Reflections from the 2016 International Intensive

The International Intensive is a four-week intensive training program designed specifically for church planters of new churches in global cities. From October 15 to November 11, 19 church planter and 8 potential trainers arrived in New York City for this program after being invited by the City to City. 8 potential church planters from Europe participated. We asked Saszko from Krakow and Pieter from South Africa about their experiences.

Pieter Adriaan Wessels serves as a staff member of Ligpunt church in Pretoria, South Africa. He was raised in the church, but only became a believer in 2005 while a freshman in university, through the ministry of Campus Outreach, as some of their leaders read the Bible with him.

In 2013, after finishing his apprenticeship, he continued as a Ligpunt staff member. As a staff member of Ligpunt, he is responsible for the training and development in the community of Ligpunt.

From South Africa to NYC for an intensive. Why?

“I am attending the intensive since I am transitioning into a church planting support role for church planters who attended the City to City Intensive in previous years. We are planning and dreaming of starting a Church planting school in South Africa that will train African church planters on the continent which will be culturally closer than any other experience in the world.

What were the highlights for u during the training?

“The Ministry Design classes. These classes helped us to determine what will be the best practices to engage our community (and what not to) that will bring the Gospel in a culturally relevant way to the people to whom me minister. Also what was great was the fellowship with different church planters around the globe. That was an amazing encouragement”.

What is on your Agenda when you are back home? 

“My first responsibilities when back in South Africa, will be to start planning on which forms of training/coaching we are going to implement for church planters in South Africa and rest of Africa. There is very little support and encouragement for planters and ministers of the Word (including their wives) in our country. City to city has given me a big vision and a lot of resources to put such training and support in place. We are also doing fundraising to get the church planting center funded, which I will also be partaking in, and looking forward to be doing”.

Saszko Nezamutdinov, born in Western Ukraine, but currently planting in Krakow, Poland shared some of his thoughts about his experience at the training: 

Why did you choose to attend the Intensive?

“I choose to attend the Intensive because it was a great opportunity to dive into gospel-rooted principles of church-planting with experienced coaches and other church planters from around the world who are in a similar journey as myself. This training made me realize how much more emphasis I need to be putting on researching and exploring my own context. I also learned how important it is to honor different stages of ministry that God brings us into even when we would like them to be coming at a different pace”.

In what ways did the Intensive change you?

“When I get back home, I will encourage my team to engage into a different level of context study through individual conversations with people of our city and through asking them millions of questions.”