Nick Klinkenberg

Nick Klinkenberg

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March Update

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I have just returned from another fruitful trip to Europe. Here is a quick overview.

 

It began in Netherlands with a VCI all-in gathering in Ternuezen. The level of relational connectedness is steadily growing and it was delightful to see people interacting and praying with one another. A few of the leaders mentioned that the discussions and spontaneous interactions were highlights as we introduced various leadership topics. 

We will meet again in June & we will who is on track in planting another church. I know of at least 3 churches who are “in the process” of working with people with the objective of planting. Very exciting!

Then I headed for Oss (Sth Holland) to be with Christiaan & Jedidja, who Pastor another church in the VCI network. The timing was excellent and being with Chris & JD is always fruitful and fun. They are expecting their second child in just 4 weeks!

Chris & I met with the team for the Church Planting Training Center www.cptc.nl. CptC begins in September this year and is coming together exceptionally well. This will be an excellent strategic push towards planting churches that multiply. 

Amsterdam was next - I caught up with friends who are in the beginning stages of a brand new church plant in Amsterdam North. Their first meeting is an open information meeting in May. We will officially recognize ‘Public Church’ as part of the network in June. 

Then Arras in North France, this was a first for me. Arras has an interesting history, many New Zealanders fought near here in the 1st W. War. Many miners from Waihi came to this area to dig tunnels under enemy lines, as they were fast and experienced. 1000's upon 1000's of soldiers died from both sides and the many grave yards are sobering places. Craters where grenades and explosives ignited can still be seen. 

The Arras church led by Paul & Irene Mears is now part of the network. We will officially recognize this in our June meeting. They certainly have caught the mission of multiplication. Arras has 90.000 people and 4 churches. There are approx. 300 people who are Christians and I'm being generous!! There are towns around them that have no alive church. I find this disturbing and it's the reason we're doing what we're doing! 

Back to Amsterdam for a few days – friends, pastors & even a catchup with my Father’s sister.  And then to Paris – to a church in the middle of Paris for 7 meetings over Saturday and Sunday.  A very busy but enjoyable weekend.

In Summary: 7 churches are now part of the network. It's exciting to see the fruitfulness, synergy and power of connectedness.  Thank you for your thoughts & prayers. 

On the home front, Karen continues her work in the funeral company, and is constantly challenged in all sorts of situations. We have now been in our home in Cambridge for a year, and love it! We are enjoying getting to know our neighbours.


My new book Multiplication is about to be released. I'm exceedingly pleased with the content and have a conviction it will be another encouraging tool towards seeing churches multiply. I believe this is a prophetic book, written for a time such as this. 

Once again thank you for your prayer and support. Without you, this would be a very difficult and lonely journey.

 

Account Details for Vision Churches International

Bank: Westpac
Branch Name: Victoria Street
Bank City: Hamilton, New Zealand
Branch number: 03-0318
Account number: 0882461-00 Swift code for Westpac NZ: WPACNZ2W

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Leadership and the Pastoral, Shepherding side of ministry.

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Leadership seminars, conferences, books and articles abound. The proliferation of leadership resources over the last three decades is astounding. I applaud it all, get much as you can.

I remember when I went through Bible College (1981) there was one leadership magazine that came out of the USA once every three months that many of us devoured. (Yes it was a long time ago). That was about the only journal on leadership. How things have changed, which is brilliant, and it needed to.

BUT… it seems the percentage of Christians still hasn’t increased overall in NZ. In Europe the trend is downwards. I’m not sure about other nations, but a brief look at the USA stats suggests no increase. Yes, churches have grown larger and multi-sites are on the increase. And with all the leadership conversations and resources and conferences, there are some attitudes that I’ve seen develop over the last number of years that are not helpful. I don’t particularly like seeing it in Christian leaders; it’s not only in churches but also among leaders in companies and businesses. It’s the unhealthy over-balance in leadership and an under-valued aspect of the pastoral, shepherding, and caring side of ministry.

Love people . . . no matter what. I understand leaders are task-focused and want a job done well. Amen!... but people are never only an end to a means. They are not only and simply there so the work you want done gets done! No one is perfect or will ever be perfect. But leaders, care for people - be gentle with people; people will make mistakes – sometimes really bad ones! People will make bad calls, that’s just the world we live in. Love them, bring them through, just like Jesus did and does with us.

It seems that at a quick glance, communication is at an all-time high. But emails, Facebook, Twitter and with all the other platforms of social media more than ever there seems to be a famine of loneliness, and people feeling isolated like never before. One cannot replace touch and face-to-face communication. Could it be we are broadcasting and not connecting? Or announcing - not listening, connecting or truly hearing? Could we be declaring yet not discussing?  Sending a text or email is not communicating. An email is read how you the receiver feels. Tone, facial expressions, voice and empathy are not communicated through social media.

