Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Lorna Johnston & Dr. Craig Kraft
March 27 2024

The Early Years

Outreach Canada was formed in 1977 as a para-church ministry functioning as the Canadian arm of what was then called OC International, based in the USA. We were formed to provide receipts for Canadian donors who were supporting international missionaries serving with OC International.

It didn’t take long for our founding board to recognize that Canada was also a mission field. Christian influence and church attendance were trending in the wrong direction, so in 1984 Arnel Motz and Gerry Kraft launched the Outreach Canada ministry team focusing on the church in Canada.

Early ministry projects, working with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and multiple denominations, developed collaborative ministry practices that continue to this day.

With limited resources to draw on, OC pioneered research initiatives led by Lorne Hunter (OC Director of Research), that highlighted Canadian church planting needs and opportunities. These led to the formation of the first OC ministry priority, led by Dr. Murray Moerman and launched under the name Church Planting Canada.

Empowering Churches to Grow & Plant

Ongoing research continued to expose new challenges.

In the first twenty years our growing team focused on strengthening the health of local churches and working with others to catalyze new church plants in our nation. Our motto was “Empowering churches to grow and plant” and we coached denominations using Vision Renewal resources and strategies we pioneered, while continuing to lead and subsequently launch the growing Church Planting Canada partnership.

During these years three books were produced for use by Canadian leaders: Reclaiming a Nation; The Challenge of Re-evangelizing Canada by the Year 2000; Transforming Our Nation: Empowering the Canadian Church for a Greater Harvest; and Discipling Our Nation: Equipping the Canadian church for Its Mission. As denominational leaders were trained and coached in church planting and revitalization, they became the experts for their “tribes” and were given the OC resources to carry this work forward freeing us to focus on other needs.

New Opportunities in the New Millenium

The new millennium brought new opportunities in Canada and globally.

Expanding from our strong foundations in research, leadership development and church revitalization, we started to develop specialized ministries for the marketplace (Corporate Chaplains Canada), and serving churches during leadership transition (Transitional Leadership Ministries, now launched beyond OC as Transitional Leadership Network) and during times of conflict.

Missions Mobilization was added to OC’s ministry portfolio as, in 2003, our first team members with a global focus joined the team. We deployed our first international missionaries in 2004. Once again, a lack of resources led to the adaptation of OC’s Vision Renewal materials into a book by Dr. Craig Kraft under the title New Life in the Church, designed to equip African church leaders.

In 2009, as our US sister organization explored internationalization models in recognition of the growth of the global mission force, Outreach Canada served an instrumental role in developing the pioneering poly-centric model for the OC Global Alliance.

Outreach Canada Today

Today, Outreach Canada has grown to include a family of teams focused on diaspora ministry (including the Loving Muslims Together network and Simply Mobilizing Canada), missionary member care (MORE Network), workplace chaplains (BetterIT Workplace Chaplains), disciple making, campus ministry, and more. All work toward the same vision: to see the nation of Canada transformed by the presence of Christ in the life of people, by making disciples of Jesus Christ and serving leaders across our country.

In May 2023, Dr. Craig Kraft, Outreach Canada’s Executive Director, was commissioned as the new Director of Global Collaboration for the OC Global Alliance (OCGA) marking another transition point in the story that God is writing through the ministry of Outreach Canada.

While we can’t see very far ahead, we are confident that God, who has faithfully led in the past, will continue to lead us every step of the way forward, as we prioritize Serving Leaders. Multiplying Disciples.

More Books & Resources

Other books and resources by Outreach Canada personnel:

  • Between Pastors, Seizing the Opportunity, by Cam Taylor and Alan Simpson (2014)
  • The Great Escape from Nihilism, Rediscovering Our Passion in Late Modernity, by Dr. Gordon Carkner (2016)
  • Detour: A Roadmap for When Life Gets Rerouted, by Cam Taylor (2017)
  • Mobilizing Movements: Leadership Insights for Discipling Whole Nations, by Dr. Murray Moerman (2021)
  • Towards an Incarnational Spiritual Culture, by Dr. Gordon Carkner (2024)

Many OC Team members contribute regularly to the Outreach Canada Blog.  


View All Blogs

MORE Network
Simply Mobilizing Canada
Loving Muslims Together
Disciple Multiplication
Disapora Ministries
Canadian Projects
Global Ministries
Kairos Course
Outreach Research
Yummo Comes Home