New Life Fellowship Cambodia was planted by missionary Eric Dooley in 1994 and handed over to Pastor Chuck McCaul in 1997. Until 1999, when the war in Cambodia ended, no evangelistic activities were encouraged outside Phnom Penh. New Life in Phnom Penh initially grew through students and younger Cambodians. Many of the current leaders at the church are from this original movement. Pastor Jesse McCaul succeeded his father as Senior Pastor for the Phnom Penh church in 2004. NLF is now embarking on a very exciting journey with Ps Samdy Leang as Lead Pastor. Today, New Life is a thriving life-giving church in Phnom Penh with over 300 church plants throughout Cambodia, we have the vision to change the nation in our generation. The vision of New Life Fellowship Cambodia is to plant New Testament Churches that will have a positive influence on every sector of Cambodian society. Each church will be a model and resource center for planting churches with the same philosophy and foundation throughout Cambodia and in other nations. Our strategies:
In addition, New Life Fellowship of Churches’ focus will be a continual push to plant new churches among 300 existing churches and provide leadership, pastoral, and life-skills training through the School of Leaders. School of Leaders is a monthly intensive Bible training school for provincial and village pastors and leaders. The Phnom Penh-based leaders have been commissioned to equip and empower regional coordinators.
PLANTING CHURCH IN THE CITY: Most village churches will be limited in the number of people the reach and ministries they provide. Most village churches’ vision is limited to their located and are limited by the leadership level of their pastor. A City Church is larger by its nature and has the potential to have more influence. The strategy for the City Churches is to be a “hub” and resource for the village churches in its area. New Life Fellowship of Churches is a fellowship of more than 300 churches currently in Cambodia. We are a family of churches and relate to one another as a family. We have Apostolic Leaders and Teams who work among our self-governing local churches. We have been in Cambodia since 1994. Our focus is evangelism, discipleship, leadership training, releasing into ministry and church planting. Village churches will be pastored by bi-vocational pastors. The pastor has land, usually a farm or rice field and family nearby. However, a City Church is like starting up a business. The pastor and his family usually move to the city and have no land, house, or farm. We do expect our City Church Pastors to eventually be supported by the church and to have a secondary job to provide income for his family. Also, our target is youth and young adults. This demographic usually doesn’t have much money. Therefore, like any business, the City Church will take a few years to be self-supporting. One of the biggest needs for self-support will be land and a building. If the city church must continue to rent facilities it is unsustainable. And the congregation of City Churches are a long way off from being able to purchase their own land and building. In the immediate term, funds will be used to launch the City Church and will primarily be used to cover rent & salaries for staff”. The other need is ministry money. Although the local church receives offerings from their church members, the offering is not enough to support the church ministries and staff. It’s been our experience that all our City Churches grow. As we do the work of the ministry the Lord adds. Finances are needed for staff and ministry activities, as well as material needs for the ministries.
SCHOOL OF CHURCH PLANTER: School of Church Planters will help every pastor and leader to develop their capacity in managing the church to reach their top potential and to increase the pastor and leader of their living standard by increasing their daily income. The project is going to provide them the training about church leadership, good relationship with God, Church, and family management. We are not just providing them the training; but we also provide them some financial resource to start or improve their business, too. Our schools are conducted every two months as part of a 2-year program.
SCHOOL OF LEADERS: New Life Fellowship School of Leaders is a two-day leadership training event where potential leaders come to our Reginal Hub for two days for in-class training, then return to their place of residence for work and to engage in ministry. Our schools are conducted every month as part of a 1-year program. Our focus for training is ministry – evangelism, discipleship, pastoral care, church planting, Bible teaching and preaching. We have always believed in a “train as you go” model rather than a live-in Bible School. We prefer to keep leaders and potential leaders engaged in their community, immediately applying what they learn.
MULTIPLY PLANTING HOUSE CHURCHES: New Life Fellowship of Churches has a vision and goal of planting hundreds of churches in every province in Cambodia that will have positive influence on Cambodian Society in their area. These churches will have different characteristics but still have the same philosophy and foundation of New Life Fellowship of Churches Cambodia. Some churches will be different in number of people in the church and influence according to the vision and ability of the senior leader and the resources in that area, and according to God’s plan. However, it is not difficult to plant and lead a small group of 10-20 people in a village. In fact, it’s possible for one Christian to oversee 2-3 or more small groups in one village. If one leader oversaw 5 small groups of 20 people each, this would be the same as a church with 100 people. From time to time these small groups could meet in one location as the Family of God in that area. The key is to have a plan from the beginning to plant a small group, train a leader and assistant in six months and then leave that group with the new leader. The first leader plants another small group with a plan to do the same in six months. The new leader has the same plan – plant another small group after six months and train a new leader. All these small groups will relate to a senior leader above them and relate to New Life Fellowship of Churches structure and training. Some of these small groups will become house churches; some of them will become mature churches; some of them will become Apostolic Churches.
ANNUAL CONFERENCES: Since 1994, New Life has had a track record of being a catalyst for genuine life transformation, stewardship of God-given opportunities and resources. New Life has intentionally been maintaining its focus on what will have the utmost eternal impact as well as being a generous resource center and model for the larger Body of Christ in Cambodia. There are two different annual conferences that New Life holds every year. an Ignite Conference, Church Planting Vision Casting Conference, and an Equip Conference, Strong Church Conference. Our annual conferences have been blessed to our pastors, church planters and church leaders having experience with God during the conference. They got refreshing in their spiritual life. Help them to do the better job of shepherding the sheep of God and strengthen their life as well. and it is the time for family reunion and fellowship, worship together, learn together, connect, encourage each other to build the kingdom of God in Cambodia. They don’t see themselves small as before, they have a huge family everywhere in Cambodia, they are not alone. Many pastors and church planters are inspired to go out and plant more churches, reach out to communities, start cell groups in new places.
New Life Fellowship uses the positive influence we have with the Christian community here in Cambodia to encourage Christians of every denomination to seize the opportunity for refreshing and equipping, but we run the conference the way New Life Fellowship runs most of our events- leaving room for extended worship, a priority on the presence of God, and opportunities for the Holy Spirit to minister and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to flow. Annual conferences fan the flames of church planting in existing and new movements, as pastors and church planting leaders from various movements gather to share ideas, best practices, struggles and victories.