The Lord of Church Planting and New Disciples
I (Daron) have been reflecting on the question: ‘What gives me the greatest joy in mission?’ No doubt my relationship with the Lord brings the greatest joy but I would also add two other aspects: the chance to witness commitments of faith through baptism and the opportunity to become a reproducing church. Recently, the Lord has done remarkable things in enabling Lifestreams Karawara to celebrate six baptisms within a five week period; five of these commitments were new converts!
No doubt, faith commitments made through baptism brings great joy in Christ, but of late I have observed an even greater joy than this: seeing two of Karawara’s very first converts now baptising and discipling the next generation of believers (photo attached: Raven baptising Kalvin). Indeed, this was such a joyous and momentous occasion. Momentous because since day one of the new church, the goal of our discipleship plan was to see new disciples reproducing the life of Christ in the next generation of believers. We are thankful to the Lord for his favour in seeing this goal come to life.
One of our other Christ-given goals is to fulfil His vision to become a Mother Church. Admittedly for me, the planting of new congregations through Lifestreams Karawara has always been the clear indicator that God’s vision is beginning to be fulfilled. In view of this, I am excited to report that we have been privileged to become his Acts 1:8 church planting witness in Perth as we seek to plant two new congregations: a plant into the heart of Curtin University focussed on reaching students and a total replant of an African congregation in Balga.
To be honest, I thought this vision and the planting of at least one new church would take a little longer given that Lifestreams Karawara is only three years old but it seems the Lord has other plans. And so, this coming March, as we work towards becoming a Mother Church for the first time, we will celebrate with joy the birth of two daughter churches. We believe and trust that the Lord is over this vision and continue to pray that in time these new Lifestreams Churches will also reproduce. It’s this kind of reproduction that brings that bubbling joy to the surface!
I am reminded about Paul and Barnabas’ first missionary journey where they shared the gospel to many and as a result, churches were planted. Despite the numerous church planting setbacks and tough opposition at times joy was a constant hallmark of the early church as Acts 13:52 (NASB) states: “And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” We are thankful and joyful to God for what he is doing and wish to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for the love and support we have received from COCWA and from our Churches of Christ. We value your continued prayers as we seek to follow Jesus who is the Lord of church planting and the Lord of new disciples.