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SPRING 2014

THE CANADIAN BAPTIST

“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21 WE LIVE IN AN INCREASINGLY SECULARIZED,

post-Christian culture that is changing by the minute. Marked by a vast pluralism of ideas, values and faiths, churches are struggling to determine their direction and identity in this new world. Certainly it is challenging, but it also brings with it great opportunities. The new mission field is here. The chance to serve our neighbours and share the Gospel with the unreached no longer requires a long journey. How is God calling your church to respond to the missional frontier at your doorstep? In Christ, we have been given signposts that point us toward the places and means by which we will demonstrate the reign of God to our world. We become signposts that show others the way to the kingdom Jesus embodied and declared, which is why this year’s Assembly theme is “Kingdom Signposts.”

Come gather ‘round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone If your time to you Is worth savin’ Then you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’. -Bob Dylan


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THE SIGNS POINT MANY WAYS. They point us as followers of Jesus into our communities to live as ambassadors and examples of Christ. They point us to care for each other. They point others to the possibility of being loved by God in this upside-down kingdom of Jesus’ radical mercy and justice.

Based on his book (co-authored with Scott Holsclaw), Prodigal Christianity: 10 Signposts into the Missional Frontier, our speaker, David Fitch, will lead us in exploring the kind of followers and faith communities needed if our generation is to experience the generous love of God. If you are in church leadership, come! If you want to grow in how God can use you to share the Gospel in the places he has put you, come! If you want to learn about the exciting topics that our learning session presenters have for you, come! If you want to join in worshipping together with your big Canadian Baptist family, come! We are excited to welcome you. For more information, go to assembly2014.ca.

FOR MORE ABOUT DAVID FITCH, GO TO RECLAIMINGTHEMISSION.COM


YOUTH MINISTRY IS CHANGING.

With teens plugged in almost every moment of the day, it is easy to miss what it all really means. Young people are looking for connection and community. “Kids are busy,” says Sam Lee, Youth Pastor at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church. “It’s hard to get them to come when there is also school, work and cottages.” Regular events can struggle with attendance, and recruiting students can prove challenging. Yet, Sam discovered that when he encouraged his youth to gather around a sick friend, they came joyfully, offering companionship, prayer and encouragement. “Kids are looking for community.” “Youth ministry is no longer event-based,” echoes Curt Erb, Leadership Development Pastor at Immanuel Baptist in North Toronto. “It is relationship first.” Rather than complex programming, Curt has found that it is things like small groups, team building,

leadership training and mission trips that have made a real difference in the youth in his church. In light of this changing reality, CBOQ’s Matt Wilkinson has continued to serve as co-director of Youth Unlimited’s Today’s Teens conference. This is an annual youth ministry gathering that has for over 30 years been providing hope, encouragement and training for youth and youth workers to effectively reach and engage this generation with the person and message of Jesus. On February 22, over 1500 teens and youth ministry workers came together. Ministry to youth is alive in Ontario! “While we know that young people are leaving the church, what was made clear at this year’s conference was that when you look around and see hundreds of youth choosing to live out Jesus with their friends and hundreds of youth workers and parents willing to invest in the lives of these teens, there is much to be hopeful about. The challenge for the rest of us in the church is whether we are ready to give the opportunity to this next generation to lead and be faithful mentors in their spiritual journey,” says Matt Wilkinson. God continues to work powerfully in and through youth. CBOQ is excited to be a part of it! FOR MORE ABOUT WHAT CBOQ YOUTH IS DOING, GO TO CBOQYOUTH.CA


Our Global Family Dear friends, AFTER A RECENT VISIT TO EAST ASIA

with CBM and six of our CBOQ pastors, I was left inspired by the energy and vibrancy of the Gospel on the ground in this region of the world. There is an evident hunger for the Word of the Lord and the life changing power of a relationship with Jesus Christ.

servant here who reached out. Because of her care, encouragement and testimony, the Gospel will be shared with those who might never have heard it otherwise. Let us ever be mindful of the impact of an afternoon tea, a trusting relationship and the goodness of the Gospel. How might you make an impact this week in the name of Jesus in your community? Blessings to you today, Tim McCoy, Executive Minister

I was inspired by a young woman who was educated here in North America. While here, she was invited to tea every Friday by a dear woman in a church and was led to Christ through this trusting relationship. This young woman resisted the temptation to remain in North America for a “better life� and instead returned to her homeland to begin ministry and renewal for children and their families in a migrant village. I am thankful for the lesson of the faithful

LEADING UP TO EASTER, PLEASE COME TO BAPTIST.CA/BLOG TO JOIN US FOR OUR LENTEN REFLECTIONS

100-304 The East Mall Etobicoke Ontario M9B 6E2

p: 416-622-8600 e: info@baptist.ca t: @CBOQ www.baptist.ca


The Canadian Baptist: Spring 2014