Vol 12 No. 42 National Work Together

Dear friends,

In April of 2015 in conjunction with the North American Baptist Fellowship (NABF) annual meeting in Vancouver representatives from senior staff in CBWC, Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec (CBOQ), Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada (CBAC), the French Baptist Union (UEBFC), plus Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM) met in Vancouver.

We set about trying to look at how each group served its constituency, how our governance worked, and what were the unique encouragements and challenges to each region.  We pulled together those who were in church planting, settlement, finance and administration, stewardship and fundraising, communications, and youth ministry.  We landed up getting far more than we had bargained for.  As we described what we do together several other things surfaced.  It was very clear that we live in an incredibly diverse yet wonderful country.  Despite our many cultural and even language differences we had a great deal in common in how we practice the areas of ministry just mentioned.  We learned strengths that we could share with each other, vulnerabilities that needed improvement, and things that were simply very difficult for us to get our minds around individually that benefited from collective wisdom.

Since that time, as you remember from other newsletters, we at CBWC have sent folk to learn from the CBOQ annual gathering and from Oasis which is the summer meeting of the CBAC.  We have learned a great deal from these experiences.  In addition, Tim McCoy, Executive Minister of CBOQ, visited our Banff Pastors & Spouses Conference and gave us some helpful observations.  Matt Wilkinson, Youth Director for CBOQ and team leader between the denominations, is coming to speak at Banff this November.  Furthermore, over these past 18 months, church planting folk, finance and administration people, settlement people, and the youth coordinators have all met together and encouraged one another.  Everything from young adult discernment weekends, to Canadian Revenue Agency rules, to best ways to meet and connect meaningfully have been part of the ongoing discussion.

We met again this last week with over 29 present from all 4 national denominations and CBM.  It was hosted by David Rowley and the French Baptist Union in Montreal.  We have built upon these individual areas and a clear and collective understanding that the more frequently and meaningfully we are in touch the better.  We will better be able to encourage and resource one another as we serve our churches.

A great addition to our meetings was the presence of Elijah Brown, the new General Secretary of the NABF (a group that represents over 80,000 churches across Canada and the United States).  NABF is the regional meeting place of the Baptist World Alliance.

The gatherings were entitled “Canadian National Staff Gathering” which continued to nudge into reality a healthy, vibrant, and cooperative national work;  Not seeking to recreate anything else that has gone before but seeking in a very creative and new way to pursue opportunities to see people coming to know Christ and living out that life in healthy churches.


In Christ,

Jeremy Bell

Notes from the Family: This week represents the biannual CBM meetings in Toronto.  Please pray for God to be with those who travel and the exciting international work that CBM coordinates especially as we prepare to effectively respond to some natural disasters.

Quote of the Week: Peter Drucker, a paraphrase shared by David Rowley, Executive Minister of UEBFC: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”