The Free Methodist Church in Canada | Summer 2010 | Volume 7 Issue 2
Reflecting the diversity of ministry expression within the Free Methodist family
CONTENT IT’S OUR LEG OF THE RACE! | BISHOP KEITH ELFORD herefore, since we are surrounded by “T such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the COVER
It’s our leg of the race! by Bishop Keith Elford FM Numbers PAGE 2 Editor’s Desk Are we ready? by Jared Siebert
Foundational course offerings PAGE 3 Ministers Conference 2010 International Child Care Ministries by Paula Moriarity Scholarship Reminder
sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” [Hebrew 12:1-2 (NIV)] These are words written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to call the people of New Testament days (and all of us who follow in continuity with them) to persevere together as a community of God’s people in the running of the race of faithfully representing the Lord Jesus well in their daily living. The principles of running well are clear.
PAGES 4 & 5 Ministerial Candidacy: The journey begins by Kim Henderson Crossings: My ministry path by Philippe Reichenbach PAGE 6 Passages Transforming trends by Sandy Crozier Global Partnerships PAGE 7 The road to “yes” by Cameron Montgomery Discovering God’s call by serving others by Elizabeth Down Becoming a MC helps me live out my passion by Dustin Laird Spiritual growth has been part of my story by Jason Tripp PAGE 8 Indian Focus: unreached peoples and gateway cities by Dan Sheffield
is a publication of
First, everything that hinders and saps strength is to be thrown off. Olympians wore only the essentials so that all the energy they had could go into running – not carrying. This is not an ambling through the park with lawn chairs and picnic coolers toward a family reunion around picnic tables where baskets are to be opened to fill the tables with food. It’s a race … a long race … a marathon in which generation by generation the baton is passed and each generation has its section to run. We are to run stripped of the non-essentials. Secondly, every generation needs to watch its step and pay attention to what is on the path. The language of the passage suggests trailing vines that could entangle the runners’ feet and trip them up, resulting in temporary stumbles that would cause them to lose their stride and cost them precious seconds, or even worse, a serious fall and debilitating injuries that would ultimately put them out of the race. The entanglements of sin are to be stepped over, stepped around, and watched with guarded and serious attention. Perseverance has to be the mindset because this is not a sprint, and any distance runner will tell you that the marathon requires a tough, sinewy way of thinking that is even more well-conditioned than the runner’s cardiovascular system and muscle groups. There has to be a well developed determination not to give up when the course turns uphill and voices within whisper, “Give up! Give up! You’re not going to make it! Give up!” Instead, runners must
2011 General Conference theme | taking place in Mississauga, Ontario [May 20-23]
find their stride, adjust their pace when they are battling head winds or coasting downhill, but no matter what the case, they must keep going. They must summon all their inner reserves and be determined to finish their leg of the race well.
The General Conference Planning Committee wants the 2011 General Conference to be a time of inspiration, discernment and challenge that draws us as a movement into a clearer focus on the mission of God. Distance runners also know that in order to reach the finish line, they keep their eyes fixed on the runner ahead, and, ultimately, on the one who is leading the pack. They must watch their moves and match their pace and when needed, they put out to press past them all the time mentally rehearsing stories of the outstanding finishes in the great races run by the famous. If they are
4315 Village Centre Court Mississauga, Ontario L4Z 1S2 T. 905.848.2600 F. 905.848.2603 E. email@example.com www.fmc-canada.org For submissions:
firstname.lastname@example.org Dan Sheffield, Editor-in-Chief Lisa Howden, Managing Editor & Production Mailed under publication agreement #40008369 Return postage guaranteed
The Free Methodist Church in Canada
Report on Core Core Giving from local churches primarily supports the ministry of our National Leadership Team (NLT) and the ministry areas they represent. Core Giving funds the oversight, empowerment and administrative ministries of the NLT.
Local churches are asked to contribute a tithe (10%) of their monthly Operating Receipts toward these leadership ministries which support the development of healthy churches across Canada and beyond.
going to run well and the team is going to cross the finish line, their heads have to be in the race. They don’t run for the fans or against the critics. They run for the prize. The Christian does all these things— eyes fixed on Jesus, who in spite of great adversity, ran well and triumphed in his resurrection. This is the passage that is going to preoccupy us at the 2011 General Conference. The planning committee is already working on arrangements and this passage was chosen as an anchor for the planning, not only because of the intensity of its challenge to all of us who are together presently engaged in discerning and doing the mission of God in this leg of salvation history, but because of the strong sense of continuity with the past that undergirds the passage. Hebrews 12 follows Hebrews 11, and the two chapters connect with these words: “These (the heroes and nameless non-heroes of faith highlighted in chapter 11) were all commended for their faith,
THIS ARTICLE CONTINUES ON PAGE 3 - “RACE”
We have currently fallen below our 2009 core giving levels by $39,000 [or approximately 8.5 % down over last year’s figures]. This is an unprecedented situation and of concern to our National Leadership Team.
Giving Streams We are also below 2009 levels by approximately $44,000 in Giving Streams with Global Missions being the most affected fund. If you require more information contact our Administrative and Financial Services Team at the Ministry Centre.
