A few weeks ago we posted a video to give an insight into All Nations the organisation we will be working with in South Africa. As part of working with All Nations we will be involved in a CPx from Feb-Jun 2011, which stands for Church Planting eXperience.
We have just received the curriculum for this and thought we’d share it with you. If you’d like to get involved with this area by either attending or partnering with us through meeting some of the costs of this program we’d love to hear from you.
All Nations Cape Town is a network of simple churches that gathers for celebrations every few weeks as a church family. We are called to plant churches through holistic disciple making. We dream about igniting movements to Christ. CPx students become part of the All Nations community for the time they are with us, working side by side with our long term members as they serve the poor and share the good news in the communities where we work. In this way the students are drawn into a “church planting experience” and not just a program about church planting.
We see the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts the same way the author Luke described them: as “orderly accounts” of the life of Jesus and the growth and expansion of the church. These two books tell the story of how Jesus catalyzed a disciple making movement and then continued to ignite many more movements through the church after He ascended to heaven. The Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts are “Part One” and “Part Two” of the life of Jesus, first in the flesh, then in the church. We believe passionately in the church of Jesus Christ. We believe His church is the hope of the world because Jesus is the hope of the world in us, His people. We are devoted to being and doing church for Him, and for the sake of others who do not know Him.
We not only want to live like Jesus, but also learn to reproduce the life of Jesus in others. We call it “church planting”, but really we are trying to plant Jesus through making disciples and igniting in them a desire to be and do church with passion and purpose, with minimal dependency on us as outsiders.
The driving passions of All Nations CPx are three fold:
These three ‘vision-values’ of All Nations and CPx are simple, yet deep. We believe in them passionately, but are still learning about them as we devote ourselves fully to Jesus, His mission and His church.
The Learning Path of CPx – Six Stepping Stones
Think of the curriculum for CPx as a pathway to follow, not a set of static truths to memorize. We emphasize grace-empowered obedience as the primary way to follow this path together:
“So be sure to pay attention to what you hear. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening, even what they think they have will be taken away from them.” … Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, and they want to see you.”
Jesus replied, “My mother and my brothers are all those who hear the message of God and obey it.” Luke 8:18-21 NLT
Each new group of students in CPx are invited to join us in the All Nations church family in Cape Town as we seek do what Jesus taught us to do: “pay attention to what we hear…to hear the message of God and obey it” (Luke 8:20). CPx students become part of the All Nations community as we seek to be obedient followers of Jesus. Learning never stops for us. We are a church community that longs to be like Jesus, and because of that, we feel free to keep learning. It is embarrassing sometimes to acknowledge how far short we fall of how we want to live, but this gives us freedom to be honest about our failures, our disobedience and our need for God. Tofollow Jesus for us is to learn and grow in God’s grace through transparency and in accountability to one another.
We read the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, then, with this path in mind:
Persistent Prayer – We know that the transformation we want to see among neglected peoples in Africa cannot take place without entreating God in passionate prayer. We believe God is not only sovereign, but that in His sovereignty He has chosen to reward those who desperately and diligently seek Him. We look to the book of Acts for insight and inspiration for being people of passionate prayer.
Sharing the Gospel – We the good news of Jesus with those who don’t know Him. As we do that, we try to apply the lessons Jesus taught His disciples in Luke 10: to pray, preach the gospel, heal the sick, and find spiritually hungry people. The goal is to find the person of peace Jesus mentions in Luke 10 and disciple them to disciple others.
Discipling People of Peace – The parable of the sower guides our search for spiritual seekers. We believe that we as outsiders will not be as effective as insiders in discipling and transforming a community in need. We long to see the power of God at work, saving and delivering and transforming people as they believe and receive Jesus. Jesus told His disciples to heal the sick and cast out demons as they announce the arrival of His kingdom. When Jesus sent out His disciples in Luke 10, He told them to look for a “person of peace”, i.e., someone who is welcoming, spiritually hungry, willing to invite you into their network of friends and family, and prepared to obey Jesus.
