GICN REST Conference
The GICN Rest Conference began Monday, May 24, 2015 with registration at 2;00, dinner at 6:00 and our first meeting at 7:00. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner of Asian cuisine, great worship led by the IES Jakarta worship team, and an inspiring message by Dr. Ron Maddux.
Dave Kenney’s Opening Comments
IES Jakarta pastor and conference organizer Dave Kenney opened the conference with greetings, practical information and special introductions.
He explained how he and several other pastors met last year in Hong Kong for an Asian international church cohort and began discussing the idea of hosting a similar event in Indonesia. This idea eventually grew into hosting the first GICN conference welcoming international church pastor and leaders from throughout the world.
Synopsis of Dr. Ron Maddux’s Message
Dr. Maddux spoke about the power of international church ministry in the lives of people. He shared his personal story: how he was called to missions during his first pastorate in Florida and the excitement he felt on his first trip to Hong Kong. Dr. Maddux eventually ministered throughout Asia in Thailand, Singapore and many other nations. Today he serves as Regional Director of Northern Asia for the Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM).
He told stories about internationals he’d crossed paths with over the years. One miraculous story he told was when he once smuggled Bibles into China, dropped the suitcase and all of the Bibles fell out onto the floor. A Chinese security guard came over, picked them up, put them back in the suitcase and said, ‘These are all for your personal use aren’t they?’
He went on to share stories about internationals he had met along the way whose lives were changed by the gospel through international church ministry; and closed with: “The power of international churches can’t be calculated.”
The first service was over by 8:05 p.m. and those in attendance enjoyed meeting each other and fellowshipping the rest of the evening.
Dave Kenney opened the morning with a review of the day’s activities which include a message delivered by Leroy Cloud, former pastor of ICA Hong Kong; breakout groups divided into those whose churches are (1) less than 200; (2) between 200-500; and (3) more than 500. Lunch is at 12 noon followed by a ‘speed dating’ session at 2:00 pm in which conference participants will share about their ministries in small groups. At 4:00 pm there will be worship and a message by Jeff Hartensveld, followed by dinner aat various restaurants.
Leroy Cloud’s Message (see notes)
Issue of staffing and volunteers
Enjoyed a wonderful dinner of roasted chicken, barbeque pork ribs and meatballs in marina sauce as well as mac-and-cheese, fried rice and tasty desserts in brownies and lemon squares. Thanks Dave and team for doing such a great job with our meals!
Speed Dating Sessions
Conference participants divided themselves into small groups to get to know each other better by answering such questions as: share what kind of church government under which your church operates and how your church handles finances.
Brief word from Joel Ellis
After a refreshing time of afternoon worship, Joel Ellis shared some about Global University and how he was available to answer questions until the evening and then he and his wife were going on to China.
Jeff Hartensveld (see notes)
Edmound Teo, pastor of ICA Hong Kong, introduced Terry Hoggard, founder and coordinator of the Global International Church Network.
Terry’s topic was: “Answering The Call To Be Relevant & Redemptive:
The Importance & Impact Of A Global International Church Network”.
Pastor Teo Shares About 2016 Conference
Pastor Teo shared about an upcoming conference: “A Global Church for a Global World” April 11-15 in Hong Kong.
“This will be a gathering of all international church networks,” he said. “Well have the benefit of establishing connections with one another and casting vision.”
He went on to explain that most churches are not global, saying that most are at least 80% homogenous. “However, most of our communities in the world today are heterogenous. Seldom do you see 80% of the same people group in the same place.
In much the same way, not all of our international churches are global.
“Our hope with this conference is to inspire church leaders around the world who may not have experience in this type of ministry and to help make them aware of global churches.”
11:00 Session [View Session Notes]
Conference participants divided into three groups for discussion around pertinent issues for those churches dealing with: post-modern Christianity, those dealing with restricted access, and those ministering in nations with a dominant religion.
Pastor Dave Kenney and team organized a delicious lunch featuring Thai food.
2:00 Session [View Session Notes]
Pastor Dave Kenney led a session on church planting in which several conference participants shared about their church planting strategies and experiences.
4:00 Session [View Session Notes]
After an expressive moment of worship led by the IES Jakarta worship team, AGWM Director Greg Mundis shared an encouraging message to international church pastors.
Trash Mountain Field Trip
On Thursday morning, a number of conference participants had already left to attend another conference in the city.Our host church, IES Jakarta, planned a field trip out to an area of the city called ‘Trash Mountain’ to view a compassion work in which the church is involved.
The following notes are by Larry Henderson, pastor of Vienna Christian Center in Vienna, Austria and co-director of the Fellowship of European International Church network.
Resource: International Churches and US Tax Exempt Status
Rick lived in Indonesia a number of years working with Wyclife. He now divides his time between Fairfax, Virginia and Indonesia, and focuses on working with missionaries and 501c3s.
Contact: Lei-Wei, Malaysia
Lei-Wei shared general information about Alpha including the fact that Alpha now exists in 128 countries and 145 languages. He shared several videos from the alpha international website located at: www.alpha.org.
Resource: Children’s Ministry
Contact: Jay and Debbie Risner, KidLink International
All of you are facing situations with children not growing up in Christian homes.
I work in all six regions of the world. You see the hardness of the Muslim adults but the children are still vulnerable. When we go into the schools in Kenya, you can share the gospel, altar call, or go in with a team to one church, hit schools around it and plan crusade.
Pastor Dale Cuckow
Shanghai Community Fellowship
Pastor Dale Cuckow spoke in the last session of the conference and shared about the fellowship he pastors in Shanghai, what it’s like to do ministry in China, and some things he has learned.
Shanghai Community Fellowship Background
SCF started in 1996, which was the first year China allowed foreign Christians to meet separately from the state church. Two groups in Shanghai were meeting fairly quickly – but the religious affairs bureau did not allow us to have a pastor. We had ‘speakers’ and things were so sensitive that the same person couldn’t speak more than 2-3 Sundays in a row or it would like you were leading. You also couldn’t baptize, marry or perform any official ceremony.