EDITOR’S DESK Remembering the “Big Picture” Life at the Ministry Centre has been a very busy place for me of late. There is always lots (and lots!) for me to do, but with General Conference preparations thrown into the mix, the next ten months will feel especially rushed. It’s easy for me to get so caught up in the work that I forget what it is all about – the purpose behind it all. When I concentrate on the goal it’s easier to avoid distractions; I become more attuned to faster and better ways of doing things. One of the ways that I keep myself on track is to remember the “why’s” behind all the different tasks that have to be accomplished. This first “why” begs the biggest question ... “Why communicate – why do we bother with a communications department at all?” The simple answer is that it exists to express the goals, values and mission of The Free Methodist Church in Canada. This strengthens our connection to one another and allows us to share resources and encouraging stories within our movement. Now, as important as this goal is, it does not help me at all in actually doing anything. It points me in the right direction – it gives me something to aim for and it also helps me establish the parameters within which to operate, but it does not lay out a plan to get from point “a” to point “b”. Alan Lakein, a Time Management author, says it this way: “You cannot ‘do’ a goal. Long-term planning and goal-setting must therefore be complemented by shortterm planning. This kind of planning requires specifying activities. You can do an activity. Activities are steps along the way to a goal.” It has become my habit over the years to take the time to map out both shortterm and long-term plans for my projects. Practically, it gives me an opportunity to organize my work and helps me reflect on what can be improved, what worked and what didn’t. You will see from the articles in this MOSAIC that there is a lot of planning going on. As a result of several months of planning, Bishop Elford outlines our theme for the upcoming General Conference in May 2011, “We’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running, never quit - eyes fixed on Jesus” [Hebrews 12:1-2]. Jared Siebert is planning for the continued influx of immigration and its effects on rural and urban church planting as it relates to changing cultural settings. This issue’s feature, written by Kim Henderson, focuses on the continued need for Ministerial Candidates and the reality of so many of our pastors moving towards retirement age in the next decade. Focusing on India is the subject of Dan Sheffield’s article, which highlights the possibilities for Free Methodist churches to develop global partnerships with church planters in India’s gateway cities. [We currently have global partnerships in only two of the twelve gateway cities in India.]
ARE WE READY?
he Globe and Mail recently published an article outlining significant changes in the demographics of Canada. In the report Stats Can suggests that, by 2031, the majority of people living in major urban centres will be visible minorities. This shift is due, of course, to low Canadian birth rates and the high levels of immigration the government is encouraging in order to help ease Canada’s impending labour and population shortage. These labour and population shortages are not simply limited to Canada’s urban centres. Rural areas will be affected as well. For years our rural lands have been losing entire generations of children to urban life. In response some provincial governments are enacting measures to ensure that some of the new immigration flows to rural areas. Quebec was among the first to experiment with rural immigration measures. Recently Ontario has joined the trend (http:// www.reddi.gov.on.ca/cirro.htm) in hopes that they can stem the growing loss of young people in their rural regions. The question we must begin asking ourselves is this: as a movement that hopes to have a healthy church within the reach of all Canadians (recently immigrated or not), are we ready? You may be happy to know that we are showing some signs of preparedness. The past five years have seen a significant increase in the numbers of immigrant church plants in our movement. Through this increase we are developing significant in-house expertise and better processes that ensure we can plant immigrant congregations in a sustainable way. Our system of networks not only provides support to planters and pastors but also provides the chance to share what we have learned with other networks, thereby increasing our overall capacity. With the help of Dan Sheffield, Director of Intercultural and Global Ministries, we also have a significant body of learning and training to offer churches
who want to become multiculturally aware. All of this will establish a foundation that we can build on in the future. In the area of rural challenges we are beginning to see some positive signs as well. Due to depopulation and the slow decline of many denominations we are finding rural towns and villages with next to no churches – evangelical or otherwise. This has led to experiments with rural church planting. Bruce Kellar and others in Eastern Ontario are pioneering efforts in small towns. The results in the last year have been two new church plants in Seeley’s Bay ( Jan MacPhail) and Belleville (Dale Hawley) with further plans for others. Each of these projects is supported by established local Free Methodist churches. The Free Methodist Church in Canada and the Salvation Army are also co-sponsoring a fledgling national conversation on rural church planting. We hope that through this conversation we can both learn and share what we have learned so that we become better and better at planting in a rural context. While we are showing some signs of preparedness we also face some significant challenges in facing the new Canada
together. If we are to be responsive in bringing the gospel and the church within reach of all Canadians (recently immigrated or not) we are going to have to do several things:  to encourage our churches to become informed about immigration in their area – in both rural and urban church settings  to find ways of becoming positively involved in the government programs that support and foster immigration to our region  to avail ourselves as pastors and congregations of the intercultural training the denomination makes available  to have every church consider how it can be part of our vitally important church planting efforts  to pray that God raises up new leaders, thinkers, and doers to help us stay at pace with the changes we face as a church. Rev. Jared Siebert is the Director of Church Development for The Free Methodist Church in Canada Join the 100 Church Challenge! As a movement we are putting out a call to 100 churches to support church planting across our country by giving $3700/ year to the Church Development Giving Stream. Can we count you in? Call the Ministry Centre for details.
Foundational Course Offerings | FALL SESSION WESLEYAN THEOLOGY will be offered September 24-26, 2010 at Crossroads Free Methodist Church, Salmon Arm, BC with Rev. Matthew McEwen as instructor. Course Description This course will investigate the life and times of John Wesley, and the unique practical and theological contribution he made to Christendom, with particular focus on the doctrines of Salvation and Sanctification.
So, what does your plan look like? Is it moving you closer to your local objectives? How is it weaving into the goals, values and mission of our movement?
Why such a course? In recent years across Christendom there has occurred a revival of interest in John and Charles Wesley. It has been sparked by several recent phenomena. The Church Growth Movement, the Small Group Movement, the Evangelical Movement, the Charismatic Movement, the Ecumenical Movement, and the Openness of God theology have all focused considerable attention on the Great Awakening of the 18th Century and in particular the contribution of the Wesley brothers. This course will introduce us to what happened in history and how it affects our perception on many of the central issues of church life today.