The community of faith has an answer if not the answer… shepherds, pastors, people who really care for one another.

Leaders, allow me to remind you:    

Be kind, tender-hearted and forgiving. Ephesians 4:32.

Let your conversation be gracious and attractive. Colossians 4:6.

When one gets behind the scenes in some leadership situations the talk is not very uplifting about others, and it’s certainly not gracious or attractive. Being a leader is not an excuse to be ungracious, nor does it give license for being harsh. Leaders should set the example in forgiveness, graciousness, and kindness.

A whole Psalm is dedicated to this shepherding thought. It’s a piece of literature people have recited at special occasions and funerals, Christians and non-Christians alike, in fact some say it’s one of the most famous and recognised passages ever written. I wonder why? Maybe it’s because it shows how much we need shepherding. After all we are known as sheep!

Of course it’s Ps 23:1-6, NLT: “The Lord is my Shepherd…” Not the Lord is my leader, apostle, prophet… but my shepherd. Because He is our Shepherd we have everything we need. He gives rest, leads, renews, guides, takes away fear, He is with me, protects and comforts, prepares food, anoints me, our cup overflows, goodness and unfailing love pursue me. All because HE is our Shepherd. Wow!! Of course we also have Ps 91 and other passages which speak of this shepherding, caring, pastoral role.

One of the names of God is Jehovah-Rohi; Jehovah my shepherd. In fact many of the names of God resemble this pastoral attribute. For example Jehovah heals, Jehovah our peace, my banner, my provider, He is there…

John 10:1-17. Jesus speaks of Himself as the Good Shepherd. They recognize His voice, He calls and leads them. Jesus is speaking from an Eastern mind-set: in that part of the world a shepherd leads the sheep. In NZ the shepherd drives the sheep from behind. So maybe it’s out of the shepherding role, leaders lead? The passage goes on to say what a good shepherd does: He gives safety; He gives a rich and satisfying life; He sacrifices His life for the sheep; He brings others into the fold.

My thought is this, if you are going to lead well, learn to shepherd and pastor well. Or as J. C. Douglas said, ‘The right to lead comes out of how well we feed’.

My conclusion: 

Maybe, just maybe, true Biblical shepherding and pastoring means leadership is a result??

Maybe, leadership is a result of shepherding and caring for people? 

Thank you once again for taking the time to read this – and for your prayer support and encouragement.

Account Details for Vision Churches International

Bank: Westpac
Branch Name: Victoria Street
Bank City: Hamilton, New Zealand
Branch number: 03-0318
Account number: 0882461-00 Swift code for Westpac NZ: WPACNZ2W

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2017 is off to a great start

Published in Blog

Hello everyone,
 
2017 … it’s been a great start for Karen & I. We’ve been able to have some time away. We live in a country that has amazing scenery… we were wowed many times!

I’m off to Europe on the 14th of Feb. Netherlands, Belgium and France for 3 weeks. This is the first of 3, maybe 4 trips to Europe this year. I’ll also be in the USA, Canada and Australia later in the year.
 
We are starting a 'Church planting training Centre’ CptC in September this year in South Holland. This will impact not only Holland, but Belgium and hopefully the north of France as well. It’s an internship programme and students graduate only once they are involved in a church plant!!! As far as we know it’s the first of its kind in Western Europe… exciting! We have great teachers and a great venue; and the curriculum is currently being worked on by a fantastic team.  My dream is to have a CptC in every Western European Nation before I leave this planet!


I continue to travel around New Zealand most weekends, and am so thankful to God for the people I see coming to Christ and also many healings.
 
We are almost ready to publish a new book that has been a major focus for me for the past 6 months - edition 2 “Multiplication". I am very, very excited about this one. I’ve taken chapters out and put new ones in and it’s turning out better than expected. I have a conviction that this is a timely book for the Body of Christ. It will aid and nurture the process of Church planting wherever it is read. I see it used in seminars, workshops for pastors and in Bible training centers. There are over 20 endorsements from around the world; which is a great encouragement. I’m looking forward to placing this prophetic tool book in people’s hands.

Please allow me to place a couple of needs before you. Please hear my heart in this, I do not want anyone to feel any compulsion or pressure at all. All I would ask, is that you pray and ask God if this is something you could invest in…
 
ONE: The publication of my book, ‘Multiplication’.  The editing and cover are being processed in the USA and then it will be printed in USA, Europe, NZ and Australia (making it easier for postage/freight.) The approximate cost for the first 500 copies (which includes editing, formatting, design work and printing) is about $4,500 NZD.
 
