When Henry Warkentin started to teach Sunday school at 16, he had no idea it would launch him on a career in church planting. He taught as he went to Bible school, joining the West Coast Children’s Mission each summer. In 1953, he became chair of Canada Inland Mission.
Gary Swabey started his career with Young Life in Kelowna, B.C., learning how to connect with teenagers one-on-one. Years later, he’s about 20 months into a Kelowna church plant – and more convinced than ever it’s not Sunday sermons or music but personal connections with Christians that make the difference to non-Christians as God works in their hearts.
The pastor of a south Vancouver church plant used to be an engineer. Then Nick Suen traded his calculations for benedictions and went on staff, for almost eight years, at a Chinese MB church in Vancouver. That was before he answered the call to plant a new church in an old but changing neighbourhood, Vancouver’s Marpole.
A new ministry in downtown Winnipeg is unfolding at an exciting pace. Rachel Twigg-Boyce, House Blend’s pastor and leader, is convinced that progress would be much slower but for the prayer – prayer that started four years ago among those with a vision for reaching the inner city with Christ’s love.
To Montreal church planters David and Franca Manafo, church isn’t about “come and see.” It’s about “go and live” – living in the community as a “tangible presence” of Christ. The conviction is based on Peter’s challenge (1 Peter 2:5) to live in your culture and become moving, living stones in Christ’s kingdom.
Pastors in their native Mexico, Ruben and Celina Zuniga never imagined the ways they’re now shepherding a flock when they immigrated to Canada 20 years ago.