The Power of Partnerships

This article is reprinted from CBWC’s monthly enewsletter, Making Connections. Click here to subscribe.

by Shannon Youell

 We labour not for our own benefit but for the benefit of the world around us that do not yet know the liberation of Christ in the midst of everyday life here on earth.

444874447_41ec92065a_bThe beginning of a new year often has us looking back at where we’ve been, so we can look forward to where we would like to go. Last year our CBWC community worked hard at inspiring us and reminding us of the value and power of working together.

For me, as a person who loves working in collaborative efforts and doesn’t really enjoy being a lone ranger, this rang strong and powerfully in my soul.

Along these lines, we are so glad that 2015 finds your Church Planting team complete with the addition of Joell Haugan as director for the Heartland region! We are excited to begin working together as a full team and expectant of the opportunities God has for each and everyone of us in the places and spaces where we live, work, play and pray.

Your Church Planting Team is working towards seeing 2015 the year where our whole CBWC community engages and participates in working together in the arena of church planting and this is your invitation to join in the power of partnering!

Here are a few ways your worship community can partner directly with a plant:

  1. God is the sending God. We have been commissioned to go make disciples…..to know and obey everything Jesus teaches. Talk to us about how we can inspire and resource your community to consider what a new community of disciples might look like in your midst. This can often be the catalyst for a new church plant.
  2. Venture with us. We have new communities right now looking for you to partner with them. We are expanding Venture Partnerships so that every one of us can be involved in them! A Venture Partnership (VP) is a partnership between a church plant and an established church that commits to financially, prayerfully support the new plant community. You might say you are the fertilizer that supports and feeds the plant to be able to grow strong and deep and wide. This is a year-to-year commitment of a monthly pledge of support ranging anywhere from $100.00 a month to $500.00 per month. Venture Partnerships come alongside CBWC support and each new church’s own resources to share in the work of expanding God’s kingdom.
  3. And finally, option 3: pray! Pray about which option, 1 or 2 that your church community will venture into!

To further the conversation, call us, or email us and let’s begin the amazing journey of partnering and co-labouring in the work of God around us! Also watch for my upcoming blog article on this same theme at churchplantingatcbwc.wordpress.com. Join the conversation on this blog to build lively thoughtful community around discipleship, mission, the great commission, the great commandment and other kingdom talk!

Get in touch:

  • Shannon Youell, Executive Coordinator and BCY Director: syouell@cbwc.ca
  • Ron Orr, Alberta Director: pastorron@platinum.ca
  • Joell Haugan, Heartland Director: jhaugan@cbwc.ca
  • Cailey Morgan, Communications Coordinator: cmorgan@cbwc.ca

Finding God’s Faithfulness

Cailey Morgan

Last week in our youth Bible study, Kyson and I asked the question, where have you seen God’s faithfulness in 2014? It was interesting to hear the variety of responses, many of which pointed to positive circumstances as evidence of God’s goodness to us.

We should definitely thank God for these circumstances, but while it is absolutely true that every good gift comes from God, we must also remember that His faithfulness remains constant in every situation and independent from whether we feel good or happy or safe.

As I reflected on this same question of where we’ve seen God’s faithfulness, many moments of CBWC Church Planting life in 2014 came to mind, and I wanted to share a few with you.

Pastor Albert and Christina of Canaan Life Springs Baptist Church.

Pastor Albert and Christina of Canaan Life Springs Baptist Church

At our online assembly in April, we welcomed Canaan Life Spring Baptist, a Mandarin-language church plant, into full affiliation with the CBWC. Their work to reach and reconcile Taiwanese and Chinese immigrants in Burnaby is fuelled by assurance of Christ’s promise that as He is lifted up He will draw all people to Himself.

In June, we mourned with Emmaus Community Fellowship as they dealt with the death of Gerry McBeth, husband of Pastor Janet McBeth. Gerry was a walking testimony of God’s love and faithfulness, which Gerry showed through hard work and thoughtful encouragement to many at Emmaus, the Union Gospel Mission and beyond.

Crossover church plant continues to reach Calgary’s Japanese population, with the call to develop leaders to send to Japan for sharing the Gospel in that nation. One of these young leaders, Carly, is not of Japanese descent but felt God’s burden on her heart for Japan nonetheless. Carly was baptised at Crossover this summer and says this:

I started attending Crossover Japanese church a few months after the Tsunami in 2011 because I was only 14 and I couldn’t go to Japan to help. I didn’t know what to expect and was nervous because I hadn’t met Japanese people before despite being so enthralled by the culture. God had put a burden on my heart for the people of Japan and given me the strength to have patience.

Pastor Yoichi of Crossover Japanese Church baptises Carly.

Pastor Yoichi of Crossover Japanese Church baptises Carly.

The fellowship and mentoring that I have received at Japanese church really has contributed to the person I am today.

Every summer our church has a BBQ/Service in Cascade Ponds, which presents the opportunity to be baptized. I had long put off that personal decision. I wanted to be baptized in Japan because I saw that as the start of my mission, but I had realized that me not considering the present as time that God could use me for his kingdom was leaving me weak to fight my temptations. Idolatry overtook me and I was putting people before God, but as I allowed for God to become number one in my life I have learned how to love people with the love of God, not my own imperfect love.

We’ve been praying for a long time for more church plants in Manitoba. In September the Board approved Shalom Christian Outreach in Winnipeg to enter the process of affiliation. This means that they are one of our church plants working towards becoming a full-fledged member church with the CBWC. Pastor Shadrack Mutabazi and his congregation have entered wholeheartedly into partnerships with other Baptist groups in Winnipeg, including Broadway-First Baptist Church. Broadway-First generously provides meeting space for Shalom, and we are excited to see this partnership grow in the coming year.

How about you? Where have you seen God’s faithfulness in the good time? Or in circumstances which to us may seem hard?

 

Easter Bunnies and thoughts about not separating Church and State

From the It Seemed Like A Good Idea At the Time Department: Sometimes people wonder where we come up with these wild Church Planting ideas, like the time we dreamed about what it would look like if our local municipal government (a Canadian invention) and our church plant were to partner together and help our community. We agreed to share facilities, equipment, resources and even hire a shared youth worker – and we even asked our denomination to invest in it as well – and they agreed (thank you CBWC).

We prayed, planned and put into action a shared series of sports camps, parades, special
cultural events and community outreaches open to and at no cost to the public, received
funding from the local government and our denomination, and everybody celebrated!!

There were the odd glitches but due to all of the excitement and good will everything went amazingly well – to God be the glory (with a few local politicians patting each other well deservedly on the back).

We were warned about differing agendas, strings being attached and hidden motives when it comes to Church and State partnerships. easter-eggs

Can churches and governments ever partner together? Locally, Provincially/State and Federally? Can we co-exist and even thrive in this ever-changing world? What has it looked like in your city? Community? What are some of the pitfalls or things for people to watch out for?

We had fun sneaking in the true story of Easter along with the Village Egg Hunt; we’d love to hear some of your stories (Good, Bad and Ugly).

In a day and age of community and relational breakdowns, addictions, abuse and
abandonment, crime and corruption, social injustice, refugees, human trafficking and
immigration issues, how can the Church and State relate? What do the new deals look like?

Here are some thoughts from Tyler Johnson and Jim Mullins entitled, “One Church’s Journey on Immigration.”

Shalom,

Tom Lavigne
tlavigne@cbwc.ca