Europe

New Planter Spotlight: Jonathan de Groot

The de Groot Family

The de Groot Family

Jonathan de Groot

Jonathan de Groot

Jonathan de Groot IS THE HEAD PASTOR FOR Christ Church Glasgow, Glasgow, scotland. WE ARE HONORED TO PARTNER WITH HIM AND THE CHURCH COMMUNITY BEGINNING IN 2018.

How have you seen God working in your life?

I've been grateful for God's work in my life as I have grasped more of God's amazing grace through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have become more aware of my own sinfulness and have grown to understand, in a greater way, his covenant love for me. As I look back on my life as a Christian I am aware that God has guided me, his ways have been right, and he has enabled me to persevere through trials and the testing of my faith. In seeking to be faithful to him and unashamed of Jesus Christ and his words, I have needed to depend on God more and more. I trust my past experiences of life and ministry have been the necessary preparation for what is to come in the future. I am conscious that there will be many opportunities as well as challenges, besides great joy and satisfaction, in following Jesus and making him known.

How have you seen God working in your family?

God has been good in blessing me with a wife and three children. Our family is excited about starting a new church. My wife Sheona has always supported me, feeling equally called to serve alongside me in the work of the gospel. While our chief desire has been to serve God and other people, we have been aware of the need to take care of ourselves amidst the demands of ministry. By God's grace, he has given us the strength and looked after us and our children. As we have grown older, we have learnt lessons, often the hard way, but they have enabled us to make changes for long term sustainability in ministry. It has been a privilege to see how the experience of moving towards a church plant has impacted my children. They have learned the need to obey God’s Word and stand up for Jesus even when it is difficult. The experience has also helped to shape their understanding of why the church exists and brought great encouragement to us, as parents, and others as we have listened to them praying for God to use our church so that people in Glasgow will come to know Jesus as their Saviour.

How have you seen God working in your church?

For the past 10 years I have been a Senior Pastor serving within the Church of Scotland but, because of my Biblical convictions, I made the decision to leave and have stepped out in faith to begin church planting in Glasgow. While there are good churches doing good work in the city, the percentage of the population attending church is small and there are many areas where there is little or no gospel witness. During my time in Glasgow, I have increasingly felt a burden for the many people who have little opportunity to hear the gospel as well as an increasing conviction that we need more reformed and contemporary churches which can engage with people where they are. While plans are at an early stage, God has been gracious by giving many tangible confirmations in this new ministry. In seeking to church plant we have lost the security of home and income, but God has been good and we can testify to his provision in many ways. The process has been a challenging and testing one for us but the most vital lesson we have learned and also need to keep being reminded of is fact that God is sovereign and it is Jesus Christ who builds his church. So while we have a plan, we are aware that it is God’s work and not ours, “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (1 Cor. 3:7).

Church Mission & Vision

Christ Church Glasgow seeks to be a Christ-centred church to make disciples of all nations and impact Glasgow for the glory of God. We want to obey the Great Commission by establishing a sustainable church in Glasgow by 2020 and be a church that plants churches that plant churches. Glasgow is a mission field and a strategic city to reach as the biggest in Scotland and the fourth largest in the UK. Glasgow is vibrant, thriving and cosmopolitan with significant influence and cultural impact, but Glasgow’s greatest problem is spiritual. The city has as its motto, “Lord let Glasgow flourish through the preaching of thy word and praising thy name”. While everyone wants Glasgow to flourish, many know nothing of the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. We want to preach God’s Word and praise his name amongst the many people who are lost in our great city. Since Jesus came on a rescue mission and sends us out on his rescue mission, our new church has an intentional mission to reach unbelievers. We don’t want to be like passengers on a cruise ship concerned for our own comfort; rather we want to be the crew of a lifeboat concerned about saving others. We need to be a church engaged in our particular urban context where people can hear the gospel, see it lived out and come to believe it for themselves.

If you would like to reach out to Jonathan, you can visit the church's website at www.christchurchglasgow.org.

New Planter Spotlight: Pastor Dima

For the safety of Pastor Dima and his church, personal pictures and names cannot be shared.

For the safety of Pastor Dima and his church, personal pictures and names cannot be shared.

Pastor Dima IS THE THE HEAD PASTOR FOR a new church plant in Belarus. WE ARE HONORED TO PARTNER WITH HIM AND THE CHURCH COMMUNITY BEGINNING IN 2018.

How have you seen God working in your life?

When I became a believer, I eagerly received the free gift of Jesus dying in my place, to pay the penalty for my sins. But as time went by, I came to believe that I needed to work to maintain my salvation. I lost my joy toward God and I hid my imperfections from people. However, this past year I studied the book of Galatians and the Holy Spirit helped me to understand that I am an adopted child of God. There is nothing I can do to cause him to love me more nor is there any bad thing I can do to cause him to love me less. I needed the Gospel for my salvation and I also know that I need the Gospel every day for my sanctification.

How have you seen God working in your family?

