Kaunas, LITHUANIA. April 11-16. About 120 church planters came together to the X-change seminar in Lithuania, which was conducted by Peter Roenflied, Trans-European Divison Ministerial secretary and Global mission coordinator.
This X-change seminar was attended by the church planter teams from all three Baltic countries. This year 50 church palnters from Lithuanian attended X-change seminar. This is considerably more than last year in Riga, Latvia. We had several unxepected guests, too. Juris Rekis (former “Korinta” cafe-church leader from Riga) also came to the X-change seminar from the Newbold Colege, UK.
People spent the whole week listening, developing plans, analyzing and discussing how today’s community of believers that meets the needs of the people and is Biblically sound should look like. Teams had an opportunity to hear the experience of other church planters, to share their own experience and to learn about the difficulties other teams from other places in Lithuania and other countries had. “Korinta” church group stood out with their clear vision of how to reach their aim. They also had first baptism last year, when 6 people were baptized, and several more people are being prepared for baptism now.
All who attended this seminar got very strong positive impression. Leaving the seminar people were talking about how it changed their view of the church and its place in the world and the mission of the believers. “It was impossible not to sense the presence of the Holy Spirit throughout the whole week” – said many participants.
“I see the results in church planter movement. We have reached people whom we could never meet with the traditional methods. People come to the church, they life change and they become members of God’s family,” said Valdis Zilgalvis, Baltic Union Conference president, who also participated in this event. He continued: “That is not insignificant event. Many people have changed their way of life, they have experiences with God, they have grown spiritually. These results show that God is at work to recreate people in His image. This seminar is very importsant, as church planters can exchange and pass on their experience.”
“It is especially exciting to see young people who come to this seminar in order to learn how to become active instruments for God in their own churches and cities or towns,” said Bertold Hibner, Lithuanian Mission Field president.
After the seminar many church planters left for home, determined to work in the vineyard of God. In their churches they will organize small groups, invite their friends and in this way spread God’s news about the salvation in Jesus Christ to this world. Before leaving, church planters agreed to develop their plans and then meet again some time later. Baltic Union Conference Global Mission director Andrejs Arinsh will coordinate next church planter X-change.
This type of seminar in Lithuania was organized for the first time, if not counting similar seminar which was conducted only for the local ministers a couple of years ago. In 2004 similar church planting X-change seminar was organized in Riga, Latvia [link].
Mantas Kucinskas / Guntis Bukalders,
Lithuanian Mission Field Communication Director / BAUC Communication Director