church planting

Seed Church Melbourne is launching!

At 4pm this Sunday Seed Church Melbourne is officially launching!

Led by affiliated planter Nat Clarke, Seed Church has the mission 'to make disciples who make disciples'. It's their conviction that we need to get back to the basics of being disciples of Jesus. Not following some new program or way of doing church, but living out our identity as God’s people: a family of missionary servants making disciples. To that end they structure their church around Missional Communities, communities that love like family, serve like Jesus and live like missionaries.

Event Details:

Sunday 21 January 2018
4:00pm
Seed Church Melbourne
Balwyn Gospel Chapel
2 Leonard St, Deepdene VIC

Visit the Seed Church Melbourne website to find out more.

 

International Intensive in New York City

Church planters from around the globe gathered in New York City in October this year for the International Intensive, City to City's training program for those starting churches in global cities.

This year City to City Australia sent Lawson and Marella Hannaford from Adelaide to take part and join with the other 22 participants from countries including Lebanon, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Kenya, Uganda, Scotland, Czech Republic and Italy.

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"Redeemer Presbyterian hosted the intensive at their shared offices with Redeemer City to City downtown on Manhattan Island. We were joined by church planters and their wives from all over the world including Africa, Europe, South and North America and the Middle East. My wife and I were so encouraged to see people with hearts for gospel movements across the world, held together by unity in Christ and passion to reach our cities through church planting. The intensive is magnified by its location in New York which seems like every culture and city in the world has come to live in one place, so you really begin to get the idea of how God loves cities and wants us to reach cities with news of His Son. We were also blown away by the quality of the training and the trainers, this truly is world class and yet emphasising that we take the gospel seriously in our own lives before we take it to the world. What a blessing! We are truly thankful to Christ and City to City for our time at the 2017 International Intensive."

– Lawson and Marella Hannaford. Planting in Adelaide, South Australia

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2017 also marks ten years since City to City's first International Intensive. When the training first began in 2007, no curriculum existed, and there was simply no easy way to get the training out into the field. So Al Barth, Vice President Global Catalyst at Redeemer City to City, had the idea to bring the global church planters to NYC. CTC would give them key ideas to help equip them to plant and sustain urban churches.

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Today, the Intensive consists of both off-site learning elements and classroom sessions led by Tim Keller, CTC staff and various New York City church planters. Mark Reynolds, Vice President Operations & Leadership Programs at Redeemer City to City says, “The Intensive is something we’ve continued to prioritize because of the impact it has had in the lives of these church planters—both on a personal level and in the kinds of churches they are planting.”

It takes a movement to reach a city

One of the decisive convictions of City to City Australia is the belief that it takes a movement to reach a city — and ultimately a society — with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

According to Tim Keller, “Reaching an entire city … takes more than having some effective churches in it, or even having a burst of revival energy and new converts”. Anything less merely leads to the reconfiguration of Christianity in a city — people drawn out of less vital churches into those that currently seem to be thriving.

In a movement, by contrast, the energy and momentum isn’t confined to one particularly vibrant stream of Christianity in the city. Our shared trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom everything holds together and through whom God is putting this broken world back together, spills over the boundaries of tradition and tribe.

This is why it was so exciting to be part of the Gospel in the City event in Melbourne on November 2 this year.

It was a wet afternoon in Prahran. But it was the warmth of shared joy and sense of common task that was evident as we heard from planters and church leaders from a range of different networks and denominations:

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Jamie and Claire Bester (Southern Beaches Anglican Church, Hobart) spoke about their experience of the City to City assessment process, which has been instrumental in shaping their approach to launching Southern Beaches earlier this year.

Shebu John (Canterbury Gardens Community Church, Kilsyth South) gave us a report on the City to City International Intensive in New York City last year. His ministry leadership received a significant boost from the energy, input and connection with a network of dedicated planters and leaders from around the globe.

Stephen Tan (Regeneration Church, Monash) shared about the insight and support he’s been receiving from one of City to City Australia’s trained coaches. Stephen’s coach has walked alongside him through the pre-launch and launch phase of his plant, proving invaluable as a sounding board, source of wisdom, and ministry partner.