Gathering Seekers in Discovery Bible Studies – This step on the journey of church planting is called “gathering”. This happens by starting what we call “discovery bible studies” or a “DBS”. A discovery Bible Study is a group of seekers who are gathering around a person of peace and they study the Bible together. We assist the person of peace to start a discovery Bible study by getting his/her friends together and “discovering” the truth as they read and discuss the Bible together.
Establishing Simple Churches – We encourage “DBS’s” to grow into simple churches. The transition from a Bible study to a church happens when there are more believers than non-believers, baptisms are taking place, they take communion, and local leaders are recognized and appointed.
Multiplication – Jesus commanded His disciples to make disciples who “teach them to obey all the commands I have given you…” (Matthew 28:20). Paul instructed Timothy to pass on what he taught Timothy to “faithful people who would teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). To be catalysts for a movement to Christ our efforts have to go beyond us, and beyond our disciples. That means multiplication, not just of individuals, but of simple churches that start more churches.
Topics Covered in the CPx Teaching
What are the topics we focus on in CPx? They are drawn from inductive discovery Bible studies in the gospel of Luke and the book Acts. We follow the growth of the church as it spreads from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria to the ends of the earth, and as we do so, we try to learn practices and principles that can guide us as we make disciples that are catalysts for movements to Christ. Guest teachers and staff teach and guide discovery Bible studies on the following topics:
Typical Week-by-Week Themes in CPx
? Week One – Welcome and Orientation
? Week Two – Sharing the Gospel
? Week Three – The Empowering Presence of the Holy Spirit
? Week Four – Discipleship
? Week Five – Church Planting – Part One
? Week Six – Leadership
? Week Seven – Kingdom Culture and Cultural Dynamics
? Week Nine – Prayer, Worship and Warfare
? Week Eight – Suffering, Sacrifice and Simplicity
? Week Nine – Church Planting = Part Two
? Weeks Ten to Twenty – Outreach Prep and Team Outreaches
? Weeks Twenty-One to Twenty-Two – Travel Back to Cape Town, Debriefing, Graduation, and New Members Orientation
For more information, write to Registrar at email@example.com
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The Date is set!
As many of you know, the last month has been a whirlwind of preparations, specifically the visa drama (read more), but also looking for shipping quotes, medical insurances, and support raising and so we are relieved to say we have FINALLY BOOKED OUR FLIGHTS!
We will leave the UK on the 13th of September!
Our return flights aren’t until July 2011, and we have committed the next 3 years to working with All Nations in South Africa so this is a big step for us.
Thankyou to everyone who followed and prayed with us through the excitement of the last month. God has been so faithful to us!
Rather than send you a lengthy email, we have re-written our website with videos and stories that detail the work we will be doing in South Africa with All Nations – to look through it all go towww.liamandrachel.com or click on the images below to go straight to the projects you are interested in:
Baby Safe, an access ministry to church planting that Rachel will help run, originally started as a response to the crisis of baby dumping in the Western Cape of South Africa. The practise of abandoning babies in places there are unlikely to be found was not being engaged by any government agency or organisations, therefore Baby Safe was set up to be a extension of God’s heart to both the babies involved and the mother’s who found themselves in such desperation…READ MORE
Liam will be working with 2 others in discipling kingdom principles in a generation of new small business owners throughout Masiphumelele & other local impoverished communities. This will be done through a program called STEPS which addresses the multiple levels of poverty which exist in lives, spiritual poverty, material poverty and social poverty, READ MORE.
The natural out working of people coming to know Jesus through the two previously mentioned ministries, is to gather them in discipleship communities, this is why All Nations is committed to simple church planting. In particular we are focused on making disciples and sending out trained leaders to start simple, reproducing, Jesus focused churches. READ MORE
As we prepare to return to South Africa the most valuable way in which you can support us is through prayer.
We will be regularly updating liamandrachel.com to give you more information on what we have been doing and hope that you would join us in praying for both our own needs and those of the people we will be working with.
At the moment the main point for prayer is that the specific financial needs which we face would be met. We are still in need of just over £700 ($1000) a month to cover the ministry and living costs, which in this area of South Africa are comparable with the UK. Although food costs are cheaper we will have to pay quite a substantial amount each month for medical insurance and accommodation.
