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MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND WELCOME TO
MY LATEST NEWSLET TER Since I last wrote so much has been happening as ‘The Rooftop’ continues to gain momentum in different parts of the world. Being engaged in this ministry is a daily experience of a God who leads and provides Sometimes this is scary and at other times exhilarating. If you are new to this newsletter and are not sure what ‘The Rooftop’ is, please visit www. vizaviz.org/therooftop (US) or www.therooftop.org.uk (UK).
Thanks so much for your prayers! As you read this letter please pray earnestly that God will continue to go before me, that I will be able to keep up with the things I see Him doing, that He will release the financial resources that we desperately need to grow this international ministry and, most importantly that the Holy Spirit will release people into a new era of faith sharing.
Lost people across the world NEED Jesus and how will they hear the best news in the world unless somebody tells them?!
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FAMILY Things in our family life have been changing a lot over the past few months as our daughter, Amy, has now moved out and is living in London with a group of her friends, we miss having her around. Gregg, our eldest son, has had a really hectic past few months as he had to work in London for two periods of time. He is now back in New York City and things have ‘returned to normal’. Scott continues with his studies and should graduate in 2014 and begin teaching. Lynn continues to work with pre-school children and one-on-one with a wonderful little boy.
2014 will be a year where we pray this movement will accelerate as more and more churches across the world begin to join in with the mission of Jesus ‘To seek and to save what was lost’, (Luke 19:10). Let me just update you on some things that have been happening:
SINGAPORE AND AUSTRALIA In July/August I spent three weeks travelling in Asia and Australia. The tour began with a brief stop in Singapore for the International Baptist Youth world Congress.
MINISTRY ‘The Rooftop’—www.therooftop.org. uk (UK) www.vizaviz.org/therooftop (US)—is now beginning to gather pace across the world. Back in 2012 I scoped out the ministry that it seemed the Lord was leading us into. At that point it seemed that He was leading us to establish four ‘hub’ ministry centres where ‘The Rooftop’ would become established and then spread into other areas. As we approach the end of 2013 and prepare for 2014 it is so exciting to see that we are in step with what the Lord was calling us to do. In ways that only He could have arranged we are now launching and developing ‘The Rooftop’ in the US, UK, Australia and South Africa.
This event hosts young people from across the world and I was thrilled to be able to speak at sessions made up of young people from many different countries and continents. My theme was ‘reaching people in a post church world’ and it was fascinating to address this issue and dialogue with people from such a variety of perspectives. Following this I travelled to WWW.DENNISPETHERS.COM • 3
Leaders in Western Australia
Dennis speaking at BWA Singapore
Australia where I spent two weeks with the Baptist Union of Australia/ Crossover speaking at a variety of events, churches and conferences. The main theme for this tour was ‘turning missional activity into faith conversations’. In Australia, as in many other parts of the world, over the past decade churches have become much more effective at engaging with people beyond the walls by offering acts of love and service. This is greatly encouraging however, the tragedy is that while missional activity has increased ‘faith sharing’ has decreased – most Christians do not have faith conversations with those they are serving with acts of love and kindness. I was able to speak with pastors and churches in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, 4 • PETHERS PRAYERLINE • WINTER 2013
Devonport and Hobart and explain that the core issue is that Christians need to be helped to see that evangelism is not just a 10 minute gospel presentation but an ongoing relationship and conversation that is really about discipling people towards faith in Jesus. I also spoke at a ‘first’ for the Baptist Union of Australia –an emerging evangelists conference in Melbourne. This gathering of evangelists from across the nation explored the role that evangelists should be playing in a world where the traditional role of evangelist as a ‘crusade’ preacher is no longer effective. As a part of this tour I was also able to raise awareness of ‘The Rooftop’ and as a result we now have a number of churches that are partnering with us to pilot ‘The Rooftop’ process across Australia. I will be connecting with these churches and then return in October 2014 working towards the possibility of launching ‘The Rooftop’ in six states by inviting leaders to high places to ‘seek a fresh vision of God’s heart for the lost’.
UK In the UK things have been developing at-a-pace with Amanda Allchorn, the UK director for ‘The Rooftop’ making enormous strides in developing the ministry. A key focus has been the creation of a bespoke UK website www. therooftop.org.uk It was a great privilege for me to speak at the chapel service at Spurgeon’s college towards the end of November. Spurgeon’s college is where I engaged in my ministerial training so it is always good to be back there. Roger Standing, the new principal, is doing a great job as he leads the college into the reality of mission and evangelism in the 21st century. On 18th November we ‘gently’ launched ‘The Rooftop’ in the UK through social media and by making contact with a number of churches that we have a connection with. We have already heard back from a number of these churches and it seems likely that we will pilot ‘The Rooftop’ in the UK with around 12 churches during 2014.