(L-R) Shebu John, Stephen Tan, Aaron Boyd, Pete Greenwood

(L-R) Shebu John, Stephen Tan, Aaron Boyd, Pete Greenwood

Aaron Boyd (Darebin Presbyterian Church, Thornbury) filled us in on the lasting impact his participation in the City to City Incubator has made on his life and ministry. Specifically, Aaron identified the way the Incubator inspired and equipped him with the practical tools to lead his church in contextual mission.

And Pete Greenwood (Inner West Anglican Church, Kensington) addressed the ’sanctified pain’ of receiving and repaying a City Renewal Fund loan, which both helps get new churches started and enables them to be investing in further church planting from their very inception.

Andrew Katay, CEO of City to City Australia, framed the afternoon in terms of the decisive convictions, vision and strategy of City to City Australia.

Aided by coffee and doughnuts, the robust and lively discussion that ensued — as well as the new connections forged across the lines of tradition and affiliation — gave us a taste of exactly the kind of movement City to City is praying and working to see in Australia’s cities.

Chris Swann
Director of Training

Bondi Beach Anglican launches!

On Sunday 22 October, Bondi Beach Anglican Church officially launched in this iconic suburb of Sydney! Blake Hatton, Church Planter and Pastor, shared with us about how it all started and how the launch day went...

Because Jesus is good news for Bondi Beach, we've opened up a new church. We'd been gathering a team, thinking and working hard on contextualisation, refurbishing, painting, putting in new lights, advertising and praying for many months, and then on Sunday the 22nd of October the doors were opened and the new church started. 81 people came in, including a large proportion of locals checking it out for the first time.
We listened to Colossians 2 and John 3 hearing that as a person engages with the Lord Jesus, he gives them a new spiritual start and growth into someone who is spiritually "rooted, built up, established and overflowing". We sang to him, we prayed to him and heard about the growth he's worked in one of our team. It was a great time together and we're off with some good momentum now. We're very thankful to God and excited about this first season in our new church.

For those interested in becoming a part of the church, this Saturday November 11 they'll be holding a Welcome Brunch to hear about life at Bondi Beach Anglican Church.

Please join us in prayer for Blake and the team at Bondi Beach Anglican. Give thanks for the launch and for all those who came, including those from the local community visiting for the first time, and that many people in the area would come to know that God is good and has made himself known and available to us in the Lord Jesus.

Bondi Beach Anglican Church meets every Sunday at 60 Wairoa Avenue, Bondi Beach NSW. Find out more here.

The Vision for Grace City Chatswood

Grace City Church are excited to announce that in early 2018, they will be launching in the heart of Chatswood.

In the lead up to the launch, they have just released their Vision Film on how they hope to see Chatswood and its surrounding areas transformed by the renewing power of the Gospel. Watch the film online now.

You are also invited to join for their first public Vision Night coming up next month. This is an informal evening where you can hear the vision of the church, meet some of the team, and explore ways in which you can support this new venture in Chatswood.

Event details:

Saturday 11 November 2017
7:30pm-9:30pm
Chelsea Hotel, 14 Railway St, Chatswood NSW 2067

For more details and to RSVP visit https://www.facebook.com/events/286332668534784

 

Find out more about affiliated church plant Grace City Chatswood on our Church Planting page.

Regeneration Church Launches!

After a vision evening and two preview services, Regeneration Church officially launched on 16 July 2017. By God’s grace they had a great launch service. Over 120 people came which was significantly more than expected as only 80 gift bags had been prepared. They had Seng Kee, an elder from Pantai Baptist Church, Stephen’s home church in Malaysia, as well as Paul, his City to City coach from Sydney. They had Pastor Murray Campbell representing Mentone Baptist Church and Matt Pingitore representing the Baptist Union of Victoria. In a great show of gospel unity, there were pastors and elders from other churches (Presbyterian, Brethren, Anglican, Independent Baptist, Pentecostal) who came to support them as well. There were many new people who were looking for a church and importantly, several non-Christians who came and heard the gospel preached.

In the weeks that have followed, Regeneration Church have been averaging 50 people in attendance with new people, both Christian and non-Christian, continuing to come to check out the church. They kicked off with a series on the Gospel of John, and are preparing to do a series on the Reformation and the 5 Solas to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. By God’s grace they have three Missional Communities (small groups) that have been able to accommodate the new people and integrate them into healthy community while having a missional mindset. They are now preparing for their first Baptism service as three people have asked to be baptised.

