Friday, March 12, 2010

Expanding Our Horizons

Every once in a while it is good to have our vision expanded. I had such an experience recently when I was invited by a student to meet his pastor and take a tour of his new church building. Along with my colleague Keith Edwards, I was taken on a tour of Light Korean Presbyterian Church which is located in Malton. The congregation has been in existence for about 25 years and started with just a few families that gathered in an industrial warehouse turned into a church in Etobicoke. Last June they moved into a new 2000 seat facility that is not only large by Canadian church standards but is carefully laid out so as to maximize usefulness when it comes to doing Christian ministry.

Depending on what group we are identified with it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that nothing is going on in the city if we are not a part of it. But nothing could be further from the truth. There are lots of things going on, some very impressive things that are real reasons for rejoicing and praising God. Recently I saw some promotional literature from a large American Baptist denomination talking about planting 250 churches in Toronto by 2020. While there is nothing wrong will setting lofty goals you would think from reading their material that nothing existed in Toronto, or at least nothing worth talking about, until they came along. A classic example of mind-boggling hubris to say the least. The fact is that unless God does something truly supernatural in Toronto, they will find that planting 250 churches in less than 10 years is a pipe-dream that says more about their theological naivety and ignorance of the Canadian scene than it does anything else.

There are lots of things going on in Toronto if we are not blinded by a party-spirit tinged with a subtle form of racism. Just because many churches are struggling does not mean there are not others who are forging ahead in these days. We must not reduce the kingdom of God to our group or our particular set of heroes. While some are busy holding conferences others are actually doing evangelism and discipling new converts and experiencing the blessing of God. Jesus promised that he will build his church and we would do well to remember that his church includes believers from every nation, tribe, people and language. While things are not all that we would like them to be - and never will be in this age - still there is much to rejoice in and much to do for Jesus' sake.

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