training

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.”

The architect, the activist and the academic - City Lab Melbourne

Have you heard the one about the architect, the activist and the academic?

At our last City Lab workshop in Melbourne, we had presentations from all three — in a library in Carlton.

Sydney Architect Melonie Bayl-Smith (Founding Director of Bijl Architecture and Adjunct Professor at UTS) shared about the challenges and opportunities of integrating her trust in Jesus with her professional practice.

Melbourne-based activist Andrew Naylor (Australians Together) spoke about our need to be interrupted and listen to the voices of indigenous Australians.

And Melbourne University academic Catherine de Fontenay (Associate Professor of Economics at Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne) gave her expert perspective on injustice in Australia today, and gave us a glimpse of her personal response in choosing to be part of a church that pushes her out of her socio-economic comfort zone.

One of the decisive convictions of City to City Australia is that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is both creator and saviour — and that those two things are deeply connected. We’re convinced that this makes all the difference for our Christian lives and leadership.

So it was a privilege to hear from three such articulate and personally engaged Christians about life in the trenches of integrating faith, work, justice and mission.

The whole event was framed by a presentation from Andrew Laird (City Bible Forum and Dean of the Marketplace Institute at Ridley College). Andrew took us on a whirlwind tour of the Bible’s teaching about the role integrated Christian lives play in God’s mission in the world.

All told, the City Lab was a rich and stimulating opportunity to reflect on the challenge and necessity of integration. My prayer is that it helped Christian leaders develop a theological vision for this urgent task — informed not only by the biblical pattern but also by the on-the-ground realities of work and the world.

Chris Swann
Director of Training

Gospel-Centered Coaching

Planting a church or leading a church is a challenging task. City to City Australia is committed to supporting people in their journey as a leader and in this task. To do this we provide coaches. Coaches are trained in gospel-centered coaching based on the insights from the Gospel Coach.

This is what one of our trained coaches had to say about the coach training:

"I found the City to City coach training a delightful mix of applied gospel theology, pastoral skills, memorable coaching 'handles' and practical real life training with feedback. For the last two years I have been enriched in my own ministry by monthly coaching of a church planter. I look forward to these regular coaching moments as spiritually invigorating yet stretching collaboration in fresh church planting activity on the ground. I am invariably refreshed for my own ministry through this close partnership with a much younger gospel comrade in another city."
– Paul Winch, AFES Campus Director, UTS Credo, Sydney

Find out more on the Coaching page of our website.

If you are interested in having a gospel-centered coach or in learning how to coach, contact us at coaching@citytocityaustralia.org.au

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.

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International Intensive for Church Planters

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