Church leaders inspired to multiply disciples

Around 80 people shared experience and testimonies during the NNSW Multiply TED Talks, an annual church planting event.

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(Credit: Marta Rutkowska)

Inspiring and equipping churches and leaders with the vision of growing the kingdom of God, the Multiply TED Talks, an annual church planting event run by the North New South Wales Conference (NNSW), gathered 80 people at the Toronto Adventist Church on February 6.

With inspiring and practical presentations, the event also promoted discussions amongst leadership teams on multiplying disciples, leaders and churches.

According to NNSW church planting director Dr Sven Ostring, the event’s central theme was based on how the Bible consistently paints an inspiring vision of multiplication. 

“God commanded Adam and Eve to multiply and fill the earth. God repeated this command to Noah after the Flood. He promised Abraham that He would multiply Abraham’s offspring. Multiplication is also inherent in Jesus’ commission for us to make disciples,” he explains.

Guest speakers included SPD president Pastor Glenn Townend, NNSW president Pastor Adrian Raethel and others, covering several topics, including being visionary, the importance of Adventist identity and mission, growing leaders, discipleship and small groups.

Planting a church at a uni campus

Real-life church planters also shared their experience and testimonies. Pastor Joseph Skaf, Hana Nakagawa and Na Shen led a special segment where they shared their journey in planting a church at the Newcastle University. 

Pastor Skaf explained that the church plant journey started around three years ago after the Warners Bay Adventist Church noticed a need for a university campus ministry in Newcastle. 

Pastor Joseph Skaf, Hana Nakagawa and Na Shen sharing the Newcastle Church Plant story.

“At that time, no one in the church was studying or had children studying at that university, so the members started to pray, and God started to send people. Some Adventist young adults started to come along, and Boris Jovinov, the church pastor at the time, was able to secure some bible workers and Arise for Life students, which made it possible to begin a ministry on campus,” he explained.

Pastor Jovinov became a chaplain at the university, and along with the bible workers and Arise students, formed the Adventist Students on Campus (ASOC) group to reach out to the uni students by meeting their needs. 

“They would have social groups, and cooking classes, health ministries, social meetings and care groups. And they started to invite people to come along and make friends. After the first year, they had an evangelistic series on campus and had a few baptisms from that,” said Pastor Skaf. 

Today the Newcastle University Church Plant has an attendance of more than 35 people every Sabbath.

“Church planting is the fruit or outcome of being committed to the mission of intentionally making disciples. Thus, if we are fulfilling the Great Commission, church planting will be the result. Church planting is also part of the bigger vision of growing the kingdom of God and reaching unreached people groups and communities”, said Dr Ostring.