During 2013 we began working in partnership with the Baptist Convention of South Africa and at the end of November/beginning of December I held one-on-one skype conversations with pastors from Pretoria, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Cape Town. These pastors will be partnering with ‘The Rooftop’ as it is introduced into South Africa. In January/February 2014 I will be travelling to South Africa and launching ‘The Rooftop’ in these five cities. As well as visiting the partner churches we will be inviting pastors from across each city to attend ‘The Rooftop’ launch events that will be taking place.
THE UNITED STATES
Pressing the button to gently ‘launch’ ‘The Rooftop’ to contacts in the UK
Over the past few months I have been working with partner churches in North Carolina, Arizona, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas and Illinois. In each of these churches we are working through ‘The Rooftop’ WWW.DENNISPETHERS.COM • 5
process and it is so exciting to see churches coming alive to what it really means to reach lost people who are beyond the walls of the church. In Ohio it was a first for ‘The Rooftop’ as the encounter took place in a light aircraft that flew across the city and the core team looked out of the small windows seeking a fresh vision of God’s heart for the lost. It was so moving to have a prayer time and be able to hear the voices of others praying through the headphones that we had to wear. In Arizona it was great to hear members of the core team share ways that they were beginning to develop a real passion for lost people and gaining the confidence to engage with them. They shared these stories with the wider leadership of the church and are now beginning to consider how they will lead this wider group through ‘The Rooftop’ journey. In Tennessee it was a thrill to see hundreds gather for ‘The Rooftop’
Members of ‘The Rooftop’ core team sharing in Arizona’
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encounter and then begin to consider ways that they can engage with lost people who are beyond the walls of the church. There are so many more stories that I could tell of what has been happening but let me take a little space to remind you of what is coming in the near future. ‘The Rooftop’ ministry is now poised to make an impact across the world. As mentioned earlier, during 2014 this ministry will be launched and developed in the UK, US, Australia and South Africa. In addition to these key areas there is also the potential to begin ‘The Rooftop’ in France, Austria, Kenya, and across the Hispanic world. As you can imagine the time that I will be travelling during 2014 will be significant! ‘The Rooftop’ has now reached the place where we are putting new things into place so that this movement will grow with the result that MORE PEOPLE WILL HEAR THE BEST NEWS IN THE WORLD.
Hundreds gather for ‘The Rooftop’ encounter in Tennessee
We are seeking to employ new team members, and gather together ‘equipping evangelists’ that will help churches to reach those beyond the walls. We will be developing websites that are appropriate in each country and in some cases translating these into other languages.
The Rooftop UK — therooftopuk.org.uk
CAN YOU HELP US? We are poised to make an enormous impact and if we are achieve what we feel the Lord is calling us to we need more financial resources! The scale of this ministry is growing in ways that present a vast opportunity and an enormous challenge. We need help! Please would you consider making a gift this Christmas, a gift that will help people across the world come to know the Christ of Christmas. If you can make a oneoff gift or would like to become a regular supporter please hit the ‘Donate’ button on my website, www.dennispethers.com, if you
are in the US. If you are in the UK please visit www.vizaviz.org and click on ‘Support Us’. If you are not able to give online then please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will arrange for you to be sent the appropriate simple form for completion.
Thank you so much! Dennis e: email@example.com w: www.dennispethers.com WWW.DENNISPETHERS.COM • 7
ITINERARY AT-A-GLANCE JANUARY 2014
1 – 9
Viz-A-Viz Ministries UK team strategy meeting 8 Chairing SOLID youth festival Executive meeting. www.solidnet.org.uk 12 Preaching at Billericay Baptist Church (UK) 13 Skype meeting – City Wide Baptist Church Hobart (Australia) 14 Skype meeting – Warwick Baptist Church Queensland (Australia) 15 Viz-A-Viz Ministries UK staff retreat 16 Skype meeting – Dural Baptist Church NSW (Australia) 16 Skype meeting – Molong Baptist Church NSW (Australia) 24 – 31 South Africa (Pretoria/ Jo’burg, Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth)
South Africa (Pretoria/ Jo’burg, Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth) Viz-A-Viz Ministries UK team strategy meeting
MARCH 2014 3 – 6
BWA meetings Pennsylvania 7 – 16 Mesa AZ – partner churches and State Convention. 18 – 22 University Baptist Ohio – partner church and State Convention. 23 – 26 Hickory Grove Baptist KY – ‘The Rooftop’ conference. 27 – 30 Main Street Baptist – partner church and State Convention 31 Dallas – partner church and Association.
WWW.DENNISPETHERS.COM WWW.VIZAVIZ.ORG WWW.VIZAVIZ.ORG/ THEROOF TOP WWW.THEROOF TOP.ORG.UK 8 • PETHERS PRAYERLINE • WINTER 2013