Church planting is all about engaging with people, meeting them, talking with them, listening to their stories and engaging with their lives and asking God to come and meet them too. We’re constantly on the look out for opportunities to share the reasons for the hope we have and to demonstrate the love of God for lost and hurting people. Praying for people who are ill or hurting is a great way of showing the love of God and the reality of God. Here’s a recent story from one of our members Kate:
“I recently had the chance to pray with one of my teachers and one of my friends while at my Swedish class. My teacher had hurt her back on and she thought she had a broken rib. She had been off school the previous day and was moving awkwardly. Just before the break, at the end of our practice writing test, she was telling us about it. So during the break I spoke with her in the corridor and I told here that I had seen backs healed and broken bones mended, that God still heals today and so then I offered to pray for her. She asked how long it would take, where would we go, what did she have to do.
I replied, “Let’s pray here, it will take 2 minutes, you don’t have to do anything.” She agreed. I asked if I could put my hand on where the pain was. She made sure my hand was on the exact spot! So between a photocopier and a doorway I prayed, “Pain go, healing come, the peace of God be on you.” I kept my hand on her back for a moment. She said her back felt warm. I said,”Yes, my hand is warm too.” Then took my hand away and asked her how it felt. She moved a bit and looked very surprised. “It’s feeling better. I’ll tell you at the end of the morning how it is then.”
She didn’t have to! After the break she was walking about much more easily without wincing at all. She did say at the end that it was much better – looking very pleased and puzzled at the same time.
Two of my friends had watched me pray with my teacher, one of them said she had a sore upper arm from doing her martial arts defence lesson yesterday and could I pray for her too. This time all I did was put my fingers on her muscle and said, “Be healed.” At the end of the morning she sent me a text to say it was better. She’s very into meditation, etc, so it felt a bit as though God was showing off. No need for chanting, meditating, trying hard…..”Just say the word and my servant will be healed.”
I stood in the busy corridor and felt completely helpless after I offered to pray with my teacher. “Well, it’s all over to you Jesus
, I can’t do anything”…and HE DID. Thanks Jesus. You are amazing!”
We’re continuing to pray for these people that God will keep adding testimony upon testimony, evidence upon evidence of His grace, love and forgiveness.
I recently found this talk by Stefan Paas on European Church Planting from a recent City to City conference on church planting in Berlin.
It’s an interesting talk, although there are a number of aspects I disagree with. I’m not nearly as content as Paas seems to be with small church on the margins, although I take his point that there’s more to the church than simply getting bigger. Still if you’re interested in church planting in Europe then the conference and the talk are worth taking note of.
Perhaps even more helpfully there’s a 26 page pdf of annotated bibliography on church planting which is a really helpful resource.