Lisa Howden Managing Editor
Course registration deadline September 20, 2010 (Salmon Arm, BC)
Every ministry within the FMCIC dedicates a lot of prayerful time and thought into forming a plan – activities which are specific, but which all possess a common thread – in that they continue to move us closer to our ultimate goal, “To see healthy churches within the reach of all people in Canada and beyond.”
“As a movement that hopes to have a healthy church within the reach of all Canadians (recently immigrated or not), are we ready?”
PERSONAL & CHURCH STEWARDSHIP will be offered • September 24-26, 2010 at Northview Community Church in Regina, SK. • October 26-28, 2010 (mid-week) at Athens Free Methodist Church, Athens, Ontario. Sandy Crozier, Stewardship Development Director for The FMCiC, will be the instructor for these courses. Purpose of the course The purpose of the stewardship foundational course is to educate and inspire regarding biblical stewardship. We will examine biblical stewardship from both a personal and church management perspective. Course registration deadline September 20, 2010 (Regina, SK) October 20, 2010 (Athens, ON)
CULTURE & THE MISSIONAL CHURCH will be offered November 12-14, 2010 at the Polson Park Free Methodist Church in Kingston, Ontario with Rev. Dan Sheffield and Rev. Jared Siebert as instructors. For Ministerial Candidates, Commissioned Ministers and Ordained Ministers only Course Description The Church is God’s chosen instrument for accomplishing Missio Dei (God’s Mission). This course is designed to introduce an understanding of culture and theology of mission that informs our engagement with our own communities, with peoples around us who are not like us, and gives foundations for involvement in mission beyond our own borders. Processes and practices for engagement with our own communities, and beyond, are introduced and discussed. Course registration deadline November 8, 2010 (Kingston, ON)
3 MOSAIC The Free Methodist Church in Canada
MINISTERS CONFERENCE 2010
Following Jesus Leading Others
About the Ministers Conference Leadership that is patterned after the character of the Lord Jesus and that focuses on what He is passionate about is the focus of the 2010 Ministers Conference. Doug Griffin and Cliff Fletcher as pastoral practitioners are teaming up with the NLT to put together a program that is both experiential and instructional.
what God has in mind.
During the conference, you will experience the tensions of leadership, hear stories of leading through change, have an opportunity to deepen your awareness of conflicting values and assumptions at play within and around you as a leader and share in discussions about the leadership challenge of keeping yourself and your people in tune with
ENTHEOS/Calgary [west] October 5-7, 2010
There will also be some practical teaching on conflict resolution and team building. WESLEY ACRES RETREAT CENTRE/Bloomfield [east] September 28-30, 2010
For further details, or to download the conference schedule or for information about registering visit the website ::: www.fmc-canada.org :::
EXTREME MAKEOVER: SCHOOL EDITION I am not sure what Ty Pennington would say about the extreme makeover that has taken place in the Mathare school in Nairobi. When I was there with our Encounter Kenya team last fall, the room I crouched into was dark and hot. As I watched, the teacher held up a poster with pictures of animals on it and my only thought was that this is not an ideal learning environment.
Serving Christ together, Paula Moriarity, ICCM Director Mathare pre-school class in Nairobi, Kenya
4315 Village Centre Court - Mississauga, Ontario L4Z 1S2 905.848.2600 | email@example.com | www.childcareministries.net
“race” continued from cover
The New Testament Christians must have been both wowed and sobered by these words. This was saying that God had planned something better for them so that only together with those who had run before would they (and we) all be made “perfect.” I’m not sure that I fully grasp the mystery of what the Scriptures are saying here, but what I do understand is that the longings and aspirations of
Distance runners know: “If they are going to run well
and the team is going to cross the finish line, their heads have to be in the race. They don’t run for the fans or against the critics. They run for the prize.” the heroes of the Old Testament would somehow come to one completed whole as God integrated their contributions with what He was doing during the time of the book of Hebrews.
revelation of His Kingdom! And what we are doing today in our leg of the race also connects! What an awesome opportunity and what a serious responsibility!
HOW CAN APPLICATIONS BE MADE? LSP application packages are available from the Canadian Ministry Centre in Mississauga, or any Free Methodist pastor. Application packages may also be downloaded from our web site at www.fmc-canada.org by clicking on “Leadership Scholarship Plan” under the Pastoral Development section. All college/ university applicants need to be recommended by their church Official Board with pastor’s signature. Seminary applicants need to be approved by the Director of Personnel in consultation with their Regional MEGaP committees.
The deadline for the Fall Semester Deadline: October 15, 2010
The physical aspect of the makeover has been dramatic in the past seven months but the spiritual aspect is transforming the lives of children and families. Contact us for more information on how your church can impact children’s lives around the world.
The “something better” that God had planned points to the entrance of the Lord Jesus into the race and the profound sense of enduring hope that comes with his coming, his joy- anticipating participation in the mission of God here on earth through his living, his teaching, his enduring of the shame of the cross, his resurrection, and the pouring out of the presence and power of His Spirit in a greater fullness at Pentecost. What God was doing in the New Testament generation’s living, working and witnessing at the time of the book of Hebrews was in continuity with what He had been doing through the lives of the heroes of the Old Testament. Their present contribution to the race was linked together with those who had run before and God’s plan was to ultimately bring about something even better in the full
The Leadership Scholarship Plan was initiated to provide financial assistance to students pursuing post-secondary educational studies in approved schools. The LSP program is funded jointly by Lorne Park Foundation and The Free Methodist Church in Canada and administered by the FMCiC office.