TWO: The Church planting training Center, CptC. 
While the Church Planting Training Center has a fee per student, to do the job excellently we need extra funding.  (Costs are all $NZD).

- Scholarships (30-40% of the fee) = $500 per student.
- We want to provide text books = $3000 per year.                 
- Marketing $1500 per year. This is so important to get the word out.
- Teachers from other Nations $1500 per year.
- A part time administrator $7200 per year. (1 day a week. We currently have a volunteer, but we see this is unsustainable long term).

Total = $13,200 NZD per year. (this includes scholarships for 3 people).
 
If you want to give to this specifically please use the bank account details below and mark it accordingly.

Thank you once again for taking the time to read this – and for your prayer support and encouragement.

Account Details for Vision Churches International

Bank: Westpac
Branch Name: Victoria Street
Bank City: Hamilton, New Zealand
Branch number: 03-0318
Account number: 0882461-00 Swift code for Westpac NZ: WPACNZ2W

Read more...

Would you do life differently?

Published in Blog

I have said a few times to leaders who are in established churches, “Imagine if you were starting a new church, how would you live life and what would your priorities be for ministry?”
 
This is helpful paradigm to help us shift our thinking. What would you do differently? For when we have been in an established church for a long period of time, we think a certain way. Please understand I am talking generalisations.
 
Let’s take a few examples of living in an established church mindset and then we will compare them to a New Church Planting (NCP) mindset:
Finances – they are usually fairly stable and predictable. Budgets are set, cash flows are set, and usually come in somewhere around the target, as you will know if you have been in the church for many years. One usually can see what percentage increases are realistic and the faith projections that could be realised.
 
In a New Church Plant, (NCP) every $ counts. And it’s usually the same for mission and ministry outside of the church. Resources are seen to be in the harvest. 
 
Missions – usually there is a missions team, especially for other nations. A missions budget is set. Mission locally is in place with events and programs. In some churches, it doesn’t seem to bother leaders if people haven’t come to faith or been baptized in the last 6-12months.
 
In an NCP – It’s usually all about mission. It’s why the church was birthed. They are very committed to finding people of peace.

Pastoral – is mainly for those inside the church. I’m not saying it’s wrong it’s just that it demands focus. Paid, professional (part time, or full-time) are the people who pastor those in the church.
 
In an NCP, pastoring the community or the city is the captivating thought. How can people in our new church pastor people in the community? There is a focus in releasing everybody into their gifts. Let’s face it, there are not many people in our church yet.
 
 
Size of the congregation – if we have 1500 or 150 in the congregation, we can feel like we can relax, after all, if we are 1500 people or 150 people in the church you are in the 20% category, above average for church attendance. Wonderful.
 
An NCP looks at those outside of the church. It’s not who’s in the church, it’s who’s outside that’s the focus.
 
Events – these can be put on mainly for the church community, without too much thought of the community around them. That’s just the reality and by the way, it’s good to do for the church community.
 
In an NCP, events have the emphasis to win people to Christ or introduce them to the community of faith. Why? Usually it’s because of limited resources, people, and budgets, so we want to have the maximum impact for the community around us as well.
 
Facilities – are mainly in a building, which is wonderful. Health and safety regulations need to be adhered to, maintenance issues are ongoing, ongoing finances need to be raised for buildings. By the way, buildings are fantastic if used for reaching the community.
 
For an NCP, there usually is no building so renting is needed, and change of buildings can be adjusted when the needs are different and as the church expands. The church is more than facilities and is forced to live this out. Resources can be used for ministry. Homes are used for meetings, coffee mornings, dinners, offices, and evangelism etc.
 
Leadership – professional people lead. Of course it is not intentional, but the size of the church and the length of it’s existence can demand or determine this. Leaders can tend to do ministry for people.
 
In an NCP, usually it’s a team; it has to be because of time and the resources of the church. The leaders do ministry, but they are focused on equipping others and enabling them to do the work of ministry.
 
The list could go on. Please let me remind you that these are generalisations and are not in any way against larger churches. 
 
You will see from the above list that a New Church Plant has many, many limitations. It’s encouraging to note that limitations are not impossibilities or barriers, they are often God’s gifts to us!  Limitations cause us to pray, read the Bible, communicate, use resources, and let us see volunteers’ gifts and time very differently. Limitations push us to God and His limitlessness. They also cause us to think out of the box and help us focus on mission.

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