Hello Church Planters,
You will be really encouraged by the stories and ideas in this NEWS. A few weeks ago re:vive (Grantham church plant) conducted re:charge meetings. In this NEWS you will read of one their friends (who has recently come to know Jesus) – sharing her journey. "It was an amazing afternoon and just so thrilling to hear how God has touched someone’s life and made such a big difference," writes Fiona Selvage. "This is what church planting is all about! We should never fail to pray for our friends and family. The power of the Holy Spirit is so very real and it was great to witness it."
Judy and I will be settling into western Melbourne – where I will be involved with the Living Waters church plant. Living Waters is associated with an Adventist school (Gilson College) that has over 600 students but only about 60 Adventists. I am looking forward to leading a very committed and creative team. I will also serve the church in Victoria – fostering church planting and public evangelism.
Some smile when they learn I am going to a plant called Living Waters – for I have spent so much time cultivating the theme of 'Streams of Living Water' in church planting circles. Jesus said that believers will be the source of this refreshing stream for thirsty communities (John 7:37-39). I know his activity is challenging for we cannot control Him – which is what we so naturally wish to do. But, if God's kingdom is going to spread to all people – it will need to be out of our control.
I have received a deluge of stories and ministry ideas. I will catch up with more in the next NEWS. But, keep them coming. They inspire and encourage.
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 31 Oct 05
In this NEWS …
- EXCITING NEWS! SEEKER LEADS WORSHIP SERVICE FOR RE:VIVE!
- WESTERN AUSTRALIA HOLDS FIRST CHURCH PLANTING WORKSHOP!
- MIDDLESBROUGH BIBLE CLASS IDEA!
- 'BUG DAY' BUILDS RELATIONSHIPS!
- COPENHAGEN CaféChurch DOES IT AGAIN!
- VUKOVAR 'VOICE OF HOPE' CELEBRATES BIRTH
- ANOTHER MISSION CAMP PLANNED FOR FRANCE!
- FIND A REASON TO CELEBRATE SOMETHING – AND INVITE YOUR FRIENDS!
- MILTON KEYNES CHURCH PLANTS SECOND NEW CHURCH!
- PLANNING AHEAD … CHURCH PLANTING TRAINING, SCHOOLS, X-CHANGES, ETC
- LEADERS TRAINED IN CHURCH PLANTING MOVEMENTS
- SUMMER CAMP – LEADS KIDS TO JESUS
EXCITING NEWS! SEEKER LEADS WORSHIP SERVICE FOR RE:VIVE! "Last Sabbath one of our seekers led in the worship 'service,'" writes Fiona Selvage from re:vive (Grantham, England). This person started coming to re:vive back in May this year. Then about six weeks ago she asked if it would be alright if she could do a ‘presentation’ (as she called it) about her new found friendship with God. Her theme was ‘Purpose of Life’. She spoke about how she found that something was missing in her life. A Christian friend mentioned to her that God wasn’t just for them but for her to. This got her thinking – it had not occurred to her that God could love her. "She told us that through God she has found a sense of purpose," Fiona says. "All she looks for now is approval from God Himself." re:vive meets every second Saturday in the local Scout Hall – with 6-8 seekers attending regularly. There are 12 children attending re:vive kids.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA HOLDS FIRST CHURCH PLANTING WORKSHOP! “We had our first church planting workshop on Sabbath (10 Sept) with 40 people attending – including 5 pastors,” reports conference leader Glenn Townend. Glenn sees the possibility of 9 new churches coming from this – in the next few years. “God is certainly moving us along here and it's exciting.”
MIDDLESBROUGH BIBLE CLASS IDEA! "We began to try re-position our church some time ago – to become a little more 'community friendly'," reports pastor and planter Peter Jeynes. "There is still a long way to go – but we do have people from the street attending church now. Our Bible classes are changing. The 'university class' for those who want to go through the lesson book in the traditional manner. 'Explorers' takes a more practical look at the same lesson. We have a new class – the 'initiation class' – which the Elders and I see as a discipleship class. First meeting went well yesterday."
'BUG DAY' BUILDS RELATIONSHIPS! Church planter Rosemary Lethbridge discovered that during the summer holidays children in Llandrindod Wells (Wales) are were well catered for by Chwarae Da – a volunteer staffed playgroup – and that parents are reluctant to risk losing their child’s place by taking part in another program. However there was a need for hassle free, fun filled and active days out for the family. The Kidz Club Team therefore arranged a Bug Day with the local nature centre. It involved pond dipping and insect gathering in the Elan Valley. "It was a great opportunity for parents and children to do something together as well as for us to cement old relationships and build new ones," says Rosemary. "Some of the children and parents were from our on going ministries and others responded to personal invitations."
COPENHAGEN CaféChurch DOES IT AGAIN! Many church leaders, pastors and members have been blessed by their visits to CaféKirken (Copenhagen, Denmark). Recently a church adminstrator and his wife spent a Sabbath afternoon worshipping there. "We had a really nice time there, the atmosphere was very worshipful and spiritual and I just had the feeling that I could cope with plenty of that," they write. It was refreshing after so many years "just going through the rituals." (Remember planters, people come to worship and small groups to meet God and hear him speak through his Word and Spirit.)