A NEW COMPLETED APPLICATION PACKAGE MUST BE SUBMITTED FOR EACH SEMESTER.
It has truly been an extreme makeover. The roof has been raised, lights have been installed, and with the help of Pastor Fred McCracken’s team from Athens FMC a new cement floor was poured.
yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” [Hebrews 11:39-12:1 NIV]
Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP)
The Board of Administration and the General Conference Planning Committee want the 2011 General Conference to be a time of inspiration, discernment and challenge that draws us as a movement into a clearer focus on the mission of God. We are confronting some complexities and challenges both within and without that every generation has faced. At the same time, we are blessed with unprecedented opportunities and faced with daunting obstacles that have never been encountered before. Yet what the writer of Hebrews has said is true: “God [has] a better plan for us: that their faith [those who have gone before us] and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.”
Special Scholarships One of the core values of the Free Methodist church is learning. We also seek to invest resources strategically and mature those who desire to grow as part of our national church mission. It is the vision of The Free Methodist Church in Canada to see healthy churches within the reach of all people in Canada and beyond. Developing future leaders is a critical component to meeting the above goals and remaining consistent to our mandate. Embedded in our ethos and initiated by faithful visionaries through our Canadian experience, special scholarships are available. Visit the website to complete an application www.fmc-canada.org: • Pastoral Education • Education • Special Scholarships • Download application complete and submit Deadline for applications October 8, 2010
FROM THE PHOTO GALLERY REGIONAL GATHERING
So if this is our conviction about what we want the Spirit of God to do during our General Conference, what do we choose as our theme? There is a lot at stake as we look back at the past perseverance of God’s people and think forward to those who will continue after us until Jesus returns. Remembering that we have the promises of his Word and that we must draw on the resources of his presence, our theme is “We’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running, never quit – eyes fixed on Jesus!” (The Message) Rev. Keith Elford is the Bishop of The Free Methodist Church in Canada
Merritt, BC - June 12, 2010
Athens FMC (ON) - May 15, 2010
There are also three educational requirements:
1. Introduction to Bible (or equivalent) from an accredited institution 2. Introduction to Christian Doctrine (or equivalent) from an accredited institution and 3. The Heart of Canadian Free Methodism (offered only by the FMCiC) One last piece of paperwork is required. This is a from The Manual (383b) and is a signed recommendation by your pastor and official board that they see the gifts, graces, competencies and potential for you to be recommended for ministerial candidacy in the FMCiC. Then you are scheduled for your first interview with a regional Ministerial Education Guidance and Placement (MEGaP) committee. There is work to be done in advance and instructions are sent out two months ahead of your interview: [a] a reflection paper describing your call [b] answers to a case study [c] written answers to specific theological questions Here’s a tip: Please don’t ignore this email when it comes to you but read it through thoroughly. There is work to do and there is a deadline. Also please don’t schedule or plan to do all of the work the week before it’s due. Life has a way of exploding when we run that close to deadlines. The interview happens on a Saturday and is actually three interviews:
[a] self-awareness; [b] contextual awareness (within the faith community and the broader community) and [c] theological awareness
Number of Pastors
We do need more people being called to pastoral ministry – both those who are younger and straight from Bible school and those who are second career.
Ministerial Candidates tracking for ordination
This information is sent to the Personnel Office, a file for you is created, and communication between the personnel office and yourself begins. You submit paperwork such as a resume, a letter of recommendation from your pastor, police clearance certificate and transcripts from post-secondary education or a life-experience portfolio. There are a few other requirements – for the complete list check out Chapter 8 in The Manual.
Lead Pastors (including Ministerial Candidates) and pastors available for lead pastor positions
Age Range in years
It begins with a call of God on your life for pastoral ministry that you can describe and that has been affirmed and confirmed by many, including your local church. Typically you are a member of a local church. You’ve had conversations with your lead pastor and other leadership in the church. They confirm your call and encourage you by granting you a lay minister’s license. If you’re a church planter then this part of the process differs for you.
Age Range in years
Number of Pastors
Tracking is the word we use to describe the journey toward credentialed ministry. In the FMCiC, one tracks to become either a commissioned minister or an ordained minister. Regardless of what track a person is on, a common marker along the journey for all is Ministerial Candidacy. How does a person get to be a Ministerial Candidate (MC)?
ast fall I had the opportunity to connect with some students at Tyndale College & University in Toronto at a FMCiC information lunch. Some, but not all, of the students were FMers. This is one of the first questions I was asked: ‘What does ‘tracking’ mean?’
Lead Pastors (including Ministerial Candidates) and pastors available for lead pastor positions Ministerial Candidates tracking for ordination
Figure 1 [above]: Age and Number of Lead Pastors and Ministerial Candidates Figure 2: Age and Number of Lead Pastors (including Ministerial Candidates) and Ministerial Candidates Tracking for Ordination
You will interact with six members of the regional MEGaP (three clergy, three lay people) and they will make a recommendation. One possible recommendation is that you become a Ministerial Candidate in the FMCiC. This recommendation then goes to the Board of Administration (BoA) for final approval. Congratulations! You’re a MC and you will be presented with your credential (which is your certificate) hopefully at an event that involves cake! A request will go back to your local church for you to be appointed as a pastor. Appointment begins your relationship of connection, support and accountability with the conference. It’s an important step and again shows the support of your local church leadership. (If you are a church planter, this process differs for you too.) If you are tracking to be a commissioned minister you need to ensure that your
Ministerial Candidacy: The Journey Begins
educational requirements are met and you have completed three years of ministry service under appointment before your next (and likely final) interview with MEGaP. If you are tracking for ordination there are more educational requirements and four years of ministry service under appointment. You will also have two more MEGaP interviews.
