Since our last NEWS I attended the Revolution Conference in Seattle – where Brian McLaren and George Barna were the main speakers. I have posted ideas and some great ministry ideas from the conference on a NEW blog which you can find by using ‘control + click’ on https://www.newchurchlife.com/. (Note this is a new site since the last NEWS Special.) You will be inspired by The BRIDGE – church plant of the poor and get some great ideas such as The Planter’s Starbucks Office.
Go to ‘comments’ and share your ideas and stories. It is a great way to interact with each other – and your ministry ideas will encourage other planters. I have transferred all ‘posts’ and comments from our previous site, added book reviews, stories and news – and you will also be able to read the CHURCH PLANTING NEWS there as well. In the next few weeks we will archive all past editions of the NEWS onto the site. We plan to add resources – like the church planting manual (New Churches for New People) as well.
In this news you will also pick up on some great ministry ideas. Be courageous, creative and innovative for God. You are fostering God’s kingdom. You are doing what God wants!
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 23 Nov 06
Stories, resources, websites & equipping – including:
· FOCUS – in small groups & worship!
· Re:vive is having another growth spurt!
· Bradford TRACK hosts successful GOSPELITIS Concert!
· Bradford TRACK encourages other churches to plant!
· The Watering Hole at Southampton – Plans Developing!
· 120 Attend Church Planting School in Romania.
· Call to Plant in Atlanta (USA)
· Taking Church to the Workplace!
· Meeting Point Ministries Live On!
· Sweden holds annual Planting X-Change.
NEWS STORIES –
FOCUS – in small groups & worship! Almost all members/attendees of the FOCUS church plant (Borås, Sweden) participate in small groups, says Atle Haugen (from Tyrifjord, Norway) who has recently spent a week in Borås. The fortnightly worship services are attended by 40-60 people – and children participate in a “100% Kids” program. On the weekends in between they run “Bible Knowledge” – a believer’s Bible teaching time. On the Friday night that Atle was there Robin Alm (son of some of the Focus leaders) was baptized. “More than 10 classmates and friends of his from school was there – most of them in church for the first time,” says Atle. Focus also runs a sports clubs for boys and girls. Atle was impressed with the support of the parent church – and on the first weekend of February (2007) Focus will reorganise at the Hestra Café Church.
Re:vive is having another growth spurt! “We now have about 18 children from the community coming along to re:vive kids once a fortnight,” reports Fiona Selvage (one of the planters in Grantham, England). “They have this on the top floor of the Scout Hall where we meet at the moment and it sounds like they have a lot of fun up there. Last year we had a stall at the carnival in Grantham and this year we did it again. Offering face painting of jungle animals as this was the theme for the next set of programs. Apart from this carnival, there has been no real advertising – purely by word of mouth… We have more adults helping out with re:vive kids now which lightens the load for Paula. We also need prayers on starting up a group for the next age group up so that the children in re:vive kids don't just disappear, that they have some where else to go in re:vive to continue their relationship with God.
Bradford TRACK hosts successful GOSPELITIS Concert! The TRACK church plant hosted a gospel concert – called GOSPELITIS 2006 – which was attended by 560 people reports planter Chimwemwe Nuka. The hall was packed full with hundreds of friends including the former Bradford City Lord Mayor and other local officials. Gifted guest musicians were supported by a local choir. “It was a blessing!” says Chimwemwe.
Bradford TRACK encourages other churches to plant! Friends from established churches around England were invited to a special morning worship service – before the GOSPELITIS 2006 concert in the evening. Over 200 attended and guests were challenged to plant new churches in their towns and cities. Keynote speaker, Bryan Webster, explained that many churches “are heavily pregnant but don’t want to give birth.” He challenged all to consider the consequences.
