Church Planting: God’s Faithfulness in Action

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A reflection…

After volunteering to write this blog I got writer’s block and a bit of anxiety: “why did I offer to do this??”

Truth is: I don’t really have much expertise. I have never been part of a church plant, nor has our church been overly successful at planting churches. And yet I continue to find myself captured by the work of God as I see new churches planted, take root and grow.

As a member of the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia’s Church Planting Taskforce (CPT) for the last number of years I have had the pleasure of hearing the stories of God growing his bride and forming communities of Christ followers and gospel proclaimers all around the country. From the shores of WA, Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland come the testimonies of how God continues to grow the Church as new local churches are birthed.

Whenever a CPT meeting approaches, reports start to filter in from all around the country and there rises within me joy and praise at hearing of God’s work in and through His people. As Church planters share the highs and lows of beginning their new work in a new community God is truly glorified. I love reading the testimonies of God’s grace as he slowly forms teams – calls planters –empowers his people – saves the lost – grows his people spiritually and numerically.

In our church we have realised how hard it is to plant churches and keep it as a part of the ongoing planning and development of the community.  I have seen attempts fail and have been part of many discussions that in the end seemed to go nowhere.  In recent years our church at One Hope Community has been involved with seeing PC3 established in Pakenham. It was great to see God work through 3 mother churches to bring this about and then see them grow. I have seen from the sidelines the tough work, persistence and dedication it has taken for the church to continue and have been overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness and work in people’s lives.

the one thing that keeps echoing in my head is that, ‘God will grow his church and the gates of Hades won’t stand against it.’

Through all of these struggles, the ups and downs, the successes and failures, the meetings and long conversations the one thing that keeps echoing in my head is that, ‘God will grow his church and the gates of Hades won’t stand against it.’  In a culture that seems so hardened to the gospel and so antagonistic toward the church, God continues to grow his church – often slowly but surely, and always through the power of his Word and Spirit.

I will continue to urge the denomination to pursue church planting as a way of reaching the lost for Christ as we engage this Australian culture with the words and love of Christ. I will continue to spur on local churches and Classes to work together to see new CRCA churches multiply through the land. May our churches see a growing dependence on God in prayer, a renewed love for people, so that His bride may radiate His Glory.

Pastor Glenn Dekker
One Hope Community Church
Scoresby, Vic

 

 

Catalyst is Changing

You will have noticed it’s been almost a year since an issue of Catalyst has been released. The last year we have not had sufficient contributions to compile the newsletter. No doubt, it takes time to write, and we’re all busy. It could also be that the idea of a physical publication is not working for us. Maybe the 15 minute news cycle just does not work for a quarterly publication.

We have considered a few options. One was to make it more a curation site: where material gleaned from other sources is republished via Catalyst. But then we thought we all see so much stuff coming down the pipe, and who needs more of other people’s stuff? If you want that, you will already be receiving it, no doubt.

Another option was to move to a simpler blog format. This would mean the Catalyst material would not be compiled into a quarterly .pdf release, but each post would be published as soon as received. This would mean a more immediate circulation of single news items or articles. You would hear about thins more quickly and – contributors cooperating – more frequently. This is what we’ve decided to do.

The downside: it may be more difficult to print off articles for those who do not have computer access. It’s not impossible of course, but everyone’s system is different, and you will need to work out how, or whether, to do this locally.

The upside: You will receive posts more regularly and hopefully stay more informed. Also, you can simply copy the Catalyst link for helpful articles into your newsletter or enews locally.

For future contributors: keep an eye out for what’s happening in your local church. Are you trying a new resource for your home groups? Tried something new in evangelism? Are you doing the “Reading Your Bible Together”? How is that working? What can you share with others? Write it up. It doesn’t have to be long or involved, just let people know how it’s going. They will be encouraged by your words. Write it up, send it through, and we’ll get it out for everyone.

For Catalyst subscribers: you will get an email every time there’s something new published. We’ll also put an advice on Facebook, Twitter and email throughout the CRCA.

Remember, if you like what you read, or want to add some thoughts, the easiest way is simply to leave a comment under the relevant article.

Thanks for your time!

Dave Groenenboom

Catalyst June/July – Download now!

The latest edition of Catalyst is ready for download!

Click here to download the latest issue.

In this issue:

  • we hear the voices of three South African migrants sharing their stories and offering their advice on how to make the move to Australia
  • Zac Hicks, music pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church shares an excellent review of Hillsong’s latest album No Other Name. A must read!

This issue will be great reading for any church with South African attenders. It would also be good material to share in South African churches, and with anyone thinking of migrating. Share away, friends!

CRCA Catalyst June 2014 -p.1

 

Got feedback? Leave a comment on this post!

Grace and peace,

Dave Groenenboom
Editor
Pastor: Gateway Community Church