Other important needs are that we would be able to fund a few basic the relocation costs (such as a rental deposit, moving costs, etc) which will be in the region of £1,250 and also that we would be able to get a second hand car. This is particularly important given the levels of crime in the area as we need to ensure that Rachel can travel safely to and from thebaby safe project. Unfortunately the second hand market is hugely inflated compared to the UK (see Cape Town Ads) and whilst we are hoping to generate around £3000 from the sale of our own car in the UK it is likely that we will need to raise an additional £2000 on top of the other relocation costs in order to be able to buy something reliable.
We thank you for your prayers for these matters and although we now only have a month left before we leave, we know without a doubt that God has called us to do what we are doing and are confident that he will provide in these areas. If any of you do feel called to partner in what we do by supporting this work financially please see the details below on how to give, otherwise we are grateful for your support in bringing these needs before God.
How to Give
In the UK – you can give through our charity partner Stewardship by calling 020 8502 5600 and quoting our account number: 20108438 or by downloading forms on our website. This helps us hugely as we can claim an extra 25% on giving through tax.
International – The easiest way to give for those outside the UK is through paypal on our website. You can donate using the button below or alternatively set up a recurring payment to support us regularly.
We would love the chance to share with everyone the work we are doing
in South Africa, so we are planning to run an event on the:
27th August 2010
The Venue is yet to be confirmed, but will be in Aberdeenshire. We will be sharing stories from our last 4 months in South Africa, explaining what it is exactly that we will be doing day to day for the next 3 years, it will also be a great opportunity to see everyone before we leave! Please RSVP by reply to this email, as we’ll also have some food and drinks!
We are hoping to do something similar in Cornwall before we leave, so watch this space…
Liam & Rachel
|…it came in the post, 5 days early!
Much sooner, than the expected 7-10days we recieved a parcel yesterday, blurry eyed by our wonderful cornish hosts Mark and Bronwen Davy. As we saw the South Africa House stamp on the back of the envelope we knew it was the news we were waiting for, some 5 days earlier than expected!
We tore open the package to find only a letterhead with no information and our passports in the package, we frantically flicked through Rachel’s passport first wondering if the £2200 visa might be in place somewhere, and there it appeared! On pg14 in all its glorious formality, a 3 year multiple entry visa to South Africa! We were overjoyed! We then turned to my passport, an older version with no chip in it, being sure we would fine another, this one took about 8 seconds longer to find we sent us in to that warm panic feeling, but finally a river surge flood of relief was found in page 10!!!
WE HAVE OUR VISA’s
We are SO delighted, this was our last formal hurdle and as many of you had heard pretty much an impossible feat. After spending around £1000 on preparations, incl x-rays and medicals and then the trip the London, and the unexpected £1200 we are over the moon to have 3 years of multiple entry allowance for our work in South Africa.
The visa was seemingly impossible because we had fulfilled all conditions for application apart from one, ominously called “proof of financial means”. We have scoured the forums which inform about such conditions and found that on average the South African Government expected those applying for a volunteer visa to have regular monthly donations to the sum of £700-750 per month PER PERSON! Although this does correlate to the cost of living in South Africa, we were seriously worried as our monthly support has fluctuated between £200-600 per month over the last 6 months, much less than the required £1400-£1500. But somehow it was processed sucessfully and we are DELIGHTED!
We know so many of you have prayed for this for us, and for that we are truly grateful, we think this is a brilliant example of our belief that in missions there are no lone rangers, we need the full body of Christ to accomplish what needs to be done, and so we want to thankyou to those who laboured in prayer over this and pledged new monthly support in order to help us raise our support towards the required level, we genuinely couldn’t do any of what we do without you.
God Bless, We’ll let you know when leaving dates etc are in place,
Liam and Rachel
What is All Nations? Is a question we are being asked more and more often as we share our plans. As we haven’t yet joined all nations officially we are asking some of the same questions! We found this video and reposted it online as an introduction t
o All Nations and a simple church model of missions. If the video below doesn’t seem to play, try the youtube version here.