As we look to the future, and as those who are currently lead pastors move into retirement, is there enough in the ‘pool’ for our needs? I’ve been told that the process is man-made. That is true. Scripture gives us direction for leadership in the church as well as insights into character, behavior and abilities our leaders should have, but Scripture doesn’t outline the process for ordination like we’ll find in chapter 8 of The Manual. Yet Jesus called 12 and then had them in school with him for three years. We’re also very mindful of Paul’s counsel to Timothy: ‘Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands’ (1 Timothy 5:22), which is why the process takes time. Currently there are 84 MCs in the FMCiC. Seventy are tracking for ordination (56 men, 14 women) and fourteen are tracking to be commissioned ministers (6 men, 8 women). At first glance, that’s quite impressive. Over the past ten years, on average we have had seven new MCs each year. As we look to the future, and as those who are currently lead pastors move into retirement, is there enough in the ‘pool’ for our needs? Figure 1 shows the age ranges of our pastors who are currently in lead pastor positions or available for those positions. It also shows the age range of our ministerial candidates. We can see that before long, there will be more retirements. We do have a strong number of MCs but we also need to remember that not every MC will be a perfect ‘fit’ for every lead pastor position that becomes available. There’s more to the story. Some of our MCs are already serving as lead pastors. Some of our MCs are tracking for commissioned ministry and will serve in specialized positions at our churches, but not as lead pastors. Figure 2 reflects those changes. We do need more people being called to pastoral ministry – both those who are younger and straight from Bible school and those who are second career. Where will they come from? I believe it makes scriptural sense that God will call His people to leadership from within His people – that is, from the local expressions of church. Are you part of a faith community where that is prayed for? Expected? Taught? Encouraged? Supported? Are you part of a faith community where there’s a culture of learning, trying new things and grace for mistakes? . . . because there will be mistakes. After all, if we all knew everything to begin with, there’d be no need to learn. The experiences that we have in situations (such as going to school) doesn’t mean that we automatically and immediately know everything there is to know about being an excellent teacher. Pastoring is no different and we’re not being realistic when we expect it to be. So in your church, who might God be calling? I remember when I became a MC. My mom was pleased but the first thing she said to me was ‘Well, I guess you’re not finished yet as you’re a candidate for something else’. I’ll admit that irritated me as it took some time, energy and dedication to even get to that point. But she was right. Tracking is active tense, not passive. Ministerial candidacy is not an endpoint. It’s a step along the way. Are you a MC who needs a gentle reminder of that? Or do you know a MC who needs to be encouraged to take the next step in the journey? Rev. Kim Henderson is the Director of Personnel for The Free Methodist Church in Canada
What is a Ministerial Candidate? A ministerial candidate is a member of a Free Methodist Church who is seriously pursuing entrance into full-time ministry, has been granted the status of a honorary member of the conference (with voice but not vote) and is under conference supervision in studies and service. taken from ¶815 of the Manual of The Free Methodist Church in Canada
Some Ministerial Candidates share their experiences ...
My ministry path with the Free Methodist Church PHILIPPE REICHENBACH Pastor at St. Henri FMC in Montreal, QC I was born in Switzerland and my wife Nicole and I came to Montreal as missionaries, in 1995. We have worked in the ministry under many different missions. Since our arrival in Québec, we were eager to discover a church where we could live out our Christian faith while being part of a real family church. We also wished to get involved through contributing some of our time. We came in contact with the Free Methodist Church of St. Henri where we have experienced a common bond with the members and their desire to serve the Lord in the surrounding community. We therefore got involved in different tasks where we have seen God’s mighty power in action. Later on, I was asked if I would be interested in starting training as a ministerial candidate within the Free Methodist Church. When I decided to receive that training, I did not really know exactly what role God wanted me to play in the church but I knew this was the direction that I was supposed to take. Because of several difficult circumstances in our church, I was not able to continue my training for a time. As time passed, God allowed the Free Methodist Church of St. Henri to experience a renewal accompanying a new vision, so Pastor Nathan Umazekabiri, (now Ministry Development Facilitator for Québec), asked me if I wanted to resume my training as a ministerial candidate. After carefully considering it, I was convinced that God wanted me to do this. This direction has allowed me to continue to serve Him within the local church – right here as the Pastor of Église méthodiste libre de St. Henri. Today, as I pursue ordination within The Free Methodist Church in Canada, I can only thank the Lord for keeping us safe in his care these last fifteen years. God knew the circumstances through which we would go during all these years in ministry. He desired to prepare us so that I could serve as shepherd in that local church. Continued on page 7 “Journey”
PASSAGES Appointments Jennifer Anderson – Pastor at Niagara Falls, ON church plant, effective July 1, 2010 Rob Clements – Assistant Pastor at The Freeway at Oshawa, ON, effective September 1, 2010 Henry Dyck (“Located” now—so make active) – Interim Lead Pastor at Barrie, effective July 19, 210 Peter Goodyear – Pastor at Open House, Stratford, ON, effective March 26, 2010 Tom Gurnick – Intentional Interim Pastor at Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON effective May 1, 2010 Dale Harris – Pastor at The FreeWay, Oshawa, ON, effective March 26, 2010 Dale Hawley – Pastor at Liberty church plant, Belleville, ON, effective July 1, 2010 Aaron James – Pastor at Blue Mountain Community Church, Thornbury, ON effective July 1, 2010 Joe Jobin – Pastor at Marmora (ON) FMC effective June 11, 2010 Andrew Klinger – Associate Pastor at Cornerstone Community Church, Almonte, ON effective May 27, 2010 Bob Lay – Chaplain, Canadian Forces Petawawa effective June 1, 2010 Laurie Lemke – Associate Pastor at Vennachar (ON) FMC, effective June 17, 2010 Samson Mehari – Associate Pastor of Intercultural Ministries at Chapel Ridge FMC, Stittsville, ON effective April 6, 2010.
