Once again you will find ministry ideas and inspiration in this NEWS. It is encouraging to see how God is working with church planters to reach lost people. I challenge you to keep on the ‘cutting edge.’ Keep encouraging each other. Pray for each other – and, share what God is doing.
## Country leaders – Who do you need to encourage? Who do you need to equip as planters? Where are new groups and plants needed?
## Church planters – Are your ministries proving effective in reaching lost people for God? How are you cultivating an ‘outreach spirit’ in your core team?
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 23 June 03
ETHIOPIAN JEWS FIND THE MESSIAH IN ISRAEL
“This is a historic day,” said Israel Field leader Richard Elofer as he welcomed 120 people to the banks of the Jordan River for the baptism of seven people – including five Ethiopian Jews. Peter Roennfeldt, Trans-European Division church planting director, spoke of the baptism of the Jews in the sea and cloud upon their deliverance from Egyptian slavery
(1 Corin 10) and the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. “We are reminded of the response of the first Ethiopian to the gospel in Acts 8, his baptism by Phillip and his mission to his own people,” commented Roennfeldt as he challenged all present to go to their communities across Israel to share their faith. In the last month another 3 groups have been established in Israel – and, so far, 80 believers have been baptised this year. Plans are in place to establish an Ethiopian Adventist synagogue.
CafeCHURCH – EVENING SCHOOL BY THE LAKES (‘Søernes Aftenskole’)
“Over the last 2-3 years there has been a growing focus in Denmark on alternative spirituality – such as clairvoyancy,” writes Copenhagen CafeChurch pastor and planter, Frank Rechter. “This has resulted in at least four popular Danish TV-shows. There has been a great focus in the media on this kind of spirituality and people seem to open their minds and hearts in a way which we find very concerning.”
“In Danish society we have a tradition of evening schools – or education in the broadest sense of the term for people who seek hobbies or courses of interest,” Frank says. “Evening schools exist in almost every town in Denmark and they are ‘sponsered’ financially in part by local government.”
“We combined the existing tradition of evening schools with our concern about the increased focus upon obscure spirituality and came up with the idea of Søernes Aftenskole – which means the evening school by the lakes, referring to our geographical surroundings,” states the leader of Søernes Aftenskole, Helle Rechter. “In Søernes Aftenskole we wish to provide people with a sound alternative to spiritualities of obscure origin. We want to motivate people to relate to the spiritual dimension of life on a Christian basis and believe that some of these people will ultimately follow Christ.”
“It has been of importance to us to put together a broad programme of activities which can be of interest to the modern metropolitan,” explain Frank and Helle. “We have made a point in stressing that Christian spirituality affects every aspect of being – therefore the payoff of the school is ‘inspiration for body, mind and spirit’. We believe that God can and should be worshipped through every aspect of our being. We have tried to make this visible to non Christians by forming a programme of activities wide enough to apply to as many aspects of being as possible. Thus the programme the fall (autumn) consists of a bible course, a gospel workshop, a workshop with a Christian dancer teacher, two lectures on clairvoyancy and Christan excorcism, and two courses on ‘communication and love’ – finding a life-long spouse and how to develop an excellent relationships with your spouse. All teachers in the evening school are Christians.”
CafeChurch sees Søernes Aftenskole as an initiative to which members can invite non-Christian friends. On Saturday June 14 invitation folders were given to worshippers to take to their friends, relatives and collegues. “Already people have begun signing up for the courses,” report Helle and Frank. Another 1500 brochures will be distributed in the neighbourhood of the CafeChurch and in late June a local newspaper will publish an article about Søernes Aftenskole.
The budget for the first season (6 months) is approximately 10,000 US dollars. About half has been granted as support from the local government, and the other half will be covered by fees. The advertising brochure has been sponsored by Christian business people.
Apen Dor – WELCOMES NEW PEOPLE!
“There has still not been a single Sabbath when we have not had unchurched people attending – and we praise the Lord for that,” says church planter Arne-Kristian Andersen. “This coming Sabbath we welcome a new member into our church. He has already started to serve in our worship team.”
TIPTREE CHURCH PLANT INTENTIONAL OUTREACH – LEADS TO BAPTISMS
“I am pleased to say that Tiptree Church Plant (in Clayhall East
London) continues to buildup aggressively,” writes church planter Mfakazi.
“Five young people in the group are now preparing for baptism.”
“We now have two cell groups in the area – one on the Tiptree Estate itself and the other on Clayhall Avenue. We have also organised a regular Wednesday football team that attracts 25 – 30 young people,”
Mfakazi says. “The leaders – two young men, Adjobia and Darren – have built good rapport with the young people. Later in the year we are planning to run a special event aimed at leading the young people closer to God.”
On the first Wednesday of each month there is a LINKUP meeting in a hall to build contact with those who do not play football, especially the young women. “Our attendance for our worship times now averages 15 – 20,” explains Mfakazi. “Members recently attended small groups training in Newbold. We will be embarking on the ‘Contagious Christianity’ training from next week and the whole of July with witnessing evenings on a regular basis. This will be followed by several of our members attending the Church Planters Exchange in Finland in the first week in August.”
THE NEW VIEW OF GOD
Ron Gladden, Director of Adventist Church Planting Center, draws our attention to a thought provoking article by Dr Wade Bradshaw of L’Abri Fellowship – who explains how non-Christians view the Christian message today, and how our approach must change to accommodate it. He defends the value and necessity of apologetics. You can find this article at – http://www.facingthechallenge.org/bradshaw.htm