Last month 24 Canadians got on airplanes and travelled to Chiang Mai, Thailand to attend the Simply Mobilizing Global Conference.
What was the result of their investment of time, money, and effort? While it’s impossible to encapsulate all that happened, here are some snapshots of what God did as we worshipped and learned in community with over 300 delegates from almost 70 different countries ...
I remember sitting in a seminar once hearing the presenter ask, "If your local church disappeared, would anybody in the neighbourhood notice?"
Stinging words. Sobering. Sit with that question and chew on it. Let it disturb you the way it disturbed me.
Christian community is intended to be noticeable, and it’s intended to be transformative to the surrounding community—light in a dark place. And what makes us noticeable and transformative, according to Jesus, is our good works.
So what good works is your church offering your community that are being seen and noticed by your neighbours, bringing light to the surroundings, and causing them to give glory to our Father? What are you offering that would be missed if you stopped?
One of the challenges of interacting cross-culturally with our neighbours is that we understand our own worldview very clearly, but people coming from other cultures come with a different perspective. Each of us is convinced we understand how the world ‘really works’ and may struggle to understand why people have different thoughts.
This difference carries into spiritual realities. Imagine the challenges that might be faced in understanding someone’s journey to faith. They may not need to fully understand that their sins are forgiven as much as they need to realize that their shame has been lifted; or that the God of the Bible is the truly powerful one with authority over all of heaven and earth.
As we have opportunity, we want to share stories from people who have found Jesus who come from different worldview. What follows is one of those stories. Maybe you won’t fully understand it; maybe it will make you a bit uncomfortable. I encourage you to listen with your heart to this journey to Jesus that might be quite different than your experience.
I had a dream recently. I could be wrong, but I think it was a dream from God with a message for me. And maybe it’s a message for you too.
Someone was promoting the idea of a coffee shop space. It was a small room—almost set up and ready to go, but not quite—there was some more work yet to be done to make it a welcoming and inviting space. Though it did already have some bookshelves, some decor, and a few comfy sofas chairs. For the colors, you need to imagine a typical Latin American street scene, where even humble spaces can be lit up by eclectic assortments of paint colors.
A story from a Muslim Background Believer and a church who prayed for the mosque in their community.
Imagine getting this email:
“My name is Rachael*. I am a born-again Christian of 2 years. I actually used to be a Shia Muslim. I attended the mosque on your street for many years of my life. The Lord pulled me out of the darkness of my former life as a Muslim and brought me into His loving light ...
I recently heard that your church prays specifically for salvation over people at the mosque. Is this true? If so, I’m not sure how long your church has been doing this, but I wanted to email you as an encouragement to you and your congregation to let you know that the Lord has heard your prayers and is AT work in this Muslim community...
We have a couple of empty bedrooms in our house. At one time they were occupied by our kids, but for the last few years they’ve sat empty except when they’ve been temporarily occupied by visiting family or friends. A quick change of sheets, dust and vacuum, lay out fresh towels and the rooms are ready for the next occupants.
Recently we’ve been preparing these rooms again—but we’re not exactly sure when their new occupants are coming, nor when they’re leaving. They are coming to Canada for an indefinite period—homeless because of violent conflict in their home country that has driven them, along with many others, to search for a place of greater stability and safety. They are staying with us until they can find more permanent housing—but in a tight, expensive housing market that could mean days, weeks, or months.
As carefully as we are making preparations for these ones to join us, it pales in comparison to the careful preparations that Jesus assures us he is making for us.
Night of Powerful Prayer, by CCCOWE Canada & Loving Muslims Together, is a CALL TO PRAYER for Muslims during Ramadan. Join us online Monday April 17th, 2023.
A few years ago, I spent several months reading and re-reading the book of Acts. I was trying to understand how the Church had gone from a handful of people hiding out for fear of the authorities, to a bold and fearless community growing at an exponential rate.
As I read, a pattern began to emerge:
Prayer preceded Holy Spirit empowerment, which led to bold, public witness about Jesus Christ, accompanied by affirming signs and wonders,
resulting in many coming to faith AND active opposition from others,
which then caused Jesus’ followers to go back to prayer … starting the cycle all over again.
Here are 8 disciple-making principles that have become crystal clear to me from the Acts accounts ...
Ramadan, marked by 30 days of fasting and prayer, is a season when Muslims diligently strive to fulfill the duties that form the basis of their religious practice. As Muslims enter a season of prayer and fasting during Ramadan, let’s also enter a season of prayer and fasting.
We invite you to put aside every Friday during Ramadan as a focused day of prayer and fasting.
Jesus exhorts us to love our neighbour as ourselves. Are you looking for opportunities to pray for and engage with the Muslims in your neighbourhood this Ramadan? Here are six opportunities to pray, and six opportunities to engage with the Muslims in your community...
6 Opportunities for Christians to pray during Ramadan.
Opportunities for Christians to pray, learn, love and engage with Muslims during Ramadan.
Many of us have mixed feelings about the changes that diaspora movements have brought to the world and to our neighbourhood--there is no question that it represents both challenges and opportunities.
For those of us who love and follow Jesus Christ, what should our response be to those from differing religious worldviews; to those who've chosen to follow Jesus; to Christ-following communities; and to those who are sent?
There are more opportunities today in Canada than ever before to reach out as a local church and welcome people of different language communities around us! From sponsoring a refugee family, to hosting a neighbourhood celebration, to simply getting to know our friends and neighbours who speak different languages and letting them know they are welcome here – and welcome in our churches.
With over 450 individual languages identified in the 2021 census there may be more languages spoken by people already in your church than you realize. Deb & Ramón share how you can find and use digital Bibles and digital Bible-Based discipleship tools in different languages...
How should faith impact our celebrations of Lunar New Year as followers of Jesus? Alfred Chui expands on the meaning & traditions of Lunar New Year and offers perspective on how followers of Jesus should respond…
5 Questions to Consider as you Build Cross-Cultural Friendships.
Vanilla describes most of my childhood: Food was predictable, community was homogenous, and the exotic or unusual was reserved for travelogue shows on TV.
Vanilla was my ice cream flavor of choice. It was safe, predictable, and delicious. All those other flavors might not be as good…and risking ice cream disappointment seemed unimaginable to me. It wasn’t until my teens that I discovered the delights of Mint Chocolate Chip, Maple Walnut, and other wonderful flavours.