As an Assistant District Superintendent, one of my driving passions is to help leaders develop into all God created them to be. What character and skills are required to be effective in ministry long-term? Are our leaders able to think and process multiplicatively as expressed in our Vision Prayer?
O God, with all our hearts,
we long for You.
Come, transform us to be
Mission-focused people, multiplying
I want to present the opportunity and the challenge that is before us in the CPD, and over the next number of months, I’ll articulate some steps forward.
On the one hand, we are living and ministering in a time of extraordinary opportunity. In countries around the world, the Gospel is advancing more rapidly than ever before. Extraordinary growth is occurring in North India and many parts of China. Christ followers are continuing to multiply in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Countries that were once primarily receiving missionaries are now sending them to others, including Canada. House church movements and cell groups are springing up in country after country.
The opportunities are expanding In Canada as well. People are arriving on our doorstep from all over the world. Churches in the CPD have more and more unique opportunities to present Jesus to their “world”.
Jesus Christ is continuing to build His church, even in the middle of a changing world that is full of opposition and persecution. God is being glorified as more and more people are becoming worshippers and followers of Jesus. It stands to reason that churches who are and who are desiring to be multiplicative require leaders who are equipped for the changing realities of our day.
My heart for the CPD is that our pastors would long to see the multiplication of churches in every nation and every people group, as well as holistic transformation of communities and nations in their parish. We need leaders like Joseph, Daniel, and Esther who can apply their God-given wisdom in the arena of public life as well as leaders like Lydia, Priscilla, and Aquila who exercise their Christian influence in the marketplace. However, we also require Moses’ and Pauls’ who give Christ-centred, mission-focused, Spirit-empowered leadership to our local churches.
Opportunities abound as passionate younger leaders are emerging, eager to get engaged in the work. I have the privilege of journeying with many of them through the licensing and ordination processes. National C&MA initiatives such as Envision (envisioncanada.org) are gaining traction, providing leader development opportunities connected to, and emboldened by, our Alliance DNA. With that being said, barriers stand in the way. The danger is that new, out of the box multiplicative thinking, succumbs to the status quo. The temptation is to get so busy with the day-to-day tasks of “doing church” that our C&MA mandate gets put on the back burner.
Obstacles must be removed to clear the path for leaders to be equipped to take full advantage of the opportunities at hand. Churches need to begin thinking multiplicatively. This is the crisis I see. However, I also see this as a crisis of opportunity.
Over the next few months, I look forward to exploring leader development opportunities with you. My prayer is that they will lead to greater expansion of the Kingdom in the CPD, in Canada, and around the world.