NEWS 08 Jan 03

Dear Friends

The beginning of a new year is a good time for us as church planters to review the importance of prayer, community involvement, biblical preaching, Bible work and small groups. Some of the items below focus upon this challenge. I wish you every blessing for this New Year – and look forward to hearing of the ministry opportunities and challenges that you each face. I look forward to working closely with many of your during 2003. I pray that God will continue to bless you – in the work of extending His kingdom.

Christian regards





COTTAGE BECK – CARED FOR BY UNCHURCHED! (Adventist church plant in Scunthorpe, North England Conference)

With planter Bryan Webster hospitalised and then ordered to take complete rest – unchurched friends stepped in to keep Cottage Beck Cafe Church open and serving the community. Bryan and Isobel have been in our prayers – and expect to return with full energy about now.


In the first edition of PreachingNow for 2003 (Vol. 2, No. 1) – editor Michael Duduit writes that this is “a good time to be reminded of the place of prayer in the work of those who proclaim the Word.” He then quotes the British preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

“Always respond to every impulse to pray. The impulse to pray may come when you are reading or when you are battling with a text. I would make an absolute law of this – always obey such an impulse. Where does it come from? It is the work of the Holy Spirit; it is a part of the meaning of ‘Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure’ (Phil 2:12-13).

“This often leads to some of the most remarkable experiences… So never resist, never postpone it, never push it aside because you are busy.

Give yourself to it, yield to it; and you will find not only that you have not been wasting time with respect to the matter with which you are dealing but that actually it has helped you greatly in that respect. You will experience an ease and a facility in understanding what you were reading, in thinking, in ordering matter for a sermon, in writing, in everything which is quite astonishing.

“Such a call to prayer must never be regarded as a distraction; always respond to it immediately, and thank God if it happens to you frequently.” (from Preaching and Preachers, Zondervan, 1972, p. 170-171)

SOUTHSIDE LAUNCHES NEW COMMUNITY FAMILY SUPPORT (Self-supporting Sabbath keeping church plant in Brisbane, Australia)

Southside Community Church continues to provide a model for community involvement. A major proposal was developed and written within days to meet the deadlines for funding – with personnel employed and facilities found and remodelled – to provide a family support unit.

Families in extreme crisis are referred to the centre – and come for daytime live-in support and counseling.

Also, on Monday January 6 another group of unemployed young people commenced a 20 week training programme to skill them for the work place.

Participants work 09.00-17.00 each day – learning planning, strategising, writing, production and marketing skills as they develop an on-line magazine for the local community.

On February 8 Southside will celebrate eight years since the first group of 15 met in the home of planters Ken and Anne-Marie Houliston.

During 2002 a group of 60 hived off to plant Rivers Community Church – which has now grown to about 90.



The beginning of a new year is also a good time to review the importance of preaching the Word of God. In the introduction to “Mastering Contemporary Preaching”, Marshal Shelley notes: “When people come to church, they don’t come to be bored. Even those who’ve never analyzed a sermon or read a book on preaching come to church with a desire for an appropriate word from God, spoken to their life situation.” (Inter-Varsity Press, 1989, p. 8) Every church planter will find the insights shared by Bill Hybels, Stuart Briscoe and Haddon Robinson in “Mastering Contemporary Preaching” worth reviewing – as they review topics such as ‘Planning a Preaching Menu’, ‘Blending Life Application’, ‘Dealing with Controversial Subjects’, etc.

PLANTERS EXCHANGE UK. Friday 10 to Sunday 12 January. British Union Church Planting Coordinator, David Cox, has planned an event for pastors and church members already involved in planting churches for “unchurched”

people – and for those who want to be. A limited number of subsidies are available for those who attend this event at Quinta Hall, Oswestry, Shropshire. Contact: David Cox <[email protected]> Phone: 01923 672251.


What is the biblical purpose of your church plant? Rick Warren highlights the five purposes of the church – worship, service, discipleship, baptism, & teaching. The beginning of this new year is a good time to rteview the place of Bible work in your church plant. Church planting coordinator in Croatia, Sretko Kuburic, reports that about 30 people from the community are attending workshops in the gospel of John being conducted by Zlatko Musija in the city of Split on the Adriatic Coast. (This is a follow-up to the evangelistic out reach meetings conducted in December by Peter Roennfeldt.)