Thank God for an encouraging start to Regeneration Church! Please pray:

  • That God would work through the preaching of the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit that many people would profess faith in Christ.
  • That Regeneration Church will continue to grow slowly but surely from week to week – both numerically, but also in the depth of faith and fervency for Jesus, his people and his mission.

Regeneration Church meets every Sunday at 4:30pm at 80 Catherine Avenue, Mount Waverley VIC. Find out more at www.regeneration.org.au

A church shaped by God to shape the city

Grace City Church Chatswood is an emerging church plant with a vision of being a church "shaped by God to shape the city".

Led by affiliated planter and City to City International Intensive alumnus, Adrian Tam, last month Grace City Church Chatswood held their first Vision and Prayer Night in a café in the heart of Chatswood.

As told by Adrian:

Close to 50 people of all ages attended the event, which was a tremendous encouragement. We began the night with a time of worship, and given the amount of foot traffic that goes right past the cafe, there were many curious onlookers who peeked their head in to see what all the commotion was about.

During the evening, the Lead Elder of Grace City Church Dee Why shared about the journey God has brought them on over the past few years. After a time of prayer, Adrian spoke on the story of the five loaves and the two fish from Luke 9:10-17, challenging those present to consider their provisions, and how God might want to take them, multiply them and use them to feed the multitudes of spiritually hungry people in Chatswood.

Adrian continues:

It was incredibly exciting and invigorating to see a new community of people forming and rallying around the vision of seeing a new work of the Gospel planted in the heart of Chatswood.

Please pray for Grace City Church Chatswood as they embark on this new venture and prepare to commence their weekly launch team meetings.

Grace City Church Chatswood is a church plant of Grace City Church Dee Why. They are seeking to launch publicly in February 2018.

International Intensive for Asia Pacific Planters

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."
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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.

Chapel Hill Celebrates its 2nd Birthday

 

Chapel Hill is a new church community that loves to be in Rozelle, Sydney’s Inner West. The church was started by Michael and Amy Nhieu as keen newlyweds with a dream for Chapel Hill to be an authentic and creative church where people from all walks of life could do life together as we worshipped God.

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Now in its second year since the church doors opened in 2015, God has continued to build the church with a very diverse group of people who call Chapel Hill home. This diverse community has made the life of the church interesting, lively, fun and challenges us all to get out of our comfort zones. Through the diversity in the church, people have felt comfortable to be themselves, vulnerable to share joys and burdens and open to explore the Christian faith whilst making genuine friendships. But of course this has all taken time, perseverance and prayer!

Through the diversity in the church, people have felt comfortable to be themselves, vulnerable to share joys and burdens and open to explore the Christian faith whilst making genuine friendships.

Launching with 13 people, Chapel Hill now has 40 regular attendees of a Sunday and three active Community Bible Study groups during the week. Discipleship amongst the church congregation is growing and the desire is that organically people will connect and care for each other on this Christian journey.

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At Chapel Hill’s recent second birthday close to 100 visitors attended and provided a wonderful support and encouragement for the regular members. The celebration was made to be even more special with the induction of Ben Yee and Nate Kemp as elders, marking a significant milestone of establishing Chapel Hill’s own leadership. Renovations have begun on the church building as well as in many of the hearts of those at church.

God is shaping Chapel Hill to be a place of continued diversity and a place that we long to be a real light and ‘city on a hill’ in the community of Rozelle and greater Inner West.

Chapel Hill meets on Sundays 10:30am at 665A Darling Street, Rozelle. You can find more details at www.chapelhill.org.au

Village Church Launches in Burleigh

Ralph Mayhew (left), and Ori Zacher (right)

Ralph Mayhew (left), and Ori Zacher (right)

On May 7, Ralph Mayhew and co-planter Ori Zacher officially launched Village Church – a City to City Australia affiliated church located in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast. In this interview, Ralph shares with us about how the plant came about, and their vision for Village Church to become so focused on Jesus, that people would join them to see more of him.


How did you become a church planter?

