WestCoast Challenge: Thankful for 2015, Say Yes in 2016

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Ray Woodard
North American Mission Board Church Planting Catalyst - British Columbia

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We are thankful to God for the way He has been building our family of churches over the past year. In 2015 we saw six new church plants registered in Vancouver. Among them we have Anugurha Church (Bhutanese/Napali), Gateway United Baptist Church (Sudanese), Han Church (Korean), Iglesia Hispana Surrey (Spanish), Salem Tabernacle (French) and Church on the Rock-Albion (Multi-Ethnic). This has taken a variety of strategies and efforts, the foundation of which is building a network of prayer over the entire city. This prayer network has been thankfully praying for the need of workers for the harvest as well as specific needs of planters and church plants.

In 2015 we saw six new church plants registered in Vancouver. 

Through this foundation of prayer, our church planting team has grown in three critical ways. First, the Churches of our Association have taken on the task of multiplication by choosing to raise up workers and preparing the soil for new church plants as Church on the Rock planted their first new campus and the Point is preparing for new plant to register in early 2016. Second, churches like Royal Heights has called a staff person, Gary Smith, specifically targeted at launching a new nationwide network to identify, train-up and deploy church planters such as locally the Salem Tabernacle in 2015 and at least two new sites under construction for 2016 in our region. Finally, NAMB Canada has enhanced our local team by adding Tim Corbin as church planting catalyst and Jeff Phillips as a city missionary to help in the discovery, development and deploying of churches and church planters on their next step of mission in our region.

Over seventy different churches, six conventions and associations and three organizations and foundations plus numerous private individuals have donated incredibly generous financial resources to assist the planting efforts of over 20 different churches. They have also sent numerous volunteers both short term and long term to work side by side with our churches to multiply efforts in communities all over the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

We have had the privilege of hosting multiple training opportunities to build our worship teams stronger through the work of Larry and Lisa Tardy culminating in over 123 attending Equip. Johnny Hunt has spent the day with 55 leaders at the Timothy-Barnabas Conference. Our friends at the Kansas City-Blue River Association again hosted a planter family camp for over 60 members of church planting families. We are building a peer-coaching network that saw over 25 trained through one-day training events. Our friends at Tarrant County Baptist Association are currently investing in 8 of our pastoral leaders through the Refocus process to begin building learning/support clusters all over the region to encourage all of our pastors and planters. We have seen over 30 university students serve in our region through student missions and the GenSend program. Many of these students have expressed a desire to return to work in planting new churches.

We are currently working with sixteen leaders preparing to plant in 2016 and twenty-five possible sites that are under development by our team. As we enter the new year, please join us doing one or all of the following things…

  • Pray Daily for God’s Activity and the Faith to adjust our lives to join Him
  • Provide generously to our local churches and through our churches to the mission projects in our region, province, country and the world.
  • Participate personally in reaching the lost through Church planting.

Make 2016 the year you say yes to our Lord and His plans.

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