By Shannon Youell and Cailey Morgan
Investing in Relationship is our CBWC second ministry priority: a shared mandate to foster intentional connections between churches towards shared mission in their context. CBWC staff invest in relationship by providing opportunities for shared meals, times of learning, inter-church communication and storytelling, churches are able to forge new connections in the network and hear from each other. It is always such a joy in these settings when we witness people discovering people within the CBWC family who have some experience in areas we are trying to minister and serve in and ideas to share.
It is within a supportive and integrated atmosphere of invested people, connected together that makes church planting a real possibility. Church Planting does not happen in a vacuum, it always comes from investment in relationships. The best resource we can give each other is…each other!
Pioneer church planting or multiplication is no longer reliant on the charisma and resilience of a person or single team; rather, the vision can be birthed from within a congregation or a group of churches who can share the vision with our larger family, who then commit what they have to offer—prayer, time, money, people, facilities, leadership, gear, mentoring, curriculum….take a look around and you’d be surprised what you have to offer. As we do this work together, as we invest, we are investing in lifelong relationships with one another in places where we once were strangers.
We, as the Canadian Baptists, are a network rich in diversity, giftings and skills. Having one another as resources of encouragement and abilities, wisdom and friendship, fosters flourishing for us all.
As the early Church demonstrated, churches connecting with churches and sharing Kingdom work has always been the way the gospel was extended beyond any one congregation. Without one another and the relationships established with the apostles and with Jerusalem, and with each new community of faith, it is unlikely that the message of the good news of the Kingdom of God would have gone very far, or survived very long. Our Father, who is community, created community here on earth. He calls a people to be a blessing to every nation; to bear witness to His faithfulness to all He has created; to build communities of faith who live faithfully wherever they are planted. So, it is of no surprise that relationships are crucial in the ethos of the kingdom and the work of its citizens!