Planting the Kingdom of God in Canada...
From the Heartland to the City
Nothing changes life like new birth. For some of us, we think about when our children were born and our lives were altered – forever. Some think of their spiritual birth and the gracious transformation that comes with that. But what happens when new churches are started? How is life altered for individuals, communities and the world for good when churches plant, give birth, and start new and tangible expressions of the Kingdom of God on earth.
Jesus calls us to make disciples. Many studies document the fact that the single best way to reach new people with the gospel and help them grow in their faith is to start new churches. Within the ECC, conversion rates are more than 3 times higher among church plants.
20 New Canadian Covenant Churches by 2020
In 2010, the Leadership Board of the ECCC discerned a bold, “God-Sized” vision to join with the Holy Spirit to start 20 new churches across Canada by 2020.
"There is a 'Defining Moment' happening within the ECCC at this time," says Glenn Peterson, ECCC Director of Church Planting. "In my 20 years of involvement within this community, the opportunities and resources that are emerging are very significant. As with all defining moments, what will be our response? Will we hear and see God’s call and do the work we have been called to do? Over the years, at pivotal moments, our leaders have offered proverbial calls to action. Phrases like, 'start where you are, do what you can,' and 'if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together' are etched on my heart and mind. What words might call us to action in this season of intentionally starting churches?"
From the Heartland to the City
What do you see in the new logo for Covenant Church Planting? (above right) In what ways might it reflect our Canadian landscape? For most of our history, the ECCC has lived in the tension between rural and urban identity. What if, in our next season, God is inviting us to move beyond that tension? Population trends continue to display growth and influence among our urban and cultural centres while we simultaneously acknowledge the profound “pulse of the people” that comes from less populated areas of Canada. Could Jesus be inviting us to strategically move from our Jerusalem and Judea, to Samaria, to the ends of “our Canadian” earth?
Luke 10 invites us to “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the field...” Matthew 6:21, “...where your treasure is, there will your heart will be also.” In Acts 1, Jesus commands his Spirit Empowered Disciples to “go and be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”.
Pray. Give. Go.
Our vision to start churches is an appropriate response to each of these texts, here and now in Canada. These 3 practical steps (and words) we must pursue (as individuals and as interconnected local churches which form the ECCC) in order for the 2020 vision to become a reality:
We must ask God to lead, provide, expand, work, open, direct... Pray.
We must give of our resources of time, talent, and treasure... Give.
We must go to where Jesus invites and commands... in His power, in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the earth... in Canada. Go.
How is God calling us as individuals and together as churches to respond to these words today? Questions, comments, ideas? Contact Glenn Peterson, Director of Church Planting: glennspeterson(at)gmail.com.
Click the link and select "Church Planting" or a specific church plant.