Dollars and Sense

This article was originally published in GO WEST! 2.9

I love all things Church Planting: praying, connecting, researching…I don’t even mind setting up, renting space in strange places or trying to raise funds to invest in the things God is doing.

However, when I look at the financial side of Church Planting these days I can get overwhelmed by all the ideas and resources out there, and it reminds me of an old Far Side cartoon.


Oh, how I miss Gary Larson, the legendary cartoonist who created The Far Side, a single-panel cartoon series that was syndicated internationally to over 900 newspapers for 15 years. The series ended with Larson’s retirement on January 1, 1995. His 23 books of collected cartoons have combined sales of more than 45 million copies. Gary had an incredible gift of making us laugh at some of the life’s great challenges.

Fundraising can strike fear into the heart of Church Planters. Some are good at it, some are not, many more are just left scratching their heads in frustration. There are all kinds of great resources out there–where do you begin to look? Here’s a resource worth checking out: Outreach Magazine’s page of ideas on marketing from some current planters including Paul Andrew, Damian Boyd, Aaron Graham and others.

At the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada we are committed to basic levels of funding for our Church Planters. As well, we offer Venture Partnerships with existing churches–thank you Westview Baptist, Bethel Baptist Sechelt, and others considering Venture. We’re also learning what Church Planting Co-operatives might look like and are excited about the possibilities of working collaboratively to start new churches (watch for a future article)…

We’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas, successes and failures at financing and fundraising. It’s how we learn best.

Trusting and praying that Jehovah Jireh, the God whose provision is seen will bless you abundantly as we serve in the kingdom…until next time, “May I be excused? My brain is full.”

Tom Lavigne,
Director of Church Planting – Canadian Baptists of Western Canada

Orienteering and the Year Ahead

In the sporcompass-mapt of orienteering, participants race using a compass and a map to find points in the landscape. It can be enjoyed as a walk in the woods or as a competitive sport.

Compass use works best when looking ahead to focus on where you’re going, while also looking back regularly to remind yourself where you’ve come from and to help keep yourself on track.

Looking back over 2012, we’re excited and grateful to see God at work in our Church Plants. He’s strengthening and growing them deeper in their relationship with Him and in the communities they’re called to across Western Canada. We’re seeing people coming to faith and coming back to faith, people being baptized, and people being discipled and raised up as leaders.

Everywhere we look we see that God is moving, the West is changing and the world is coming.

Looking ahead we’re awed by the opportunities before us. There are prospective planting opportunities in Neepawa and Winnipeg, Manitoba; Kindersley, Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Calgary, Edmonton, Hughendon, Red Deer, and Wainwright, Alberta; and Quesnel, Vancouver, Victoria, and Williams Lake, British Columbia. The task ahead is as thrilling as it is daunting.


Mikyuki and Yoichi Taniguchi

As we orienteer our way around Western Canada we are very thankful for the courage and sacrifices being made daily by those leading in our new and developing churches.

We continue to pray for Reymus and Angie Cagampan in Winnipeg; Patrick and Vicki Hazelwood in Lethbridge; Roger and Dorcas Maurice, Yoichi and Miyuki Taniguchi, and Cliff and Jen Gonzales in Calgary; Janet and Gerry McBeth, Albert Kao and Christina Wu, and Peter and Jennifer Chong in Burnaby; Jodi Spargur and Hizon and Grace Cua in Vancouver; and Norm and Alice Sowden in Mill Bay.

Tom with Alice and Norm Sowden

Tom with Alice and Norm Sowden

Our successful Church Plant orienteering is made possible through the ongoing prayers and generous financial support of the entire Canadian Baptists of Western Canada church family. In particular we would like to thank Westview Baptist Church, Leduc Community Baptist Church, Bethel Baptist Church Sechelt and First Baptist Church Lethbridge for going above and beyond to help make extra contributions to the cause in 2012Thank you!

Special thanks also to Jan Paasuke and the CBWC Board, Jeremy Bell and the Executive Staff, and Joell Haugan and the Church Planting Advisory Team for your continued oversight and encouragement. To Cailey Morgan, my co-labourer in ministry: thank you for going the extra mile in our communications, networking and research—and for being a difference maker in the Kingdom.

Orienteering is a full of risks. The challenges are many and the task sometimes seems impossible. Church Planting involves courage, character and conviction. Looking forward to 2013 we’re emboldened by the words of the apostle Paul to the Philippians:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (3:12-14).

Pastor Tom Lavigne, Director of Church Planting

Venture Partners

One of Church Planting’s initiatives right now is Venture, a partnership program where an individual, small group, or church can put their shoulder to the plow with a church plant by offering financial support, prayer and encouragement for three years. The commitment isn’t insurmountable—$6000 each year for the three years—but the rewards are great.

I’m so excited about the issue of GO WEST! we published Monday morning. It tells the story of how a church chose to be creative with their funds and were able to commit to three Venture partnerships in their city! Check it out.