All Nations is a family of communities, working together across Africa, partnering with the Holy Spirit to pioneer simple Jesus-centered communities in homes, businesses or anywhere Jesus is not worshiped. – All Nations Southern Africa
I’ve been reflecting on the things I’ve learnt in the last 6 months, thinking of the things that have really impacted my life, changed the way I think, the way I act, because those are the true indicators of if we believe something.
Something I have come to believe, is that rest in many senses can be worship. It sounds a little too good to be true like those embarrassingly misleading ads that tell us we can eat whatever we want and lose weight, that one isn’t true if you’re wondering. But it is true that rest in the context of a life given over to live for the kingdom of God to come on earth can be worship.
I was asked a few months ago if I could know one thing about someone as soon as I met them, anything at all, what it would be. My answer was that, I would choose to know how aware they were of the love of God over them. This is because I’ve come to think that on a basic level we are either working, living, speaking, relating out of a place of knowing we are fully loved as the bible promises us, or we are living out of a place that strives, competes and is jealous to be loved.
The two people described above are entirely different to be around. One is relaxed, freely gives and freely recieves all that they have, they are aware that they have recieved the ‘pearl of great price’ and therefore nothing else is of worth to them, they give encouragement, affirmation, gifts, time freely, they give life to the people around them. The other person embodies the opposite, they offer doubled edged measured encouragements, they are exclusivist about how they spend time and resources on the people around them, and they can rob the joy and enthusiasm of the people around them, I, unfortunately, have often operated in the latter.
As we spend time focussing on Jesus, realizing his worth, through meditating on scripture, praying for increased revelation of this person Jesus, we realize that he is fully sufficient for us, he has fully accepted us and even more embraced us in love whilst we were still in the stench of our own self-righteousness, our own competitiveness, that prefers ourselves over others. We are fully loved by the creator of the universe, we can quit striving for the affirmation of others, and of God and enjoy a father child affirming relationship, a bride and bridegroom intimacy, and a Leader and King who has conquered, and will reign over his creation.
It is from this place that we are relieved of our striving, even as we are relieved from our very lives. Lives that we lived for ourselves and to please others. As we come alive in our salvation, in our baptism in water and spirit, and in his healing prescence we can sigh, the weight of our responsibilities can be an easy yoke as we realize that God is fully committed to bringing himself glory through our lives more than we think we are committed to that task. As we focus on him, the perfector of our faith, we are released in joyful servanthood, where we can begin to run a race, not for our own crown but for the day when he wil return and we will lay our crowns before him in our awe over his beauty and grace.
God is beautiful when we see him for who he is, and it gives us permission to be freed from the idolatry of our own personal strivings, in order that we can realize God is really in control and is calling us to live from a revelation of being fully known yet fully loved, so that we are working From love not For love.
This realisation can really set us free,
– free from thinking we have to fix it all
– free from thinking we have to make it happen
– free from thinking WE have to bring someone we know to salvation
– free from striving to make enough money to survive
– free from striving to feel OK through what we DO instead who we have been made to BE.
Now that I’ve said it, BE instead of DO, is a good frame of reference for what I feel like I have learnt. As we live and worship the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, we have reached our full potential as humans, we have fulfilled the first and foremost commandment, everything we do after that is from Grace and to him. We achieve our greatest success when we worship him, it is what we were made for, and when we engage in it with all that we are, we are realising our highest calling, higher even that the vocations of being, lovers of our spouse, parents to our children, workers for the Kingdom. All those things are able to be done fuller and more healthily when we have ordered our allegiances behind Jesus.
Try resting today, and do it for the Glory of God.
Acknowledgments: Lindy Conant for worshipping in spirit an truth in the UofN prayer room in Kona as I wrote this on my iPod, Andy Byrd for highlighting the distinction between working for and from love back in October 09
Liam and Rachel are working as missionaries/development strategists/followers of Jesus amongst the Xhosa people in Masiphuemele, South Africa. Click here to help us by praying with us, follow us on our blog or you can sign up to receive our email updates. You can communicate our story to your local Church or housegroup and we would also hugely appreciate anyone prayerfully considering financially supporting the work we do in South Africa on a regular basis, you can find more about that here.