I’ve been in full time ministry for 14 years, first pastoring a beautiful group of churches in Victoria and then leading the youth and young adults of Newlife Uniting Church on the Gold Coast. As my role was increasing and changing I felt a strong call from God to dream about church planting.

As I did a vision of what could be began to grow in my spirit as I pondered how we, the church, might more effective to win people to Jesus. The question of discipleship is huge for me. How do we help those who have no idea who Jesus is, journey to a place where they are making disciples who are making disciples? This is the approach which has shaped a lot of our thinking about Village Church. Trying to create a church that is true to the Gospel and culturally relevant as it evaluates the benefit and detriment of all that has been church before us.

So, after working closely with the leadership at Newlife, and feeling an enormous amount of support, Ori and Bec came on board to co-pastor and it’s been amazing. A year ago, we had no idea we would be doing what we are, but we’re so thankful God has called us to this. So, we gathered a team together, developed a culture, prayed through our vision and on May 7 went public to the people of Burleigh.


How did the church plant come about?

At the start of 2016 I sat with the statistics, that by 2050 the population of the Gold Coast will double and most of that will be up (multi-story) not out (land footprint). When you think about it, that means that to just sustain the number of people currently going to church in the Australian population (7-8%), our city would need 250 churches of 200 people or more in the next 35 years. This is frightening. It also doesn’t take into account anyone new following Jesus.

At the time I was also wrestling with the tension that people feel part of an intimate movement until the numbers exceed 150. When that happens people begin to feel disconnected from each other and the vision. What if a church could grow to that number and then multiply, each time inhabiting a new postcode, including multiple expressions within the same postcode. Pretty soon we would see a movement of church plants, enabling people to meet Jesus, connect with each other and go out into the world.

With that dream bubbling away in my spirit I approached Newlife’s leadership, spoke with the elders, worked with our Presbytery, and now we are seeing the birth of what we hope will make more and more disciples of Jesus.

Give us a description of the character of the community you’re reaching out to. What are some of the challenges involved in reaching out to this community?

Burleigh is an extremely diverse collection of people. It is a health centre on the Gold Coast, with a huge focus on good eating and fitness, it has a large community of people who engage in New Age Spirituality, there are a number of homeless people throughout the postcode, the housing prices are souring, leaving families struggling, 40% of the population is retired, there is a massive number of international students and visa holders who find their way to Burleigh. It really feels like a modern-day Athens that the apostle Paul preached to.

There are a number of challenges including how does the church offer something different (of the Gospel) than the multitude of community services already present in Burleigh. An obvious question we face is, how do we help the homeless and those with mental illness find life and hope, when we have very limited physical resources? A further challenge is not just connecting with people but discovering ways in which we might bless and love them deeply.

We believe that the only thing we have to offer people is Jesus and if that is first expressed in our love, then the Holy Spirit will be at work in the exchange.


Who's involved in the church plant?

To date it is led by Ori and I and we have a team of 33 adults and 15 children. That’s our team, which is different from our church. Our church would attract between 48 and 100 or so people who we are doing life with, loving, blessing and connecting with. We understand our church as people who we are journeying with in some form or another.

We have been well supported by Newlife Uniting, our sending church and also the Presbytery of South Moreton, who have been walking beside us.

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What are your hopes for the future?

One of our goals is to be the church who, when asked about by anyone in Burleigh, will be explained as the Church who love us. We believe that the only thing we have to offer people is Jesus and if that is first expressed in our love, then the Holy Spirit will be at work in the exchange.

We want to plant other churches and other gatherings in and around Burleigh, which we know requires God to bless us richly and us to be obedient to what God is asking of us.

One of the other cries of our heart is that we would become so focused on Jesus, that people would join us to see more of him. That Jesus would completely define who we are, that those who don’t know Jesus would be driven to him by intrigue alone.
 

How can we be praying for you?

Please pray:

  • That our passion for and devotion to Jesus would become all consuming. May we be so focused on Christ and the grace he gives us, that we might lose our lives to find his and in doing so give that life to others.
  • For financial blessing. We have made the decision to never ask someone who we are reaching out to give to us, so the mission of the church is entirely supported by the team and their giving.
  • That our team would be spiritually protected so that they may continue to make disciples and equip those they love for the kingdom.

To find out more, visit the Village Church website:
https://www.yourvillage.church/