and then fan out from there planting a network of satellite groups and church – and in turn some of these become hubs around which other clusters of groups, house churches and plants form!
Church Planter / Bible Worker needed for Kosovo: Adventists would like to identify a person (maybe a student or young adult) who would respond to a call as a volunteer to do Bible work in Kosovo – and help in planting new churches! If you are interested – please contact me [email protected].
Resources, websites & equipping
Planting Churches that Multiply Dialogue (15-17 April): A few church planting teams from a couple of church backgrounds will get together to experience some of the ministries of Revive plant (Vive Café, Vive School, small groups, Revive worship, etc) – and to dialogue with Peter Roennfeldt on Planting Churches that Multiply. It will start with Vive Café on Thursday evening April 15 (at 5 pm) and end after Revive worship on Saturday April 17 (by 6 pm). If you think you may like to be involved contact [email protected].
2010 Exponential Conference (19-22 April): The 2010 Exponential Conference is quickly approaching – April 19-22, 2010. ‘We are expecting over 3,000 church planting leaders to converge on Orlando. Our theme is Transformation,’ says Todd Wilson, Director Exponential Network. For more details or registration, go to www.exponentialnetwork.com
Adventist Fresh Expressions Dialogue (2-8 May) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) with Monte Sahlin and Peter Roennfeldt: Andrew and Mayda Clark will host the event at their church plant and community service project in Pittsburgh. You will be able to worship with their PULSE congregation on Saturday and tour the many projects they have completed in the Carnegie neighborhood—housing rehabilitation, a community park, small-business development, eradicating hunger in the community, help for teens and young adults, community organizing, etc. This is one of the most innovative outreaches in America today—the Pittsburgh Metro Initiative. For details on registration, fees, accommodation etc write to –
Monte Sahlin: [email protected]
William Peterson: [email protected] . This event is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Interesting – Update! Peter Brook from Campus Crusade Student Life (www.studentlife.org.au) checked out the link re earthquakes in the last CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – and thinks the data used by the Horizon Project (http://www.thehorizonproject.com/earthquakes.cfm) ‘might be a little bit skewed.’ He did a very quick chart of all Mag 8+ earthquakes since 1900 – and shares this with us. Thanks Peter.
What do we see? Each Tuesday morning at 7am a teacher, businessman and I meet at a café for coffee and toast – and to talk life, read the Bible and pray. It’s a great idea. A week or so ago one of the others sent this story (maybe parable) –
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip, set up their tent, and fell asleep. Some hours later, Holmes wakes his faithful friend to ask: ‘Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.’
Watson replies, ‘I see millions of stars.’
‘What does that tell you?’ asks Sherlock Holmes.
Watson ponders for a minute. ‘Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Chronologically, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, it’s evident that the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you Holmes?’
Holmes is silent for a moment and then speaks. ‘Watson, the answer is elementary: someone has stolen our tent!’
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS