One evening this week almost 40 people gathered in a Melbourne suburban home for coffee – and a chat with Sally and Floyd McClung. One participant said, “It was a powerful gathering!” – and I think I understood what was meant! It wasn’t primarily a reference to Sally or Floyd’s teaching – although their story was inspiring and they encouraged and blessed all gathered. But in that room were people who are planting house churches, factory churches, and skate-park churches. Some are planting a church among Afghans in Melbourne, others working in the growth corridors of the city, some working in country towns. There were youth there who are reaching children – and others building faith communities among young adults. Some came from planting churches in Buddhist and Muslim cultures. It was an unbelievable mix of people on fire for God and his kingdom.
After years of ministering in the States, Afghanistan and the Netherlands, Sally and Floyd have moved to South Africa. Floyd told us, “We wanted to be where God is active – among the poor and dispossessed. We are planting churches and planters come in to see what we are doing – to be equipped. We are working with planters in over 20 countries.”
We have a lot to learn from the majority Christian world, where the Christian faith is experiencing explosive growth. In Church Next Eddie Gibbs and Ian Coffey identified lessons from this majority Christian world. These are some they noted – factors that could revolutionize a church in the western world –
(1) Most pastors are first generation Christians
(2) Education and training is through apprenticeships – rather than residential seminaries
(3) Churches are missional (sometimes used as a synonym for the essence of emerging church in a western context!)
(4) Apostolic leaders are emerging from within the harvest or breaking from bureaucratic systems
(5) Leaders mentor new leaders – who go out to plant new churches
(6) New missionary movements are being mobilized, and
(7) Organisational structures are of a networking nature based upon mutual recognition and strong relationships.
How would your church plant be impacted by cultivating these principles? Maybe it would become a movement – not just a local plant!
Check out the following reports and ministry ideas.
Be radical. Be faithful,
PS: For those in Melbourne and able to be there, Floyd will be speaking on skills and resources for church planting at Crossways tomorrow – Saturday, May 31 @ 10.00 am. Also check out http://www.floydandsally.org
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 30 May 08
News stories, resources, websites & equipping – including:
London Live – 2 Years Old: (REPORT from Murray Harvey)
The Watering Hole Church Plant Report (England)
Church Planting Conference – Harvest time in Bosnia i Herzegovina
South-England Church Planters – in the Netherlands
Involvement & Variety @ Revive! (Melbourne, Australia)
London Live – 2 Years Old: (REPORT from Murray Harvey)
Have you started so something knowing you weren’t quite sure what you were getting yourself into? Well this is how it has been with London Live. On Friday, 16th May, London Live celebrated their 2nd birthday in the heart of London’s Oxford Street. It was 2 years ago that a small seed was planted by God in the hearts of 6 individuals, which has now transformed into a dynamic community. As one London Live attendee commented, “London Live is London.” That is, it really reflects the diversity and the vibrancy that is London. Best of all, however, is the fact that people feel they can bring their friends. This confidence means that, even for those with a home church, they still bring their friends to London Live to introduce them to Jesus. As one new attendee, who has no church affiliation expressed, “I started to come just to support my friend from work. But now I come every month and I know more and more people and now I come just because I enjoy it. It just keeps getting better and better.”
Having started as a once a month program designed to reach young adult, postmodern Londoners, it has now expanded and grown to become a community growing closer to Christ through many varied activities. In past few years, there have been numerous social activities including a Thames river cruise, nights to the Theatre, ice skating at the Natural History Museum as well as the King Tutankhamen exhibit at the O2 dome. For those seeking a healthier lifestyle, there is also a London Live Touch Rugby Team that plays in the local league in Regents Park. There have been Introductory Christianity courses – attracting seekers with no Biblical grounding. After attending the Introductory Christianity course, one participant who is not a Christian commented that she would like to start a theology course!
London Live has also begun meeting on Saturdays once or twice each month – worshipping in homes, a café and now (for the past 9 months) in a pub. ‘Pub Church’ is a relaxed setting in a room above a local pub. The challenge of Jesus is thoroughly discussed and applied. It is this application of the gospel that has also seen an increase in the participation in community services. Once a month a London Live group supports the Stanborough Park Soup Run in Central London; another member took part in making hampers for the charity Food Chain who support those suffering with HIV/ Aids by supplying them with healthy meals. We are also now in the process of supporting the Salvation Army with their drop in centre in central London. It is this spirit of giving, of understanding our place in the world, which has lead London Live to give its offering every month to a different charity. From Project Mukuyu in Zambia, to an orphanage in Nepal and most recently to ADRA in supporting people devastated by the tragedy in Burma, we are hoping to make a practical difference to those in need, as well as a spiritual difference.
Contact London Live: If you would like to know more about London Live, or get in contact for any reason, visit www.mylondonlive.com or email [email protected] The next London Live event in Oxford Street is on the June 6.
The Watering Hole Church Plant (Totton, England): The planting team request your prayer support for their –
Funkydz club – 11-13 children are now attending. One child from the community is now inviting friends.
Community partnerships – invitations to mentor students & young adults; provide “money management” and “cooking on a budget” courses for families.
Family Fun Days – when friends and contacts in the community share times of fun and socializing, as in a recent “car treasure hunt”!
Debt advice ministry – beginning in June.
Church Shopping!? Check out https://www.newchurchlife.com/index.php/church-shopping/ for an article and discussion page hosted by Mark Baines.
Church Planting Conference – Harvest time in Bosnia i Herzegovina: The Harvest Church Planting Conference held 18-19 May 2008 was a beginning of a series of conferences that will be held in Bosnia i Herzegovina this year – led by church planter, Bozidar Mihajlovic. Participants were encouraged, provided with new resources, inspired by the stories of new church plants and released. Janos Kovacs-Biro was present for the first conference.
South-England Church Planters – in the Netherlands: 27 church planters from the south of England traveled to the Netherlands to visit and learn from seven church plants. It is reported that, “A few were overwhelmed with it all – it was all new and beneficially shocking!” NOTE: For those fostering church planting movements – this is a great idea. Take planters and potential planters to see and speak with those who are involved in cutting edge ministries, missional groups and church plants.
Involvement & Variety @ Revive! (Melbourne, Australia) As well as small groups, Bible discussion and a regular weekly worship time, those at Revive (Melbourne) are involved in cooking and feeding homeless people at a community kitchen, connecting with kids at the railways stations, operating community houses for at-risk people, providing a mothers-and-babies club, hosting regular café evenings, organizing 48-prayer vigils, sponsoring CD-music launches – and they have three mission trips planned for the near future. Check out www.myspace.com/revivechurch
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS