New Horizons FM in Sarnia, Eastern Ministers’ Conference, Pineridge FM (in Calgary), Western Ministers Conference, and then Crestview FM in Winnipeg this past Sunday. I have been with many leaders over the past couple of weeks and most are asking the same essential questions about accepting responsibility for our communities. The big idea at Ministers’ Conferences was Holy Spirit-prayer-evangelism and that God loves our leaders more than He loves our ministries. We spent time in focused listening prayer.
Sarnia is an enthusiastic and warm church family that is enjoying the opportunity of having one of their own lead them through transition (Rev. Kim Henderson) – a great story! Crestview in Winnipeg (where it was snowing when I arrived) celebrated their 50th anniversary with children dancing up the aisle singing, a Ghanaian choir (Ghanaians have been in this church family for 40 years), testimonies, communion and food! Pastor Dustin is leading a multi-ethnic, multi-generational congregation. A very good celebration!
I was with the Pineridge FM church family a Sunday ago, and then had a meeting with their board following the church’s weekly luncheon (3 out of 4 Sundays per month they have lunch together after church – eating together is Biblical theme worthy of exploring especially in busy and socially disconnected Canada). A part of Pastor Dan’s vision is to mentor young leaders into full time pastoral ministry. Already this church has launched Genesis House, with Pastor Andrew Dexter. Pineridge rents meeting space from the Boys’ and Girls’ Club. In fact the relationship between tenant and landlord has turned into an opportunity to bless: Pineridge has painted the building, and helped fix it up.
I used the word “mentor” earlier – Dan is mentoring as well. He meets weekly with mentees and he includes them in ministry discussion and practice. He does the same with his other leaders. The church also runs what they call “Berean Groups”, where participants commit to one hour in the Word daily and then meeting two hours in a group weekly. There are approximately 30 participants – there are, on average, 80 in service on a Sunday morning, which makes 30 a significant number to be involved in the group!
After the sermon is finished there is a question and answer time. This is not “stump the chump” time, but a time to interact with the message, clarify, comment and apply it. I’ve done this in my last two churches for short times. Bruxy Cavey’s church used to do it (maybe they still do?). It is an excellent exercise in helping the message take root. It’s a great opportunity to make sure that people are hearing what the pastor meant to say, and pastors, I assure you it’ll make you prepare very carefully and bring you’re A-game.
According to EFC the average church goer attends 1 or 2 Sundays a month. That’s approximately 16 times or hours per year with church family. 16 hours minus vacation, and other plans, so let’s say the average church goer attends 12 hours of church family time. This is not 12 hours of conversation or interaction, I mean it is entirely possible for one to come into church, sit at the back, say little or nothing to anyone and leave! Church family is so much more than this, and Sunday morning is certainly not the “end goal” in Jesus’ ministry or ours! It is important to ask: what is the end goal of a church family and what is / are the best ways for the Bible to take root into a church family?
Eating together, mentoring, blessing community, Bible study, Q&A after service, leaders asking important questions – leaders, these are very good ingredients to consider in your church life…
Finally let me recommend a short but conversation-starting read by Francis Chan, Letters to the Church. Francis was a mega-church US pastor who left that in order to plant churches – he has some important words for pastors and leaders to prayerfully consider. Here’s a sample:
“In all honesty, we [church leaders] have trained you to become addicted to lesser things [with regards church life, discipleship, worship, prayer, etc]. We have cheapened something sacred and we must repent… I ask people to list all the things that they expect from their church. Then I have them list the commands God gave the Church in Scripture. Usually they mention commands like ‘love one another…’ “visit orphans and widows…”, “make disciples of all nations…”, “bear one another’s burdens”, etc. I then ask them what would upset their people more – if the Church didn’t provide the things from their first list or if the Church didn’t obey the commands in the second list… what is it that gets people in your church stirred up for change? Is it disobedience toward commands from God? Or is it falling short of expectations that we have made up? The answer to these questions might just show us whether our church exists to please God or please people – whether God is leading our church or we are.”
