Simple Churches and the Movement Spreading from Russia to the World

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I’m currently in Ukraine (post on this coming soon)…but while I’m here, let me just pause to share with you an amazing story of how a movement began in Russia and how it is now spreading across the world…

As far as I’m aware this story begins with 3 ladies (not their real names, although it is a very real story), Pam, Carla and Jane who were visiting Israel. Jane went into the bathroom to pray after seeing Newforms UK Gathering 2010 advertised on the internet.

Jane said to Pam, ‘you are not going to like this, but you should go to the Newforms Gathering in the UK

Pam said in response ‘At that time, we will be in the UK, but we have tickets already booked for Russia the morning the gathering begins so there’s no way we can go

Pam, Carla and Jane were then in England and meant to go back to Russia that morning…but then, in their words; ‘God had a volcano blow up‘. So on Thursday all airports announced ‘no flights over Europe!’

Because they were unable to leave the UK, they had time to hear our friend Tony Dale speak with a church in the South East on Simple Church, he then announced he was going to be speaking at Newforms Gathering 2010 in Nottingham that evening.

This was too much of a co-incidence for Pam and Carla…so they travelled over to Nottingham that evening, without having booked into the conference…. and wandered around Nottingham city trying to find the venue.

When they finally found it, they asked the first woman they met at the registration table, ‘do you know where we can stay this weekend?‘ Fortunately the woman said; ‘you can sleep on my floor‘. That’s when Pam realised ‘These are our kind of people

During the weekend, Tony and I shared Luke 10 Principles, since then, my life has become more interconnected with these 3 ladies…our paths have crossed several times, at Newforms Tasters and at other Newforms National Gatherings

Pam then invited me out to Russia in September 2012 to facilitate Newforms Level 1 training…People came mainly from the Krasnodar region and Northern Caucasus including some of these areas (some miss-spelt)…

Armavir
Dagestan
Karachaya-Cherkessia
Stavrolpol
Eccetuki
Rostov
Nevinomisk
Tihoretz
Krasnodar
Moscow
Vladimir
Eterinburgh
Kamchatka
Pyatigorsk
Ukraine

The first day in Russia, we began the training as usual. But then I felt to stop midway through and asked people to put their hands up if they have already started a simple church. To my surprise more than 80% of the people present put their hands up. Pam was also surprised as was the rest of the local team. Maybe like us…you are thinking at this point…how on earth did this come about?

So I asked each person to share their stories asking them very specific questions of how they got started and what they do. Here are some of their stories…

‘Janet’ (and team of 3 people)
2 years ago started working with Jewish people in her area and is praying for the Caucasus
She and her team of 3 people have started meeting for Shabbat meals most Friday evenings

‘Victor’
2 years ago, transformation began and we’re still getting more revelation. ‘We have been eating for 2 years.’ A church leader came to a Gathering, Pam and team hosted, then passed info onto us, including website (www.simplechurch.com.ua) and ‘tidal wave’ video. This was confirmation of what I had in my heart. The theory is clear but practice lacks so I’ve found it very helpful receiving this practical training. We meet at home, at work, invite people for a meal on Sabbath (Shabbat meals). We meet 2 times a week, for celebrations, do trips together, like holidays. Also we’ve done a ‘spiritual health’ seminar that we’ve invited people to. When we meet, we EAT! The church leader who started this explains what a simple church is. 16 lessons on paper from Victor John (T4T) to use to reach others, sometimes we worship, testimonies ‘How are you doing?’, pray for people. we reach out to others by building relationships, invite them to our homes, share our own stories. They also have a centre for massage and beds. We invite people from there to the ‘spiritual health’ seminar. We have been learning from www.simplechurch.com.ua, Victor John (T4T), David L Watson (level 1 training on CPM from his website), Pioneer Mission and Multiplication training from Newforms and Neil Cole. I hope and have faith that everyone will take part and will draw people who are drawn to God

‘Tanya’
Started 2 years ago…has started 2 simple groups, and 1 simple church with 2 baptised. God began to reveal things to them in 2009, to lay down all programmes, found info on simple church and Tidal Wave from Newforms National Gathering in the UK. They now meet in the homes of the people of peace. We are also talking to others but not groups yet. When they meet together they drink tea, talk about their lives, pray for them. They usually meet once or twice a week for 2 hours. There are 2-3 people in the simple church, 3 adults + children in each group.
Future Hope: make more disciples. Grow the groups so more of their relatives come

‘Michael and Lisa’
The simple church started gradually, they came to visit the Gathering Pam hosted in Russia, they saw the atmosphere here, how they were more simple. Since then, one brother, Rasheed, has his own group, another sister lives in the mountains and we pray together. Also there are 7 people in the first group. Rashid is in this first group but also his own (2nd generation) We meet in our home, which is also the church. 2nd group in home of Uzbeck person. Family members are joining that group. One man came to Jesus, 2 women as well, when they were eating together. There is another spontaneous group of Karachai people who started to meet together too as a house church. When we meet together we prayer, listen to God to what he wants us to do, word of God, share what God says, eating- but not always. We meet twice or three times a week. Prayer walks in the mountains. Patya has also began inviting people. We already practised prayer and spiritual warfare. Micha talks to many people on the job as he repairs sewing machines in peoples homes
Future hope. One group in every village (about 13 villages). Prayer walking them all, looking for people of peace

