Wednesday, February 06, 2008

So How Many People Do You Have? 5

This is the conclusion to David Fitch's posts on how church planting is changing in Canada. It has been an enlightening read for me and it is something I plan to study in greater detail. It reveals that what I have been doing almost instinctively in trying to respond to my community and the changing Canadian cultural scene, others have been doing as well. Maybe God is up to something.


All of the above paints a picture of a leader mentality drastically different from the church planter of the past. Yet most (not all) of the missional leaders I have met possess strains of this new mentality. I believe this bodes well for the future. For I believe this next generation of pastors (in my experience coming mostly out of evangelicalism) provides hope for a renewal of Christianity in Canada.

Like a fermenting revolution evolving out of a tired and reified ancien regime, these tiny bands of Christians have come on the scene committed to live a life together of worship, spiritual formation, community, hospitality and service to the poor (of all kinds). In ways never imagined by the machinations of the mega church, many of these bands are already infecting their neighborhoods with an embodied gospel that cannot be denied, only responded to. Knowing Christendom is gone, they carry no pretension. Instead they embody the gospel in its most compelling, authentic, non-coercive form.

This new wave of Christians is small in number and possesses little to no resources financially. Most do not impress with their grandiose visions. They do not hang in the halls of power. They do not make a show of their successes. Yet their vision of a simple Christian habitat as witness in the world reminds me of the Irish missional orders God used to effect a profound conversion of European society in the 4th century. We have seen the world changed like this once before (read How the Irish Saved Civilization, Thomas Cahill). Could we be in the early stages of seeing God move in a similar fashion once again? Let us pray it be so.

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