Christchurch, New Zealand
Joseph and Amy Flammer
Joseph & Amy Flammer moved to New Zealand in 2007 with the goal of planting a Biblically faithful, culturally relevant church in a post-Christian, global city. Joseph is from Long Island, NY, and Amy is from Central Illinois. They met at Lincoln Christian University in Illinois in 2002. Joe and Amy have three young children. The Flammers enjoy spending time in the outdoors, playing games together and eating pizza.
New Zealand is small but advanced island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. Most of the 4 million inhabitants are of European descent, but there are large immigrant and indigenous populations as well. English is the main language and New Zealand has a strong, modern economy.
Rechurch is located in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. Christchurch was founded in 1850 as a Christian colony by the Church of England, but, similar to many European nations, the population has become post-Christian: less than 10% of the population attends church on a regular basis. Christchurch is the second largest city in New Zealand, with a population of 400,000.
Joe and Amy were part of a team that planted Rechurch in 2009 to challenge the perception of Kiwis (New Zealanders) that Christianity is boring, fake, irrelevant and scary. They want to be a church for people who don’t like church, a church where anyone is welcome. Rechurch strives to help people of Christchurch rediscover who Christ really is and to partner with the Holy Spirit to empower people to Reshape their lives into what God created them to be!
366 days after Rechurch officially launched, a catastrophic earthquake rocked the city. The earthquake has changed the landscape physically, as well as emotionally and mentally. Since 2011 the city has been defined by earthquakes and their consequences. This post-quake reality has intensified the already-pervasive issues of drug and alcohol abuse, violence, homelessness and mental health problems. While all of this has led to growing frustration in Christchurch, Rechurch believes that these are all signs of a deeper problem – Christchurch is a city in need of a savior. At Rechurch, we know that God was not surprised by the shifting tectonic plates, and we are encouraged by our belief that perhaps God placed Rechurch in Christchurch for such a time as this.
Rechurch meets every week at a local school, as well as for Bible study and various activities around the city each week. Joseph Flammer is the Leadership & Teaching Pastor and Jodi Taylor is the Children & Family Director.