TRANSFORMING TRENDS On a recent scenic road tour of the coastline of PEI, I was overwhelmed by the number of beautiful old church buildings on the island tucked away in almost every remote corner and turn of the road. Most of these churches were surrounded by graveyards, and I remembered hoping there was more life on the inside. We stopped to take pictures and posted them immediately on Facebook so that our friends at home could share in our travels – that is until we hit the section of the island that both time and our internet provider forgot. I realized with the lack of internet – even while on holidays – how influenced by our culture’s need to ‘stay connected’ I was. For a moment, instead of enjoying and relaxing on our drive, I found myself frustrated by the lack of technology being able to reach me and my inability to reach the rest of the world. I had become captive to a cultural trend.
Lynda Sinclair – Interim Pastor at Arlington Woods, effective July 1, 2010
Instead of adjusting to the economic
Vic Stonehouse – Interim Lead Pastor at Trulls Road, effective August 1, 2010
downturn and living within our
Joan Stonehouse – Interim Pastor of Care at Trulls Road, effective July 1, 2010
incomes, Canadians are continuing to turn to debt in alarming rates.
Ministerial Candidates approved
Even during more prosperous times
Dale Harris – Pastor at The FreeWay, Oshawa, ON, March 26, 2010
when incomes went up 10 times over
Joe Jobin – Pastor at Marmora FMC, June 4, 2010
the last 20 years, debt increased to
Sam Laitinen – Next Church, Kingston, ON June 23, 2010
record levels and giving went down
Laurie Lemke – Associate Pastor at Vennachar FMC, ON, April 15, 2010 Randy Miller – Lakeview FMC, Saskatoon, SK June 23, 2010
Transfer in Peter Goodyear - Ordained Minister, pastor at Open House, Stratford, ON - March 26, 2010 from the Church of the Nazarene Paul Griffin – Pastor at Prince Edward County FMC, Picton, ON - April 15, 2010 from the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada
Ordination approved and service scheduled Mark Earle - June 27, 2010, 4:00 p.m. at Cross-Walk Church, Burlington, ON Trevor Swanson - September 12, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. at New Hope FMC, Newmarket, ON
Withdrawn Anthony Hedrick - transfer to Nazarene Church of the North Carolina District (June 23, 2010) Jason Johnston – transfer to New South Annual Conference of the FMCNA (May 3, 2010) Don and Jessie Oldford – transfer to Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches (May 27, 2010)
Churches in transition Arlington Woods FMC, Ottawa, ON Asbury FMC, Perth, ON Avonlea FMC, Avonlea, SK Barrie FMC, Barrie, ON Bramalea FMC, Brampton, ON Eastern Koinonia, Toronto, ON Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON Surrey FMC, Surrey, BC Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON Vennachar FMC, Cloyne, ON Wawota FMC, Wawota, SK Westport FMC, Westport, ON
by about 50%. The need for technology is not the only cultural trend that can take hold of us. Statistics tell us that Canadians are going deeper and deeper into debt. At the end of 2009, Canadian household debt reached $1.41 trillion. Instead of adjusting to the economic downturn and living within our incomes, Canadians are continuing to turn to debt in alarming rates. Even during more prosperous times when incomes went up 10 times over the last 20 years, debt increased to record levels and giving went down by about 50%. Perhaps this increased debt load is one of the main reasons for the reduction of giving to churches and charities. These trends are telling us that many - both inside and outside of the church - are in trouble. People are looking for help. They are looking for hope. And there is much truth and grace in God’s word that can help all of us. The question is, are we actually free to live the message of help and hope that we want to convey to our community? Is it possible that Christians can be held captive by systems and philosophies about money that aren’t based on the truth of God’s word? I believe it is. But is there freedom from those things that hold us captive and limit our effective Christian living? Yes there is. And that freedom is found in submitting to the truth of God’s word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Church along the Prince Edward Island coast
While the very culture we helped create is hard at work at trying to influence our financial behavior, God is quietly encouraging us not to be conformed to this world but rather to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We can do this only through understanding what the Bible says about money and our relationship to it. As we are transformed by the renewing of our minds, we recognize the cultural myths about money and can find the courage to stand against them. As we are transformed in our hearts we find the motivation to change as we recognize our role not as an owner, but as a beloved steward of all God’s good gifts. As we are transformed in our finances, we are freed from the bondage of debt and are able to use our resources to help others and participate in God’s work with all we have (our time, our abilities, our hospitality, and our finances). As we are transformed into generous stewards, we will not only love and seek the kingdom of God first, but we will love our neighbours as ourselves. As we learn to love our neighbours as generously as we love ourselves, a new trend will take hold of our community. It will be a trend that transcends the building or the technology. It will be the trend of people discovering who Jesus really is. It will be a trend that will build a new culture - His culture – His kingdom. If you would like us to come to your church to teach on Generous Stewardship, or are interested in starting a Stewardship Ministry at your church please contact Sandy Crozier at firstname.lastname@example.org Sandy Crozier is the Stewardship Development Director for The Free Methodist Church in Canada.
GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS Three key resources to offer your local church (besides ALL the information on the FMCiC website, of course):  a Global Church workshop, where we help your local church leadership team get a perspective on how to form global partnerships.  a Cross-Cultural Orientation workshop, where we provide training for actual teams preparing for international ministry visits.
