OK so the Coffeerence is over and it was immense. This post is to simply tell you what went on, and why I’m so buzzing about the whole New Breed thing:
New Breed Coffeerence – 18th April, 2009
Well I turned up at WEST at 9:30am and after being given a load of grief for no apparent reason by the caretaker, I started setting things up in the Chapel. Peyton arrived soon after with coffee on tap and a crate of donuts, and from then on it was plain sailing! People started turning up from about 9:45 onwards and by the time we started at just gone 10am there must have been around 30 of us there. To me the most encouraging thing was just how young the delegates were – most in their twenties and thirties, some in their forties and fifties, and some even in their teens! Regardless of whether or not they all choose to roll with New Breed or not, I was just blessed to see so many Christians from this generation who see church-planting in Wales as an adventure worth pursuing!
After a great time of sung worship, Peyton kicked the first session off with an introduction to New Breed and an overview of the journey so far. He told us that church planting was like jumping out of a plane and that while we weren’t experts, we had done it, were still buzzing off it and were now committed to encouraging others who are crazy about the gospel to jump too! After sharing how his church plant, Pillar Community Church, had come about, he handed over to me to unpack the New Breed mission statement:
“New Breed is a network of church planters who are dedicated to planting biblical, missional and radical churches in Wales.”
I simply emphasised the need for a Welsh church planting network that both understands and loves this nation, and then spent the rest of the session explaining the importance of planting churches that are Biblical, Missional and Radical:
- Biblical – Rooted in Scripture
- Missional – Reaching the lost
- Radical – Redeeming Culture
I closed the session by offering every one the gift of a pebble – small, hard, apparently insignificnat and neither glamorous nor impressive, yet unquestionably useful and unique – just like church planting!
Following a very quick caffeine pit-stop we then gave each person who had come an opportunity to share their own hearts and burdens for the gospel in Wales, and it was really exciting to hear what they had to say. I was just so encouraged to hear how God is speaking to so many people across the nation about the same urgent need to plant cutting edge, gospel-preaching churches.
In the final session, Peyton introduced New Breed Jump School – the first of two exciting training programmes that we are looking to launch in September. Jump School is 3 weekends of intensive, practical training held at different points throughout the next academic year and is essentially the access-point to join the New Breed Network. It will be taught by various church-planting experts and practitioners who have been there, done it, jumped out of the plane and lived to tell the tale…
I then briefly mentioned Hill City Church, before introducing the second Training programme – the New Breed Course. The details of this are still very much up in the air but we are in advanced conversations with Highfields Church about the prospect of running a church planting training programme to compliment the Network theological training course that they already run. If this goes ahead it will be a 30 week course broken down into 3 ten week terms, that will go much deeper into practically and theologically preparing people to plant biblical, missional and radical churches. I then shared the second part of the mission statement:
“New Breed assists in launching cutting-edge churches by providing innovative training and practical support for church planters by church planters.”
I ended the session by explaining the four benefits of joining the New Breed church planters’ network:
- Get Excited – Shared adventures
- Receieve Encouragement – Shared Burdens
- Gain Experience – Shared Wisdom
- Be Equipped – Shared Resources
I closed in prayer and then opened up a time of Q&A, in which me and Peyton tried our best to answer as many questions and queries as we could.
We rounded things off, chatted with as many people as possible and then legged it as quick as we could, not wanting to incur the wrath of the caretaker!
From what we’ve heard so far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, though I’m sure there were a few who didn’t quite get it/were a bit freaked out by it! We handed around a notepad for all who were considering joining New Breed to give us their deets and we’ll be sending out enrollment forms for Jump School in the near future. I guess we’ll know who’s up for the jump then!
The audio of the sessions will be available very soon on the New Breed blog.
Thanks to everyone who came, contributed, shared passion, drank coffee and got excited with us! May God use you all mightily to see this nation transformed by the power of His awesome gospel!