‘Yura’ from the Ukraine
The simple church started 1 year ago, received the ‘virus’ from Pam and the team at a training. Before this we were doing church ‘mechanically’ like we had always. Yura pastored a church, but started 2 other churches- handed one over to someone else and transformed the others into simple churches. They currently have a ‘mini-centre’ of simple churches where 15-20 people meet. 6-7 simple churches/groups have been started. Not all were started as simple churches but are being transformed. When we meet we have food, testimonies, worship, word, fellowship. We reach out to neighbours, work colleagues. Training element, ‘DNA of mission’. They went to Krimsk (flooded city in Russia- in August 2012) for 10 days and started 2 groups. When they went they prayed ‘Jesus, give us people of peace’. They found a destroyed home. Worked in the house, found food, stayed for a few days (3-4) in that house, relatives were there from Vladimir. People began to give their lives to the lord. 5 people on the team
Future Hope: Missions, nations- through simple church. Training to reach neighbouring villages

‘Tanya’, Stavrapol Region, Russia
Began almost 2 years ago, Viktor came to the ‘Base‘ where Pam and team train people and got the vision. Tanya came here 1 year ago and phoned all the people they knew and told them the vision of simple churches. 5 people responded positively and gathered them together. In the 1st group, 5 people, some were Christians, some not, some started 1 year ago. This group meets with Tanya in the centre of town. Viktor had started a group in ‘district of factory’ with 11 people in his group (maybe more)- Tanya was not in this group. When they meet together they have Tea+food. Once a week, pray for each other, help each other. No longer meets in Tanyas home but meets in the homes of the members of the group. Each person of the original 5 now has a group in their home and Tanya visits them. Tanya is now in the process of starting a new group and spreading the vision
Future Hope: Many simple churches

‘Katya’, Kav Minvody (5 cities)
Since July 2012. Tanya, who is part of Pam’s local team in Russia, wrote a message about simple churches on her facebook page. Katya read it and got in touch and came to the centre to learn more. Separately a couple from Nizhrinovgoraod came together and God told them to wait on him. Katya joined them and started to share the word, people joined them one by one. There are now several groups- 1. Lida- 2 non-believers in her simple church. 2. a couple, Volody and Rita (from Nizhninovgorod) + 8 people. Katya is part of this group. 3. Dzyander- reaches out to Jewish people. 4. Igor and Natasha with young people. When they meet together they drink tea, study bible, pray, share life and needs. The group invite people they know who are non-believers
Future Hope: more simple churches

These are just a few of the stories…So we traced it all back, how did all these people find out about this stuff and start and this is what happened…

After Pam and her team came to the Newforms UK Gathering in April 2010
They started a National Gathering in the Krasnador region…and have facilitated 2-3 weekends a year since Sept 2010. The first year, Pam and her team facilitated this themselves both in Sept then in Feb 2011. In Sept 2011, Tony and Felicity Dale flew over to share. In Feb 2012, Pam+team facilitated another gathering themselves and then in Sept 2012 Peter Farmer flew over to facilitate a Newforms Level 1 Training…the team had never asked if people had started…and we were all amazed at the stories that have all begun in the last 2-3 years!

Pam has also shared these Pioneer Mission and multiplication principles in April 2010 (Taster in Israel), April 2011 (level 1 training in Israel)…so for all we know, maybe there are stories and simple communities springing up all over that country too?

Pam and the team also travel out for short term trips to other nations. Sometimes they go to these nations for 3 month periods. God is now giving us a new strategy of forming MissionBases that multiply movements into those regions…

Nations the team travels to regularly include:
Russia
Israel
China
Turkey
Syria
Jordan
UK
Canada
USA
Holland
North Korea
Mozambique
Ukraine

It’s so encouraging to find people who hear this stuff, and put it into practice…making disciples and multiplying communities to the ends of the earth!

We are hoping to form MissionBases in all of these countries and regions…will you join us in prayer, giving or going?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Cook March 23, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I work with a ministry named E3 Partners (and its sister ministry, I Am Second). We are in the process of starting simple churches (we call them “Best Life Fellowships”, or Luciya-Za-zehn in Russian). I am VERY encouraged to hear this news!! I will spread it among the rest of our teammates. Occasionally, we have encountered occasional cultural resistance to this. Some Russians say it is difficult to meet in homes unless you know the person very well. Any helpful tips would be appreciated!
In Jesus,
Larry

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admin April 11, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Hi Larry
I know some people working in Russian Speaking world. I guess other than meeting in homes…if this is a cultural problem have you tried meeting in public places? (Cafes, bars, restaurants, parks)

Be great to hear more of what you are up to Larry!

Reply

Tony March 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm

What a blessing to read a report like this. Felicity and I love to go wherever the Lord directs. Often we don’t know what subsequently happens. To see a report just fills our hearts with praise. Every little step of obedience releases an outpouring of the Holy Spirit – Acts 5:32.

Reply

admin April 11, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Hi Tony!
Yes it is very encouraging! Keep up the good work guys…sometimes we sow…sometimes we reap…ones sows, one waters but God gives the increase!

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