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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Planting

Goal # 2: Plant (or re-plant) five new congregations in the next ten years.

Goal #2 was first spoken out loud at the Noronto reunion in August, 2009. The response was immediate! People began to come forward with expressions like, “Let me tell you about my community!” Or “ Have you considered planting a church in _____?” It was exciting!

We have not been idle on this goal since then. Despite our expressed intention to “go slow and learn with each new effort”, our people began rolling up their sleeves and working right away. The following is what we can report so far.

Fired Up Congregation was launched in September under the leadership of four enthusiastic young adults. The new congregation has had highs and lows, but we are learning and optimistic about this new plant.

Brantford congregation began the work of re-visioning and re-planting, and has gone from an average attendance of four people to between fifteen and twenty in just four months! They have already had a baptismal service.

The people of Sudbury congregation, who had not been meeting for perhaps two years, began to discuss their options. Getting together for fellowship and food, they decided not to close the congregation after all, but instead, to see what is possible. Now they meet from time to time, and bless each other with their love. The re-visioning has begun.

When it comes to fulfilling the call of God, the church does not have the luxury of simply marking time. Trying to stand still will inevitably lead to falling behind. There are people whose lives need to be blessed by the message of the gospel. There are communities of people everywhere we need to reach out to. These communities are not about towns, cities, or rural geography, they are about people. The potential to do something new exists wherever leaders of vision see and recognize a new opportunity. That may happen where we have only one member now, or where we already have a flourishing congregation. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we are reaching out to those whose lives we can bless.

In some cases, we have congregations that need to be re-planted. These are communities that may have existed for many years but are now in decline and in serious need of a new vision of greatness. Where we have people in those communities who want to try something new, we have hope. Given the choice, isn’t it better to re-plant than to close?

Some will no doubt say that we should strengthen our existing congregations before we plant something new. That is the stuff of goals three and four, and we will have more to share about that later. Today is about goal two.

Where else does the Gospel need to be planted? Barrie? Stittsville? Do you feel the stirring of a new plant in your community?

Posted by Carman

2 comments:

  1. "Some will no doubt say that we should strengthen our existing congregations before we plant something new."

    At one time I said those very words, several years ago, about the North Chatham congregation, when it was mentioned, at a business meeting, that North Chatham was considered a 'dying' congregation. I wondered at that time why did the two congregationsin Chatham not rejoin, until such time as they both became strong enough to sustain individual congregations once more.
    Years later, the North Chatham congregation meets in homes twice a month, and shares with Faubert Drive the other weeks, is this the answer, only time will tell, but as I reflect on the situation, I look at the early Christian church of the Apostle Paul's day, when the church met in homes, and shared in Koinonia. The North Chatham congregation still has much to offer the community, in their outreach, even with their small numbers

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  2. Here, Here! I agree totally that a small congregation still has much to offer. The sense of community in a small group is often a great blessing. The key is that we still need to "offer" what we have to the larger community. It is the "inviting" ministry that is so needed, whether the congregation is large or small. Thank you for sharing this.

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