The C2C Network exists to glorify God and make disciples in Canada by planting and multiplying gospel-centred churches and enabling new missional opportunities. Each day, C2C staff pray the verse engraved in stone on the Peace Tower at Parliament in Ottawa: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea” (Psalm 72:8, KJV).
We desire that millions of Canadians will come to faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Our vehicle for this mission is gospel-centred churches with a multiplying mindset.
This year’s C2C Network theme is Follow Me (Matthew 4:19) – the very words Jesus spoke when he chose his first disciples. Following Jesus is the distinguishing mark of those who seek to multiply the church. For a church planting family, it often requires leaving a home church, jobs, friends and relatives. It requires complete submission to follow Jesus.
C2C Network church planters Murray and Cheryl McLellan followed Jesus to Saskatoon to plant Grace Fellowship. “My heart breaks for those who have not heard the good news message of Jesus,” says Murray. “That prompts me toward greater prayer and more mission-focused action.”
When Jesus asked a group of fishermen to follow him, they immediately left their nets, boat and father, and followed him. It’s a staggering response. They left their source of income, occupation, identity, predictable and fairly safe lifestyle – and immediately followed Jesus.
Church planting families respond in similar ways upon their commitment to follow Jesus. “We both left successful careers and full pensions to answer the call of God to see change in Winnipeg,” say Jim and Jacqie Wiseman, planting Walls of Freedom Outreach in Winnipeg’s core. “We still believe God’s work is of far more value.”
Would we immediately leave our jobs (nets), our family (father), and our resources (boats) and follow him? Bert and Sheila Thomson did. They left a secure and significant ministry role and beautiful home in Nashville, Tenn., and followed Jesus to Toronto.
“We never wanted to uproot our family again,” say the Thomsons. “Just considering that was really hard on all of us. But the more we sought the will of God, the clearer the picture became: he had a plan for the city of Toronto, and that plan included us.”
Are you a church planter?
C2C is committed to helping people discern if God has equipped them and is calling them to follow him to lead a new expression of the church. We have an extensive interview and assessment process that helps shepherd church-planting candidates into the ministry best suited for them. Trevor and Melissa Berry let C2C help them discern their calling. They are now residing in Barrie, Ont., and are gathering people on mission.
“We have a small core group that has begun meeting in our home on Thursday nights,” say the Berrys. “We eat together, pray for our city together, and are learning how to follow Jesus together.” The Berrys are forming a launch team and will begin preview services in September.
Fishers of people
Following Jesus means we are gathering his people and making disciples. Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of people.” We are passionate about more Canadians becoming followers of Jesus. Our focus is on the lost souls in our country.
Planting new churches is an effective way to make disciples. James Bonney, pastor of Westside Church North Shore, sees evidence of this in North Vancouver. “As a result of our following Jesus on this mission,” says Bonney, “more people are following Jesus for the first time. People’s lives are being transformed daily; they are developing a deeper trust in him and an awareness of the glorious presence of God in their life.”
Chris and Yanci McGregor followed Jesus from a megachurch in Dallas, Texas, and returned home to Canada to plant City Church in Montreal.
“By removing our comfort,” says Chris, “God has shown us how he is our Peace. By removing the presence of loyal friends and a great church, he showed us the intimacy of his presence. By removing financial security, he revealed himself as our Provider. As we started over in so many ways, God removed our ability to trust in many human-made solutions that were competing against him.
“But, through God’s grace, we saw 25 people make major decisions for Christ – some brand new salvations, some who had walked away for decades.”
Prayer is vital
We ask that you earnestly pray for the C2C Network and for church planting families. Would you prayerfully consider adding C2C to your church mission budget so more lost souls in Canada – from sea to sea – can hear the gospel of Jesus Christ?
—Scott Thomas is national associate director with the C2C Network