"As we looked around our churches, my friend Victor and I asked ourselves some simple questions: Who’s NOT here? Why are they not here? What can we do about it?
"We realised that the gospel never changes, the good news of Jesus is the same today as it has always been. But how we present the gospel, how we package it – that has to change.
"I realised that not everybody walks into church and feels comfortable. What we wear, what we say, the “Christian” words we use can leave people feeling left behind. The gospel is hard enough for newcomers to understand – we don’t need to make it any harder."
Rob Morton and his friend Victor Moore are leading a team planning a church plant in a more socially-deprived area of Hastings: "We're aiming to start in 2020, and our plan is to Link-In to CCCNZ."
Victor Moore and Rob Morton
Victor works with at-risk youth who’ve been expelled from school and has a passion to reach the people that most churches aren't reaching – particularly the poor and those from difficult backgrounds – with the gospel. Victor is currently doing an apprenticeship with 'Church in Hard Places' - an international ministry aiming to plant churches among the poor.
"We've gathered a small team of 11 adults and 13 kids to work together - ordinary Christians with jobs, families and lives outside of church. At this stage we meet weekly to train: we discuss Christian books, chat through issues like 'what is the gospel' and 'why is church important', talk about what we believe and learn more as we pray about our community," says Rob.
The church planting team is a group of ordinary Christians with jobs, families, and social lives outside of church, and they're thinking about how they can plant a church to reach, equip and empower their community with the gospel:
"Sometimes we think about how to reach 'hard people' with the gospel. But as a church we want to go even further - how can we raise up these people as Christian leaders?"
Does this resonate with you?
Are you open to planting a church in a 'hard' place? Have you ever looked around on Sunday and wondered about the people who are not walking through the door?
We'd love to hear from you. Have a chat with Dave Giesbers, our Church Planting Enabler, for more ideas and next steps: firstname.lastname@example.org