Easter is a season when believers celebrate the reality of the resurrection of Jesus, and the fact that God is a living disruptive presence. We celebrate new beginnings made possible by Jesus, the Lord of life.
This Easter signalled new beginnings for Jonathan and Lauren Headley. After nine years as youth and associate pastor at Maple Ridge (B.C.) Community Church, Jonathan has gathered a team to launch a new faith community, Jubilee. They want to be a church that proclaims good news, freedom and healing in the name of Jesus, to extend God’s grace and favour through Jesus to their community on the northeastern edge of Metro Vancouver.
It’s a new beginning for 30-year-old MRCC: becoming a mother church. The congregation has experienced the joy and challenge of a “full house” at their weekend gatherings for a couple of years; however, this launch is not a space management solution. Both mother and daughter are seeking to have greater redemptive influence in their community.
After a season of prayer and discernment, “we realized that Maple Ridge had become our mission field – of friends and neighbours,” says Jonathan. “There is incredible need: 90,000 people with only a few gospel-centred, Spirit-led, mission-focused churches.”
“We’ve seen some neat fruit from stepping out,” says Jonathan. As the Jubilee team handed out invitations to the church launch, “we were able to share the love of Jesus in a number of long (20–30 minute) conversations” – even healing prayer for a tattooed biker.
Over the following weeks, people came to the Sunday gathering. For Jubilee’s launch, Mar. 20, 2016, 169 people showed up, including the Jubilee members and some MRCC friends.
One man said this was exactly the season his family needed to get involved with church. Because of his relationship with Jonathan through a soccer team, this dad had started reading a Bible to his kids. What a great book! he told Jonathan.
“We’re praying every day to see the harvest and for more workers to bring it in!” says Jonathan.
Check out www.jubileemr.com to find out more.
— Bill Hogg