Western Ministers Conference
Church Health Thursdays – Are Our Small Groups Effective?: https://fmcic.ca/are-our-small-groups-effective/
News & Stories Blog – Community Market With a Purpose : https://fmcic.ca/community-market-with-a-purpose/
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out: https://fmcic.ca/3-minute-theology-2-5-knowing-the-bible-inside-out/
New Leaf Podcast: Jeff and Jan Steckley – Contemplative practice, second half of life & the art of starting: https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/ep-53-jeff-and-jan-steckley-contemplative-practice-second-half-of-life-the-art-of-starting/
Faith and Finances Website: http://faithandfinances.ca
Pastor Abbs (Ho Yin) So – approved as a Ministerial Candidate and appointed as Interim Co-Pastor at Richmond Hill Free Methodist Church, Richmond Hill, ON, effective Sept 21.
Pastor Shadow (Wai Chu) Lau – approved as a Ministerial Candidate and appointed as Interim Co-Pastor at Richmond Hill Free Methodist Church, Richmond Hill, ON, effective Sept 21.
Rev. Grant Wolfe – appointed as Church Planter-Orleans South Neighbourhood, Ottawa, ON, effective Oct 1.
Rev. Dr. Mary-Elsie Wolfe – appointed as Church Planter-Orleans South Neighbourhood, Ottawa, ON, effective Oct 1.
Pastor Alyson Lauber – approved as a Ministerial Candidate and appointed as Associate Pastor at Lakeview Free Methodist Church, Saskatoon, SK, effective Oct 4.
Pastor Jessica Isaak – approved as a Ministerial Candidate and appointed as Associate Pastor at Hampton Free Methodist Church, Saskatoon, SK, effective Oct 4.
Pastor Adam Salaam – approved as a Ministerial Candidate and appointed as Assistant Pastor at First Free Methodist Church, Moose Jaw, SK, effective Oct 4.
Rev. Steve Cylka resigned as Regional Coach (Central Ontario), effective Sept 30.
Rev. Dennis Ball (Lead Pastor at Bramalea FM Church, Brampton, ON) – appointed as Regional Coach (Central Ontario) replacing Rev. Steve Cylka, effective October 15.
Ordination and Commissioning Services Schedule
Dave Moriarity, Almonte, Ontario – ordination service on October 28, 2018 at 4:00 pm, Cornerstone Community Church, Almonte, ON
Pierre Zidor, Montreal, Quebec – ordination service on November 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm, Eglise Methodiste Libre de Rosemont, Montreal, QC
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES https://fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/
Register online through the link above.
Lay Ministers tracking for credentialed ministry and those transferring ordination credentials into the FMCiC need to take the following two courses for full credit – and if possible, the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology.
Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
November 2-4 at Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON
June 7-9, 2019 – location TBA*
June 7-9, 2019 – location TBA*
(also available online through FMC-USA: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/courses/)
Ministerial Candidates tracking for Commissioned or Ordained Minister are required to take the following two courses for full credit. Those who are already commissioned or ordained are required to either audit these two courses for 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) each or take the two courses and complete the assignments for 3 CEUs each.
Culture and the Missional Church:
Date and location TBA
Personal and Church Stewardship:
5-week online course (FRENCH) – start date – October 15
6-week online course (ENGLISH) – start date – TBA
(*locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!)
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during both the Spring/Summer and Fall semesters of 2018. See instructions and application forms to download from the link above.
October 15 is also the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during 2018 – apply online from the link above.
CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (CEUs) https://fmcic.ca/introduction-to-continuing-education/
Ordained and Commissioned Ministers (except retirees) are to annually report Continuing Education Units (CEUs) acquired during each year. Check the link above for information on CEUs, the report form and a list of examples of many different types of life-long learning that can be applied as CEUs.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ON
Dryden FMC, Dryden, ON
Melfort FMC, Melfort, SK
West Springs FMC, Calgary, AB
Church Profiles available
Contact Susan DePlanché in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 289-228-1225 (deadline to apply in brackets)
Madoc Wesleyan/FMC, Madoc, ON (Oct 16/18)
(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Susan in the Leadership Development Office [[email protected] or 289-228-1225] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)
Athens FMC, Athens, ON (Angel Valentin-Transition Pastor)
New Horizons Community Church – Sarnia, ON (Kim Henderson-Interim Pastor)
Richmond Hill Chinese & English Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Abbs So and Shadow Lau-Interim Co-Pastors)
Weyburn FMC, Weyburn, SK