In March some of us met with Barney while he was visiting Oz to talk about church planting movements.
Tim heads up a national ministry of church planters and evangelists. He went back to Sydney, recruited a business manager to help him run the organization and freed up three days a week to plant churches — everywhere.
Here's an early report:
Plans going well. Starting in Airds first week of May. I have 4 students on the team, 2 are aboriginal.
I have begun working on an endvision. Aiming to plant 400 churches in Campbelltown to reach 10% of the population with an average church size of 35. Aiming for 40 churches in Airds (part of Campbelltown) to reach 25% with average church size of 25.
Have met with all the necessary Anglican players and have been amazed at their excitement and support. I am convinced God is truly up to something significant.
Here's what happened next:
On Monday I spent some time praying for persons of peace as I drove through Airds, asking for God to raise up workers for his harvest field and so on… I went to check on Bobby and mistakenly went to the wrong door and met Nicki – I now believe a divine mistake. Nicki is 20 years old and has two boys aged 3 and 8 mos. She seemed keen to talk so after discovering I was at the wrong house I hung around to see where this conversation might go. I asked “do you have any kind of spiritual belief?” Off she went. She said she believed in God, had read the bible, prays, but wouldn’t be caught dead walking into a church.
I described to her my concept of an authentic Christian community and asked if she would be interested in being a part of something like that. She replied, “absolutely”. After about an hour of talking we prayed together (during that time I also met her mother, sister-in-law and niece) afterwards I went back to meet with Brian (a local team member) at the church building. I was sharing with Brian about my amazing encounter with Nicki when my mobile rang. It was Nicky. She told me her partner, Shane, had come home and that she had told him all about our conversation and he was eager to meet me. She asked if it was too much trouble to come back down to their house to talk some more. I asked if it was okay to bring Brian with me. She said it would be fine because she loved to meet new people and that Shane was very open minded about spiritual matters.
Brian and I prayed and headed back down the road. Nicki had cleaned up the table and sat Brian and I down with Shane who is 21, unemployed and struggling with alcohol abuse. I took some time to share my personal testimony as they both listened intently. Shane told me he wanted to kick the alcohol and drugs but didn’t know how. He also said he had been reading some self-help books which suggested a balanced life with a strong spirituality but that he didn’t know much about how to develop a spiritual life. When I suggested we could help them understand what it meant to be a real follower of Jesus they were quite keen to learn.
We have set up a meeting for tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday) and I will introduce them to two of our young Gap year students, one of which is a recovered addict/alcoholic. While we were there another friend of Nicki’s arrived (Marie) and she also knew Brian well and she is a believer. She was over the moon that Nicki and Shane were talking with Brian and me about spiritual matters. Nicki said to me, “see Tim, I told you that things happen for a reason. You came to my house today by mistake but God had a reason for it.”
Words cannot describe how open they were to me and to the idea of being followers of Jesus and to helping establish an authentic Christian community in Airds.
more tomorrow. . .