 International Ministry Visits with Dan!; where a couple of leaders (pastors/lay) travel with me to various centres around the world - for the purposes of training and strategic planning. This a good opportunity to consider different options in a learning/coaching setting with me. [Having a prayer & travel partner is a good deal for me too!] Some of the trips already planned or being considered in the next 12 months include: Sri Lanka, Ghana, Niger, Taiwan, Cambodia, Thailand, India. For further info feel free to contact email@example.com
CURRENT MINISTERIAL CANDIDATES
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 “JOURNEY”
The road to “yes” CAMERON MONTGOMERY Pastor at Ecclesiax in Ottawa, ON “So does this mean you’re going to become a Pastor?” my wife asked as she read the proposed changes for the upcoming General Conference. My immediate reaction was no way, but five years later and here I am, a Ministerial Candidate working towards ordination. The first time I seriously considered full time ministry was thirty years ago while attending Aldersgate Bible College. I went to grow in my faith before going on to Art College. God challenged me in a number of ways that included asking if I was willing to give up art in order to serve. It was a hard decision, but I agreed that I would follow God’s path wherever it might lead and whatever it would cost. It turned out that God’s path for me was to serve him with my art and to be the best lay person I could be. I have served as a lay leader in a number of roles including church planting, lay-minister, delegate, board chair and a member of a couple of conference teams. For the first several years I often asked God if I was supposed to become a pastor and the answer was always to stay on my present path. I had become confident in what my role was in God’s kingdom, and wasn’t expecting a change of direction. When my wife asked the question again going into the 2005 General Conference I was quick to deny the possibility of change. Over the next couple of days the Spirit challenged me and with my wife’s and Pastor’s encouragement I agreed to move towards becoming a Ministerial Candidate. At the time I believed it would involve more education and accountability but no real change in my role at our church. We couldn’t support extra paid staff and I would continue to do the same work with a new title. Everything was put on hold when my wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only a year to live. After I began to recover from the loss of my wife I once again revisited the question of my ministry. With one son on his own and the other at college I had an unexpected freedom. Now I heard God calling me to full time ordained ministry and I began plans for additional education. I said yes again when God made it clear I should move to Ottawa and get involved in the life of Ecclesiax and of a dear friend who was going through a very rough time, and again half a year later when Ecclesiax asked me to serve as interim pastor, and a year after that when they offered me the position of senior pastor. “So does this mean you’re going to become a Pastor?” I could never have imagined all the tragedy, trials, and opportunities that would fill the five years following that playful question, but the real question has always been; is this what you want me to do God? If so, the answer is YES.
Discovering God’s call in serving others ELIZABETH DOWN Associate Pastor at Sault Ste. Marie FMC, ON The Sault Ste Marie FMC is my home. I started attending here as a young, confused girl who needed to know there was a God out there who loved her. After a few years of avoiding people, and running out of the church directly after the service, I started becoming more involved in the church; lingering around after services, helping with cleaning etc… A little while later, I felt God nudging me to take on a more active role, than I had been involved in previously. After speaking with my pastor, he encouraged me to take some time to pray about it, talk to others about it, and test the waters a bit. A year later, I started tracking with the FMCiC with the intention of becoming a Commissioned Minister: focusing on leadership development, helping people find their spot in God’s kingdom and Pastoral Care. The process has never been a hindrance to my development as a leader. I’ve made some mistakes along the way, but have always been in an environment that has encouraged me to try again (and on an occasion or two, laugh at myself in regards to the mistake). I have been blessed with incredible mentors and teachers who have stretched and challenged me to have complete confidence in who God has created me to be. Overall, my road to becoming a Ministerial Candidate has been nothing but a great blessing and life changing experience. I am especially grateful to all who have made it extraordinary.
Becoming a MC helps me live out my passion DUSTIN LAIRD Youth Pastor at Lakeview Community Church in Salmon Arm, BC My name is Dustin Laird and as of May 2010 I have just completed my third year serving as Youth Pastor at Lakeside Community Church in Salmon Arm, British Columbia. My relationship with the Free Methodist church began when I saw job posting online three years ago during the final months before my graduation from Bible College. Looking for a place to have God use my passion for young people to experience forgiveness and freedom in Christ, it was a Free Methodist church and the people in it who seemed on board with providing me the means and the space to exercise that passion. I had no intention upon entering the church of becoming ordained (nor did I really know what it meant), but my lead pastor encouraged me to begin tracking. I soon realized that it would be an incredibly helpful process to engage in as I pursued God’s call on my life into full time ministry. The process has proven its worth as the support and guidance available
to ministerial candidates through the Ministry Centre, the required courses, and the interviewing system has proven invaluable to my ministry development. I would recommend ministerial candidacy to anyone feeling called into ministry within the Free Methodist church as the opportunity to seek cousel, direction, and affirmation from godly men and women who have gone before you in ministry is an extremely rich and encouraging experience!
