Monday, 19 March 2018 21:55

The Twists and Turns of Creative Church Planting

The Twists and Turns of Creative Church Planting

The New Testament tells the gripping story of God establishing his Church. Working for years in Poland to establish and grow the local church, Encompass workers are witnessing a gracious, new chapter of this 2,000-year-old narrative as it continues to unfold.

The work of church planting can feel like strapping into the harness of a sinewy roller coaster. There are ups and downs, thrills and scares. But most of all, the track is already laid out, and all there is to do is pray, hang on, and go for the ride!

Encompass workers have seen encouraging growth in their house church network. Their strategy is straightforward: connect with people through creative inroads, introduce them to Jesus, begin the discipleship journey, and send them out to do the same.

Like many in the Encompass Church Planting network, workers carry out this strategy through creative outreach and networking. Whether performing concerts in a mall or hosting Bible reading events, there’s always an opportunity for sharing the gospel in their setting.

But strategy is not the only reason the house church network is growing. God is on the move in Poland. He is breathing life into the movement, and our workers are honored to join him as the remarkable story continues to unfold.

Not long ago, workers partnered with a short-term team from a church in the USA. Together, they offered several street concerts and Bible readings in the heart of the city. The concerts drew a wonderful turnout, and the group was able to connect with over 60 people in the crowds. Nearly 40 more came to the Bible readings and experienced the gospel message for the first time!

These creative outreach events lasted just two weeks, but the connections the group made will hopefully grow into deeper relationships. Our workers have continued the conversation about Jesus with 25 of these people, 11 of whom have expressed a sincere interest in being discipled. Of all those impacted by the events, Encompass workers were pleasantly surprised by two stories.

A young Muslim man from Turkey enjoyed listening to one of the outreach concerts, and was eager to talk with the team about Jesus. He was about to move back to his country and expressed his delight to be meeting Christians for the first time. After the event, one of our workers was able to meet with this young man twice to study the Bible. The man departed for Turkey with a better understanding of what it means to follow Jesus.

Two other concert-goers with budding faith had recently left the Roman Catholic Church. They desired to grow in their relationship with Jesus, study the Bible, and build friendships with other Christians. The street concert became the catalyst for this connection, and now, they are active members of the house church network. As they continue to bring many friends and family members into the community, a new house church has started to meet – praise God!

Our workers love that they are participating in this exciting chapter of God building his church. The Holy Spirit is on the move, bringing people to Jesus and into fellowship with each other through creative means. Whether in moments of momentum or seasons of standstill, these workers feel honored and thankful to be buckled in for the twists, the turns, and the thrills of seeing people come alive in Christ!

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Consider This:

For over a hundred years Encompass World Partners has planted churches among the least reached peoples of the world, but it wasn’t done alone. Encompass church planters and the network are indebted to all those who pray for this challenging work. Would you consider taking a season to regularly pray for these three things?

Pray for wisdom.

In the world of a church planter, major decisions need to be made all the time. Whether it is shifting a ministry focus or just choosing who to talk to, wisdom and discernment are needed. Please pray that God would provide our Church Planting Network with wisdom in all the decisions that are made on a daily basis.

Pray for strength.

Church planting is not easy. It brings many obstacles that can lead to despondency and burnout. Please pray for our church planters to be uplifted with the Lord’s strength and encouraged in their challenging work.

Pray for more workers.

The harvest is great and the workers are few. There is always a need for more people to take up the call of church planting among the least-reached. Please pray for God to raise up the next generation of church planters in our Church Planting Network.