The Watering Hole at Southampton – Plans Developing! Rosemary Lethbridge is researching (at the desk, on foot and in prayer) in preparation to plant a new church for the “indigenous majority population” (IMPS) in Greater Southampton. “IMPS are at the far left of the Engel's scale and Southampton is among the most affluent areas of the UK – so God has a real challenge on His hands,” Rosemary says – who sees evidence that God has called her to the area and that the new plant will be called The Watering Hole. The scriptural mandate is based on John 4. “We are looking for a shop on the high street that will be turned into a café,” Rosemary continues. “The café will be THE place to hang out.” It will also be used for seminars, clubs and meetings that will help people get more out of life – and worship opportunities. “People will come to The Watering Hole seeking a snack or lunch but by the Holy Spirit's power will get more than ‘a cup of’ just like the Samaritan woman got more than water from the well.” The plan is that the café will also partner with other agencies that have a similar ethos – groups such as age concern, cancer support groups, etc. Rosemary is excited and encouraged by the support she is receiving from church leaders and the local Southampton Adventist church.
120 Attend Church Planting School in Romania.: “We really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit,” says Laszlo Szabo – commenting on the church planting training school attended by 120 people in Romania. Laszlo reports that the participants were highly motivated – and the denominational leaders made the decision to create a support system for church planters and church planting. Many young people are getting involved. The manual NEW CHURCHES FOR NEW PEOPLE has been translated – and is providing the basis for training. “I enjoyed the training very much, this was I think the most powerful training we have ever had in Europe,” says Laszlo. “The group is very strong. Many young people are committed and about 30-40 people already have experience in working in new fields – some have already planted churches.”
Call to Plant in Atlanta (USA): Chris Donovan, the Assistant Director for Church Planting for the Atlanta Metro area, wants to connect with young adults who are interested in helping plant new and innovative churches (including organic churches) in Atlanta. 900 people a day move into the area – and there is a team of people who want to make an impact for God's Kingdom among these people! If you are interested, contact Chris Donovan – mailto:[email protected] .
Taking Church to the Workplace! “So often we are encouraged to bring people to church. Yet, we see no examples of where Jesus brought people into the synagogue to get them saved or healed. The miracles happened more often in the workplace because that was where Jesus could be found. Jesus had less response and found more resistance in the synagogue than in the workplace. He took the gospel to and modeled the gospel in the workplace. That is where the power of God was manifested. This is not to say we should not bring people to church, only that our priority should be to bring the Church into the workplace, not bring the workplace into the church… When is the last time someone saw something happen through your life that could not be explained other than God working in your life? When you begin to see this happen, you will be modeling ministry as Jesus modeled it. You will be bringing the Church to the people, not the people to the church. Pray that God makes you a vessel of His power, not simply a vessel of words.” – Os Hillman
MEETING POINT Ministries Live On! Although it was painful, Rosemary Lethbridge, knew that it was time to move on from the Meeting Point plant in Wales – to plant new in Southampton. Church planters never want to move on – but Rosemary has seen God’s leading and local people have taken over many of the ministries. Discussions are taking place for Welcome to Your New Home to be taken over by volunteer groups throughout the region. The Gym Club – with up to 40 children now – was given a GB£1000 grant and six local people have been trained to take over. The Senior Citizens Fitness Club is being administered by the group themselves – and two of the first people contacted by Welcome to Your New Home are running the Card-Making Club.
Sweden holds annual Planting X-Change. 25 church planters from Denmark and Sweden met in Borås, Sweden for the annual Swedish Church Planting X-Change (20 – 22 Oct 06). Planters were hosted by the FOCUS plant – and came from FaceOut (Denmark), X-Seed and SALT (planting groups from Stockholm, Sweden). Rudy Dingjan was the main presenter – bringing the experience of the many new church plants in the Netherlands. Swedish church planting coordinator Willy Aronsen said, “Church planting is not something that happens on the sidelines. It is central to the growth and renewal of the church.”
RESOURCES, WEBSITES & EQUIPPING EVENTS –
For Home Church Ideas: Go to the OIKOS web page and ‘official blog’ by going to www.oikos.org.au.
For Coaching Support: Check out the Ministry Advantage website www.ministryadvantage.com.
For the National New Church Conference in Orlando, Florida (2007): Go to www.exponentialconference.com.
What could Church be like? Check out http://www.christianitytoday.com/leaders/newsletter/2006/cln60911.html .