Many articles and books make the judgment that the church is “not working” or is “out of touch”. I have the privilege of visiting a number of churches and I want to share a story about seeing a church (actually two churches) at work.
Maranatha CRC is located in Cambridge, Ontario. This church was organized in 1958 and experienced growth initially due to migration and immigration. Today, it is pastored by Rev. John Vanderstoep.
River City CRC is also located in Cambridge, Ontario. This church plant just celebrated her 10th Anniversary and is pastored by Rev. Darrell Bierman.
What do an established church and a church plant have in common? The answer is a lot.
The church office of River City is in the church facility of Maranatha. Both churches share a desire to reach out and reach into their community, and it turns out that both churches desire to raise up and equip their leaders.
I was invited to teach on a Saturday morning, Leadership Develop Network (LDN), where around 60 lay leaders gather once a month. I saw male and female, young and old and I saw placards where these leaders from both churches mix together, share together and pray together. These leaders came out at 8:00 a.m. on a cold February morning on what is normally a “day off”. They are dedicated to God and to one another.
The focus of this Leadership Development Network (like many others) is the heart, head and hands. The material that this LDN was using in this year was Seeking God’s Face developed by Rev. Phil Reinders, Tim Keller’s The Gospel in Life Study Guide: Grace Changes Everything and Leadership on the Line by Martin Linsky and Ronald Heifetz.
The material covered is important, but I think what is more important is seeing two churches serve together, learn together and pray together. God is still using His church!
Thanks be to God and thanks to Marantha and River City for your example!