My wife and I have been married for more than 15 years. We are in a sweet season where we enjoy our similarities and no longer try to change the other person's differences. I'm blessed to have a wife who cares for me, loves our children, works full-time and disciples women in our church. Her sacrifices allow me to be a pastor and freely shepherd our church. Our children are growing in their love for God, by it is more and more difficult to protect them from negative influences in our culture. Even though our lives are extra busy because of planting a new church, it has been unifying to serve God together as a family.

How have you seen God working in your church?

As we launched the church, I had many new ideas that I was sure would result in many new believers and a fast growing church. God had other plans for us. Many of my new ideas did not work. God worked in ways that we did not expect. I think that God broke some of my pride through failures so that I would learn to depend more on Him.

Church Vision

There are a lot of young people currently living in our city, and many more are coming here from villages and towns all over our country. The number of students at our main University (and different colleges) is over 15,000 people. Additionally, there are also over 18,000 students in public schools. At the same time young people are lacking guidance in life and basic moral values, which is why we have serious problems with smoking, drunkenness, drug addiction, AIDS, early abortion and violence. In 2015 our city was #1 in the region regarding AIDS infections, and is in the top 5 of our whole nation.

It breaks my heart to see that the young people are dying in my city without God. I want to bring the gospel into their lives and share this hope for a new life that only God in Christ can give!

In addition to growing our church, we plan to plant a daughter church that will focus on another part of town. We are investing in young men who want to become elders and pastors in the future.


For the safety of Pastor Dima and his church, names and locations cannot be shared. However, if you would like to learn more about Eurasia Partners and give towards Pastor Dima's work, visit www.eurasiapartners.org/give/00245.

Celebrating Five Years in Munich, Germany!

We are honored to partner with Steffen Mueller and Gospel Church in Munich, Germany. They are celebrating their fifth anniversary!

Dear Prayer Partners,

At the end of this month we will celebrate the 500 year anniversary of the protestant reformation!

Tomorrow, October 8, we will celebrate the 5 year anniversary of Gospel Church München. In God’s providence He placed Gospel Church in the very neighborhood (“Grünwald” in South Munich) where in February 1522 as a result of the “Grünwald conference” the world-wide, counter-reformation began (by Dr. Johann Eck and other leaders of the catholic church). God has a good sense of humor, and so we rejoice that the very Gospel of Jesus Christ, which has been under attack by the counter-reformation, has now been strongly and boldly proclaimed these five past years in Grünwald/South Munich, Germany - to the glory of Jesus Christ!

Please pray for our 5 year anniversary service tomorrow:

  • That God will be glorified and that the focus will be on Him!
  • That God will speak powerfully through the sermon (John 1:35-51)
  • For much spiritual fruit and several conversions, and for growth in maturity for those who are in Christ
  • For strong attendance and for many new people who will return and come to faith in Christ according to God’s timetable
  • For the Holy Spirit to be mightily present with His love and holiness
  • For our choir and musicians and singers - that God will be pleased with our worship
  • For the children’s ministry and all the volunteers
  • For the video projector and the sound system to work well
  • For our lunch and fellowship time afterwards
  • That God will grant a strong Gospel movement that is changing Munich, Germany and the world

On a personal note, we have found a small apartment south of Munich (about 15 minutes to “Grünwald” and about 35 minutes to the university/downtown area (where we want to begin an evening service in the second half of 2018) that we are seriously considering to buy. Please pray for the following:

  • That God will confirm it in our hearts and minds if this is indeed the apartment that we should buy (we need to let them know by Wednesday or Thursday).
  • If we should indeed buy it that God will grant us favor with the right bank and a very low interest rate that is fixed for the next 25 years (we will need a loan/mortgage for over $ 600,000).
  • Praise God that we found this apartment (nearly every other apartment in Munich or within a 30-minute radius from South Munich is considerably more expensive than this one)
  • That we will glorify God as we walk by faith. 

Below are some pictures from five years of Gospel Church - Thanks be to God!

If you would like to learn more about Gospel Church, you can visit the church website at http://www.gospelchurchmuenchen.de/.

Spotlight: Peter Roberts & Trinity Church Everton, Liverpool

Peter and Ruth Roberts have been married for six years and have two children, Chloe (2) and Isaac (3).

Peter and Ruth Roberts have been married for six years and have two children, Chloe (2) and Isaac (3).

We are thrilled to support Peter Roberts and Trinity Church Everton in Liverpool, England. Please keep Peter in your prayers.

What is the name of your church and roughly how many attendees do you currently have?

Trinity Church Everton and we have about 50 adults and 20 children attend on a Sunday. 

Where are you originally from and where is your current church located?

I am originally from a market town on the edge of Liverpool called Ormskirk. I moved into the city 15 years ago for University. Our church is located in an economically deprived neighborhood of Liverpool called Everton. Both of our cities Premier league soccer teams (Liverpool and Everton) were established in our area over a 100 years ago.

Tell us the story of how God called you to plant a church and why you chose the current location for your church plant.

Whilst I was working/being trained by Christ Church Liverpool, I led a small team to think through where CCL should consider planting in the future. As we investigated various areas it became apparent that whilst there were a few encouraging church plants and several thriving churches in the south of the city, there were very few gospel-driven, culturally-sensitive churches in the North of the city. There are approximately a quarter of a million people who live in different communities in North Liverpool and most have never really engaged with the gospel. 