Spiritual growth has been part of my story JASON TRIPP Pastor of Valleyview Community Church Blezard Valley, ON Deciding to become a Ministerial Candidate in The Free Methodist Church in Canada (FMCiC) has been a significant step in my ministry journey. After clearly hearing a distinct pastoral calling while in South Korea seven years ago, I first became connected to the FMCiC while pursuing my MDiv studies in Kingston. During our year of fellowship at Polson Park FMC in Kingston, my wife Sylvie and I were embraced and after much prayer and study I felt directed to pursue my ministry credentials with the FMCiC. The Lord directed our path to return to our hometown of Sudbury where I served as a pastoral intern and lay minister before officially becoming a Ministerial Candidate more than a year ago. The Ministerial Candidacy experience (as part of the larger ‘tracking for ministry’ process) has been a rewarding process. Accountability, discipline, mentorship, and the commitment to lifelong learning are all of great personal and biblical value and the Ministerial Canadidacy process has enriched my life in each of these areas. In fact, one of the attractive features of the FMCiC was the perceived commitment to the care and nurturing of young leaders within our movement. I have been relieved and encouraged that my perceptions have become a personal reality. During the past year in ministry, I have grown as a person and leader, thanks in part to the structures in place (pastoral networks/mentors, foundational courses, MEGaP interview, etc.) which facilitate pastoral growth and development. While the calling and equipping of the Lord, the one who divinely ordains for ministry, continues to be the primary fuel for my ministry fire, I look forward to continuing to grow in knowledge and grace, one day becoming an ordained minister with the FMCiC in the great hope of completing the work God has graciously called me to. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8 (NLT)
INDIA FOCUS: UNREACHED PEOPLES AND GATEWAY CITIES
e no longer discuss the future of India. We say the future is India” said Kamal Nath, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, at a conference several years ago. This exaggerated self-confidence is largely a result of India’s booming economy. When Western countries were wacked with the 2008 economic crisis, India bounced back quicker than its former colonial overseers. India’s 1.2 billion people, however, make this country a formidable giant by whatever scale one uses. Only China’s 1.4 billion people represent another force of similar weight. Delhi is the capital with 18.9 million people. Mumbai, formerly called Bombay, is the largest city with a population of 21.9 million [that’s a single city with 2/3 of Canada’s population!]. India has 44 cities with over one million people and seven urban areas larger than five million. The 2001 census reports Christians as making up 2.3% of the population or around 25 million people. Today, the Christians in India number about 37 million and consist of people from almost every denomination of Christianity. The increase of Christians in India has been remarkable. In 1891, the estimated number of Christians in British India stood at 1,506,000. The figure of 37 million (based on 5% annual growth) may be on the conservative side. While the growth of the Church in India has been notable, the truth is that the geographical spread has been decidedly uneven. Christians are concentrated in the south and the east. The eastern Christians have resulted from people movements among minority groups-especially in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. The Christians who came from these movements account for almost 60% of India’s Christians. India’s Protestant groups have been extremely active in mergers and consolidations into larger groupings of churches. In the past several years there have been a number of significant acts of violence and periods of persecution against Christians. A rationale offered for this violence against Christians is that the community is growing at an alarming
“If we announced new outreach into a new country with 56 million people – almost completely unevangelized – we would likely have lots of interest and finances would be made available. The problem is Rajasthan is not a ‘new’ country it is ‘just another state’ in India!” rate through forced conversions. It is alleged that Christian missionaries (almost all indigenous Indians) malign Hinduism, offer beef (cow beef is illegal in India), convert poor, lower caste, and tribal Hindus on an economic and social basis, by luring them with money, bicycles, jobs, magical healings, and even false stories, like Jesus was Krishna’s friend, and the latter sent Jesus to spread a new religion. It is also said that partisan politics and the Hindu nationalist awakening by various Hindu organizations contribute to anti-Christian violence. In December 2008 and early 2009 Christian believers in Orissa State, including many associated with the Free Methodist Church, were beaten, raped, maimed, and killed,
including a number of pastors. Hundreds of homes of believers and churches were burnt or otherwise destroyed. For months these believers lived in displacement camps or by hiding in the forest in small groups. When they finally returned to their demolished homes and began to rebuild, they were ostracized by the local communities and refused access to common wells. Christian development workers connected with the Free Methodist Church drilled new wells so the Christians would have access to fresh water. Very soon the Christians were sharing their wells with Hindu neighbours who had previously shunned or persecuted them. These new wells have become known as “Friendship Wells.” The Free Methodist Provisional General Conference in India is made up of 3 distinct Annual Conferences: Alpha, Agape and Immanuel, representing almost 130,000 believers and more than 1300 local churches. Free Methodist Church missionaries began ministry in India in 1881 in Maharashtra State, but now the Church has spread to more than 10 states in southern, central and northern India. Bishop Joab Lohara, based in Hyderabad, but overseeing ministry in a number of states in eastern and northern India, has been responsible for developing an active movement of indigenous church planters and adult literacy workers reaching into some of the most unreached parts of India over the past two decades. Recently, Bishop Lohara commented on the disparity between the opportunities for new outreach to unevangelized
areas and the resources available to get on with the work. “If we announced new outreach into a new country with 56 million people -- almost completely unevangelized -- we would likely have lots of interest and finances would be made available. The problem is Rajasthan is not a ‘new’ country it is ‘just another state’ in India!” Lohara has seen friends and colleagues martyred for their faith in the past couple of years. He is convinced this is only possible because these believers have met the living Jesus Christ bringing forgiveness, change and righteousness into their daily lives. Rev. Dan Sheffield is Director of Intercultural and Global Minsitries for The Free Methodist Church in Canada
“significant urban centres for reaching unreached people groups (less than 3% evangelical) who treat these cities as social, political and economic hubs for their region” Delhi 18.9 million people, Kolkata 15.6, Hyderabad 6.3, Ahmedabad 5.4, Pune 5.5, Kanpur 3.6, Lucknow 3.0, Jaipur 3.2, Patna 2.8, Varanasi 1.5, Bhubaneshwar 1.6, Amritsar 1.2 Free Methodist churches are present in just two of these Gateway Cities in central and northern India. Indian church-planters are waiting for resources to move forward in sharing Jesus Christ with the unreached millions. If your church would like to explore becoming a global partner with some of these churchplanters, please contact our office.