What an incredible night of prayer and worship Wednesday night at our new Muskoka North Campus. Thank you all who came out from across Muskoka and Parry Sound to pray and celebrate what God is doing in us and through us. I am looking forward to sharing more of the vision and plan in the weeks ahead as we continue to pray that God would grow our faith as we seek him and see him more clearly … he is all powerful and completely trustworthy. Our hope and prayer is that God would fulfill his promise from Habakkuk 2:14: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” May that begin in our hearts, our families, our communities and that God would use us as a church to see this happen throughout the whole earth. Thank you all for you partnership in this … ONE God, ONE Church, ONE Mission.
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen!” Ephesians 3:20-21
Great Commission Collective
As was announced early this fall, Harvest Bible Fellowship (the organization that we were serving with as a church) was essentially shut down and many HBF churches were moving away from James MacDonald’s leadership.
When we launched as a church nearly 10 years ago we didn’t plant with HBF because of a brand or because of a particular leader – we were eager to be a part of HBF because of the clarity, urgency and simplicity of the vision and the mission. So while we are thankful for the years with HBF, we move forward with anticipation as we partner with a new fellowship called the Great Commission Collective (GCC).
We are very excited for what God has for us in this new chapter!
As we move forward, what will a GCC church look like?
The GCC exists to empower the local church to fulfill the mission of making disciples in every nation.
This happens through equipping, training and coaching us, as the local church, to raise up pastors and leaders and partner together with other churches to plant more great commission churches around the world.
In the past we participated with HBF through giving 5% of our budget. This money was used by HBF to plant churches. The GCC will only take 2.5% and allow the local church to use the other half to help fund church planting efforts that God places on their hearts.
In doing this, the GCC is striving to move the model from churches supporting an organization that plants churches to being an organization that equips the local church to plant churches.
Harvest Muskoka, as a GCC church, will have at the core of this mission a conviction that a WORSHIPPING Church will be a SENDING Church.
As God finds worshipers who adore Him in spirit and truth, a watching world notices. This invitation to worship is not just an invitation to experience God’s presence; it’s an invitation to share His presence –worshipping and sending.
This conviction is seen in the 6 Distinctives of a GCC Church:
WE ARE A WORSHIPPING CHURCH:
WE ARE A SENDING CHURCH:
We pray that God will continue to use each of us for his mission … as God’s people, under God’s Word, filled with God’s Spirit are humbly and desperately calling out to him … we will see God at work!
Elder Update Regarding Regionalization of Harvest Bible Fellowship (HBF)
This summer it was announced that, with over 150 churches, HBF had become too large for a centralized structure (all the churches reporting to one church) and so a process was in place to regionalize the leadership structure.
As was mentioned in the earlier announcement, the Fellowship here in Canada is different than in the US as we are already a fully separate, autonomous legal charity, with our own functioning board. So while the Canadian Harvest Churches have been, in essence, regionalized for years this was now an HBF-wide change.
In this process of regionalization James MacDonald (the founding pastor and head of HBF) chose to abruptly resign from leading HBF.
So, rather than just regionalizing, we are joining a group of churches to form a completely new organization outside of James MacDonald’s leadership.
Please pray for the key leaders who are working to establish a new fellowship (tentatively called, the Great Commission Collective) marked by humility and the call of the gospel.
A group of 189 pastors and leaders, from 9 countries, representing 118 churches (including Pastor Kaj and Godfrey) are meeting in Dallas in a couple of weeks to prayerfully put together the next steps for what this new fellowship of churches will look like.
There is a lot of excitement for what God is building! Please be upholding us in prayer, as this re-establishing of the Fellowship is a significant task.
We will keep you up-to-date as more changes develop in the coming months.