We dreamt of planting a church planting church into one community of North Liverpool, which once established could then plant further churches into other communities in North Liverpool.  We decided to plant in Everton due to three reasons. Firstly, it was a strategic decision, Everton is an area that acts as a gateway to the rest of the North Liverpool. Secondly, it was a pragmatic decision, our core team needed move to the area we where going to planting into. Everton is close enough to the city centre that no one in the initial core team had to find a new job. Thirdly, it was a theological decision, we noticed that most of the growing gospel ministry in our city was amongst the middle classes, but we believe the great news of Jesus is for everyone. We felt compelled to try and plant a gospel church amongst poor people who were not engaged by the great news of Jesus.

What is the spiritual temperature in your community/country? How does this reflect your church’s mission and focus?

I estimate that in our community over 98% of people do not go to church, most people round here think that Christianity is irrelevant. On the face of it most people say they are not interested in the gospel and being a Christian is a waste of time. The reality, however, is that everyone is longing for something that makes sense of their lives. We encourage our church to get to know the people around them and build relationships of trust. We find that when non-Christians trust us they begin to open up about things and there are opportunities to share the gospel into their lives.

Most people don't go to church so we do lots of things to engage people where they are at.  Every week we stand on the main shopping street and give out hot drinks to get chatting with people, we run an addictions group and a mental health group, and we run a toddlers stay and play session. We are always seeking to talk to people and introduce them to the Lord Jesus. We want to be a church for people who don't normally go to church

Tell us one of the most difficult situations you have faced during your years as a church planter. How did God work through that particular situation?

The hardest thing for us so far has been dealing with people who seem to be making progress, maybe even they have made professions of faith, but then turn their backs on Christ. It has been hard investing lots of time with people and then seeing them turn around from Christ and rejecting us personally. God has used these disappointing experiences to humble us and remind us of the truth of his word. It has been a great encouragement to reread Mark 4 and see that Jesus explained this rejection will happen by some, but some will be good soil that receive the word and produce a large crop.

Tell us about how you have seen God working - maybe share a particular story.

When we dreamt of planting this church we were very aware that we came from a different background to the people we were trying to reach. All 10 of the core team had been through university, most had done further studies (doctors, PhDs, Masters), but most people in Everton had failed to complete college and many had dropped out of school early. It was always our dream that we might reach local people with the gospel and see them grow to then take the gospel out further. 

God has been kind by slowly making those dreams a reality and given us some local people who are now growing as Christians. They are really helping us to contextualize the gospel to people's every day struggles. We are praying that one day they might become future leaders in the church. 

Let me tell you about one guy.  He is in his mid-30s and has spent over 12 years in prison for various convictions. He got connected to our church through our family member and started attending our addictions group. We seemed to be making some progress but after a few months he disappeared from church for a long time. Last year he contacted us and explained that he felt really convicted. He had come to realize he couldn't just play at being a Christian, it was an all or nothing thing. He knew Jesus was Lord so knew he needed to commit to following Christ. Since making that decision he has had to serve a sentence for a previous crime he had committed, but since being released has become a vital part of our church. He was baptized at Easter and recently became a member!

Please list any prayer requests we can share with our SRC family.

  • Thank God for the miracles he has done in our small church. We have seen dead sinners come to a living faith in Christ. Praise God!
  • Pray for our plans to plant a new church in 5 years time. We are in the process of training up new leaders for this.
  • Pray for this year that we would see a good crop of people coming to faith. Pray especially that they might help us better reach our area for Christ
  • Pray for our church that we would rejoice in the Lord always in the midst of trails and struggles.

If you would like to reach out to Peter, you can email him at peter@trinitychurcheverton.org or visit the church's website at http://www.trinitychurcheverton.org.

Ron on the Road: Dublin, Ireland

I have spent the last two days in Dublin Ireland, and am impressed with this city's history and beauty. Ireland is know as the "land of saints and scholars" and yet evangelicals make up less than one percent of the population. Dublin is a city with a deep connection to Catholicism, and yet because of the scandals in recent years, and the growing liberalism very few people attend church.I was able to meet with two pastors of two new church plants who are trying to bring the Gospel into this city. Steve Vaughn (pictured here) leads Christ City Church in the Temple bar area of Dublin. They launched this church nine months ago and meet in a film studio on Sunday mornings. Steve is a bi-vocational pastor, he works at a multi-national tech firm as well as leads Christ City Church. The attenders of Christ City Church range in age of 18-25 years old, they are students and young professionals who live in the city of Dublin. Please keep Steve and his family in your prayers as the faithfully serve in this city.

Kieron Lynch
Kieron Lynch

I also met with Kieron Lynch,  Kieron and Mark Smith are planting City Church Dublin. You can learn more about them and their church on this video

It has been both encouraging and exciting to see what God is doing through these church planters. They both shared many stories of people coming to faith, and lives being changed. 

They are also excited to see if their churches can be a catalyst for the beginnings a new church planting movement here in Dublin.