patricia, leo, naomi, sammy, nikki & siena
Windmills, wooden shoes, endless miles of canals & an indian who God has used greatly to plant over 5 million churches. Traveling to Amsterdam early tuesday morning, I expected to see all of the above except the last one. When I first heard about Victor John, the main speaker of this conference on church planting, I thought he was british. I figured he went to India to start a few churches and God used him to raise up church planters who then planted a few mega churches. It's what you expect to hear at conferences of this nature. However, when Victor first opened his mouth Wednesday morning, leo and I knew that God had something unique for us as we sat at the feet of a humble, indian servant of Jesus.
He spoke about multiplying disciples by making them disciple-makers as soon as possible and through that process, they become leaders and church planters. Something that most church planters would agree to, right? However, as we studied Luke 10 (the sending out of the 72 leaders), this key principle emerged. God uses simple, uneducated, unresourced & unafraid men to prepare the way for God to plant churches among new people groups. God can do this with anyone who is available and willing to loose his life and renounce his ambitions.
Through this simple teaching, I felt like an earthquake rattled my core practice of ministry in Torino. I have gotten away from many of Victor's principles. Principles that I would agree with, but, at times, I have abandoned because of the cost & discomfort involved. Leo, a student leaders at il rifugio, and I attended this conference at Zolder50, a GCM church in Amsterdam. Nikki and the kids were able to join us as well. Two of the missionary families in Amsterdam are good friends of ours and have little kids about the ages of Siena & Sammy. In fact, Siena was particularly excited to spend time with Amelie, one of her good friends whose family will leave Europe in May and return to the US.
anthony and leo
todd & lindey watkins with leo & drew in their home
amalie, siena & nikki at the watkins home
samurai playing nearby his friend gabrian
Returning to the conference, the following principles are critical to beginning a church planting movement in Europe. They are...
- Passionate Prayer
- A Culture of empowerment
- Reaching friends and relatives
- Instantaneous personal witnessing
- The Word is the foundation
- Intentional Planting
- Obedience based disciples accountable to the word
Would you please pray for Leo, myself and the point leaders at il rifugio? Pray that we would own these principles and reproduce Jesus' imprint on at least one other life in the next four months. Pray specifically that we would be people that instanteneously witness to others what Jesus has done and is doing in our lives. Pray especially for our Thanksgiving outreach on Friday, that God would use us all to touch the hearts of the 110 guests who will attend. THANKS!