VUKOVAR 'VOICE OF HOPE' CELEBRATES BIRTH. "On September 24 we had special worship service in Vukovar (Croatia) to celebrate the birth of the new Voice of Hope Church," reports planter Marijan Persinovic. About 150 members from surrounding districts joined with members and friends from Vukovar. The service – led by Miroslav Lorencin, leader of the Croatian conference – included the baptism of Smilja. "This was our fourth baptism this year, " says Marijan. "And, two more friends decided to be baptized in our next baptism." This new church plant now has 16 members and 4 friends regularly attending worship services. In the last month weekend lectures on healthy living and marriage have attracted 60 people to each presentation – and the launch of a new program called "Evidence" (LDi) has attracted 30 participants. "We will continue with this program every Friday evening," Marijan says.
FIND A REASON TO CELEBRATE SOMETHING – AND INVITE YOUR FRIENDS! "Though for the summer my evangelistic meetings and Bible studies have been suspended, God blessed with 115 people present for our Ali Demi anniversary Sabbath," writes church planter and pastor Felicia Phillips from Ali Demi in Tirana, Albania. "All of our immediate neighbors were present! It was a glorious day of blessings! New Bible study contacts developed."
MILTON KEYNES CHURCH PLANTS SECOND NEW CHURCH! The Newport Pagnell Church Plant was planted in July. This plant is from the mother church in Milton Keynes which has already planted a church in Bletchley. The Newport Pagnell plant will be completely different from the Bletchley plant; meeting the needs of the people where it is situated.
PLANNING AHEAD …
- PENNSYLVANIA CHURCH PLANTING TRAINING – 13-16 January 06 (over the Martin Luther King weekend): This will be held at the Hamburg Church Fellowship Hall. Plan to send a team of at least 4 of your church planting core team. For more details contact Bill Peterson – [email protected]
- CHURCH PLANTING SCHOOL FOR PERTH (Australia) – 7-11 March 06: Presenters will include Wayne Krause and Peter Roennfeldt. For more information contact Glenn Townend – [email protected]
- CHURCH PLANTERS X-CHANGE IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC – August 06: “We have set apart 12 people for church planting and revitalization next year – and have sponsors to support these church planting teams for at least 5 years,” says Martin Vesely. For more details on the first X-Change in the Czech Republic contact Martin Vesely – [email protected]
- ANOTHER MISSION CAMP PLANNED FOR FRANCE – 18-23 August 06: The mission camp in southern France (Aug 05) went so well that many have requested another. A second will be held next year. For more details contact Pierre kempf – [email protected]
LEADERS TRAINED IN CHURCH PLANTING MOVEMENTS …
- TEAMS TRAINED TO LAUNCH NEW PLANTS IN POLAND: Eleven teams with 33 lay-members spent three days (23-25 Sept) training for the launch of new church plants in Poland. The teams came from all three Polish conferences. Ian and Verlie Hamilton from Church Resource Ministries UK joined Wladyslaw Kosowski and the Polish Matrix Team for this training.
- SECOND MATRIX EQUIPS LEADERS TO FOSTER CHURCH PLANTING MOVEMENTS: “We had a wonderful time in Stockholm!” reports Martin Vesely, church planting coordinator in Czech & Slovakia. “MATRIX was excellent!” This training provides opportunities for denominational decision makers to learn the basics of cultivating a revitalisation and planting movement in their countries. It also allows leaders from different countries to network. One of the key organisers was evangelical leader and planter in Sweden, Manfred Rusner, who learnt of the value of MATRIX when participating in a TED Church Planting Study Tour.
- MATRIX TRAINING FOR ADVENTIST ADMINISTRATORS IN AUSTRALIA: Laurie Evans, president of the Adventist Church in the South Pacific, presented the key-note address to leaders and their teams from 9 conferences in Australia and New Zealand – urging them to recognize church planting as biblical and necessary. This was the second module of training in cultivating a movement of revitalisation and planting. "Although it was obvious the teams had different expectation, the vision of what God could do inspired many," says Peter Roennfeldt.
SUMMER CAMP – LEADS KIDS TO JESUS. All the Albanian pastors (all of whom are planting churches) participated in the teen summer camp. "65 kids were there and 15 adults–most of which are non baptized persons except, of course, the pastors," writes planter Felicia Phillips. "Six kids who were baptized last year were present and we baptized 4 more kids." 24 others said they wanted to follow Jesus. "We had them kneel and the pastors placed their hands of blessing on them as we prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide them," says Felicia. "Our theme was Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus. In the morning devotional we presented with Who Jesus Is; in the small group Bible study time we presented some of the Teachings of Jesus –and in the evening the theme was the great events in Jesus' life presented with drama and a short talk."
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS