Into the Neighbourhood

by Shannon Youell

“We have lost much of our capacity to invite average Canadians into the good news life we say we believe in.”

This quote from Jared Siebert’s book Gutsy, as featured on this blog last week, is the challenge we have across Canada and in fact, the Western World. We’ve addressed this challenge here before, often under the language of “we’ve lost our evangelistic impulse” or “we no longer have a mission as local, church members as missionaries ethos.” These are valid statements being proven by our own realities and by good and faithful researchers every year. But what, then, do we actually do with such statements? They don’t help us understand and grasp how we can faithfully begin to address this.

Well. we have something to help!

We’d like to invite you to join us at Forge Canada’s upcoming two day workshop events, Into the Neighbourhood, in both Edmonton and Vancouver in October. Have a read, watch the short video below from David Fitch (last year’s Banff speaker) who is one of four incredible presenters and practitioners of moving into the neighbourhood.

neighbourhood.jpeg

Here is what it is about:

“Into the Neighbourhood: 2018”
Forge Canada Tour

Purpose
The Missional Movement begins with who God is. It helps us to discern what God is up to in context, and then encourages us to receive the invitation of Christ to follow Him into His work in the world.

Over the last number of years, many have come to see the Missional Movement as a call of Christ to become neighbours, and to join Him at work in neighbourhoods across the country. What is needed is intentionality to disciple people into learning to practice hospitality in their neighbourhoods and then to remind us that we, the Church, are sent to be a Faithful Presence in the world, bearing witness to Christ in everything we do.

Forge Canada presents Into the Neighbourhood. This 2-day event hopes to equip people with an imagination to become neighbours, and to challenge churches to look at how we measure what it means to be faithful. This event is for individuals, and even more so for churches who have understood the importance of bearing witness to God through community.

Day 1 – “Won’t You Be a Neighbour: 6 Priorities for Neighbouring”

Day one is presented by Karen Wilk and Preston Pouteaux of Forge Canada. Both of these author/teacher/practitioners lead churches that are seeking to raise up those who are learning what it means to become neighbours and to see neighbourhood transformation. Their sessions will include the following:

* Rediscovering the Commission and the Commandment
* Renewing Imagination
* Rejuvenating Senses
* Redeeming Hospitality
* Reducing Scale
* Realizing Shalom

Day 2 – “A Faithful Presence: Being the Church in the Neighbourhood”

Day two is presented by David Fitch with Cameron Roxburgh. David—as well an being an author, teacher and speaker—is a local practitioner. More than any strategy, for our country to see the transforming work of the Spirit in neighbourhoods, the people of God need to engage in practices that allow them to bear witness to the presence of God in that place. David’s wisdom and experience are a gift to those churches that desire to participate in God’s mission. The scorecard is not about how big a church grows (although we pray and long for growth) but rather about recognizing the presence of
the Kingdom.

David’s sessions will include the following:

* The cultural dislocation of the church and the restructuring of the church
* The practice of the table
* The practice of the least of these (children and poor)
* The practice of reconciliation
* Moving towards a Faithful Presence

This 2-day event is for pastors, leaders and those who take seriously the call of Jesus to follow Him. It is for all who seek to become neighbours and to see neighbourhood transformation.

As part of our emphasis on healthy churches and growing disciples who make disciples who then become active in new churches, we invite you to contact me (syouell@cbwc.ca) if you would like to attend. Pastors/leaders, you will receive this invite also from your Regional Office. If you and your church are longing to be engaged with those who do not attend church, have rejected church, or in growing percentages, never really heard of God, Jesus, church, then come.

Grab a van, pick up friends along the way and come. If you live in the Heartland region, it looks like there is the possibility of a van coming to the Edmonton workshop, so contact me for registration details and Mark Doerksen for van information.

Here’s a short piece from David Fitch to help spark your imagination:

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