Welcome! It's wonderful to see you here!

I'm a passionate writer - and therefore spend most of my time writing thriller novels. But I also live an interesting life in the nations. This blog is here for that aspect of my life - our life - I live with my wonderful wife and two daughters.

I believe in encouragement. I live for obedience. I believe in learning from our experiences, and this blog exists for both of those, and more.

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I was part of the leadership team in St Petersburg, Russia - which planted Hope Church in 2009.(www.hopechurchstpetersburg.com).
In March 2012 Hope Church sent my family to plant into Tallinn, the Capital of Estonia. I therefore lead this small but growing church plant team. Here is the website for Hope Tallinn (www.hopetallinn.ee)

For details on our journey here, read the series called Adventures of Faith which is linked for you on the right hand column, just below. That details our original journey to Russia and then onto Tallinn 4 years later.

Author for fiction novels - Cherry Picking (2012), The Last Prophet (2015), The Tablet (2015) and The Shadow Man (2016) are available on all major bookselling sites. Please visit: www.timheathbooks.com

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

An Interview...with a Church Planter - 1 - Chris Taylor, The Hague, Netherlands

So welcome to a brand new series on this blog that will come through the next few months, sometimes in between my usual updates on life in Tallinn.

I felt some time ago that I really wanted to put together a series of blogs looking at the area of church planting, and to actually get to hear from others doing that very thing, or about to start doing it!  And especially those doing it in a culture different from their own.

And over the last few years, since moving away myself to church plant first into St Petersburg, Russia, and now again in Tallinn, Estonia, I've had the honour of meeting quite a few men and women who themselves are on this exciting life adventure.

So last week I wrote to maybe a dozen or so of these guys.  I sent them a long list of questions and asked them to answer maybe 5, or more, talking from their experience in order to encourage and help others, help people pray for their situation, and maybe stir people to join them, or move to plant or join where God has called them to.

And though I won't necessarily publish them in the order I receive their replies, Chris Taylor was the first to reply, so well done Chris!

In this series I will give a little intro to the person and situation, for example how I met them, and may sometimes make comments if I see similar things being mentioned, and then will pull this series together with my own answers in the final post, when ever that will be!  So here we go!

I met Chris in what was a season of waiting, an 'in between' moment, for us both.  We were in the UK for the birth of Anya in the first half of 2010.  Chris, a South African, and his family were in Sidcup, England, working a year in the church before moving on to plant into The Hague.  So with some of my family also a part of New Community Church in Sidcup, we had a little bit of time together and have stayed in touch ever since.

So this is what he had to say;

Tell us a little about the city you meet in?
The Hague is a hugely diverse European city. Roughly half of the population is of 'foreign ethnicity'. It has some of the poorest neighbourhoods, and some of the richest neighbourhoods of any city in The Netherlands.

How old were you when you planted your first church?

When did you know you were called to be a church planter?
In my 20s. I began to get a passion for the local church in my early 20s. This grew to a desire to lead a church as I hit my mid 20s. Massively important though was the timing of when it actually happened being led by Apostolic leadership (I would have chosen to plant a couple of years earlier than I did but in hindsight,  I am so glad that the extra time that leadership over me recommended).

What language are you doing your gatherings in?
Predominantly in English, but with regular Dutch singing, welcoming and praying out in Sunday meetings, and Dutch in certain life groups. Because we want to reflect the demographic of the city, English has been a 'unifying' language. Roughly half of the church is Dutch, and half is of 'foreign ethnicity'!

Do you need a team to go church planting?
No...but it will be much, much, much more difficult (without team). Team supports, encourages, spreads the load, gives more diversity to gifting, and helps to attract more people. Great team is attractive, and gives a community nucleus.

Is outside financial support vital for church planting?
It depends on the context. We had a good size team of super quality people from the beginning so we were quite viable as a small church from the beginning. Also we wanted to plant a 'city church' (rather than something reaching a particular neighbourhood). Both of these reasons meant that giving us a grant was both a pretty good idea, and was something that was MASSIVELY helpful. The grant enabled me not to have to find a full time job, and meant that we could gain more speedy momentum. A different context, vision, and strategy could totally mean that financial support is less 'necessary'. Ultimately it is God who provides for church plants and not people, organisations, or grants!

Thank you again Chris for your answers!  Really helpful!

Chris is part of Redeemer International Church - The Hague

Twitter: @ChrisTaylor10 
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