Last month, church planters, church-planting spouses, network leaders and returning alumni joined together for the fifth City to City Asia Pacific (CTCAP) International Intensive in Taipei, Taiwan.
City to City Australia sent planters Jeremy Tan (Redemption Hill, Sydney) and William and Lay Huan Tjoa (mosaiXchurch, Sydney) to take part in the training program held at Star City Church Bethlehem (known as Star Church). Over 100 people were in attendance representing countries including Japan, India, Australia, Dubai, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Previously held over four weeks, the program was modified to a two-week configuration to better suit those with jobs and families. This also forced CTC trainers to be more efficient, prioritise the material and contextualise for Asia Pacific.
Katie Ellis, Program Manager for Asia Pacific and Latin America, says, “We usually start with theology, then go into discipleship and then practical ministry concepts. This year we started off with four days of gospel renewal—being shaped by God, dealing with idols of the heart, being continually renewed. This is so important".
The CTC trainers model openness and vulnerability as they share their own struggles, their successes as well as their failures and their need for the gospel to daily transform their own lives. Jeremy shares:
"It was a deeply transformative time for me personally, as we spent lots of time learning how to bring the gospel to bear on our own hearts in a way that addresses the deep-rooted idols of our hearts, so that we never stop experiencing the power, reality and joy of the gospel. I loved this emphasis on the church planter first before we even started talking about the ‘how to’s of church planting. We were also able to work through some of the practical aspects of church planting such as discipleship, evangelism, leadership development, budget and finance, and preaching, which sharpened my own thinking on what to focus on next in our own context at Redemption Hill Green Square."
In addition: two groups of church-planting spouses participated in Parakaleo, which William says, "was one of the best things that has happened for my wife and other forgotten and unrecognised ministry partners"; some CTCAP network leaders were there to shadow and learn, so they can provide this valuable training in the future; and alumni returned for a master class.
William continues, "the encouragement from seeing so many others committed to planting disciple-making churches that plant disciple-making churches has refuelled my passion to persevere despite the obstacles".
Please pray that God will multiply the fruit of this intensive and see more churches planted in the Asia Pacific region, and many, many more coming to faith in Christ.