Blog

Each week Fellowship President, Steve Jones, encourages and challenges those within The Fellowship through his weekly emails. We are pleased to be able to make these available online.

We trust you, too, will be encouraged and challenged by what Steve shares.


Archived Posts

Global Mission Stats from 33 AD to 2025 AD
posted February 21, 2017

Steve here… Ever wonder how many people throughout the world have committed themselves to Christ’s mission to evangelize the world? How many missionaries have been sent? What are today’s global resources for world evangelism?

 I came across this information from the “World Christian Trends” work done by the William Carey Library and researchers David Barrett and Todd Johnson. I thought you might be interested:

 

YEAR

Classification of Christian

33 AD

1000 AD

2025 AD

Nominal Christians

0

40 million

1.7 billion

Active Christians

10,000

5 million

880 million

Pastoral workers

200

88,000

5 million

Home missionaries

100

17,000

1.2 million

Cross-cultural missionaries

100

900

300,000

Missionaries serving in the “Christian” world

0

1,100

300,000

Missionaries serving in evangelized “Non-Christian” world

0

400

200,000

Missionaries serving in the “Un-evangelized” world

0

300

50,000

 Global Resources to complete the Great Commission

When it comes to resources to fulfill the Great Commission (evangelize and disciple) Christian resources do abound. This is a list produced from data collected in the early 2000s:

-         1.88 billion professing Christians

-         565 million professing Christians under 15 years of age

-         648 million practicing Christians

-         600 million weekly-worshipping Christians

-         3.45 million worship centres (local churches)

-         33,800 distinct denominations

-         4,000 foreign mission boards or societies

-         5,800 home-mission boards or societies

-         23,000 para-church agencies

-         400 medical mission agencies

-         5,500 Christian hospitals

-         30,000 Christian medical centres

-         170,000 elementary Christian Schools

-         50,000 Christian high schools

-         1,500 Christian universities

-         4,800 seminaries or theological colleges à 1.1 million seminary students

-         1.1 million ordained clergy (8% are women)

-         5.52 million full-time Christian workers

-         420,000 vocational full-time foreign missionaries

-         1.1 million home missionaries

-         26,100 new Christian book titles every year

-         12,000 major religious (Christian) libraries

-         53.7 million Bibles distributed each year

-         120.7 million New Testaments distributed each year

-         4.6 million scripture portions distributed each year

-         3 billion Christian books printed each year

-         5 billion Christian tracks printed each year

-         4,000 Christian radio/TV stations

-         120,000 full-time personnel in Christian broadcasting

-         3,000 evangelistic mass campaigns each year

-         332 million Christians own a computer

-         5,000 Great Commission computerized networks

-         845 current global plans for world evangelism

-         210 current global mega-plans for world evangelism

-         57 current global giga-plans for world evangelism

 Impressive, but dig deeper

Pretty impressive eh? But the reality is that the vast bulk of these resources benefit mostly the “Christian World”. Even when it comes to foreign missions… 85% of personnel and money is devoted to “Christian” lands such as North America, Brazil, Kenya, etc.

The present annual cost of mission to Christian lands is $163 billion compared to $250 million to send approximately 10,200 foreign missionaries to frontier fields (countries where less than 1-2% of the population self-identify as evangelical Christian).

We certainly need to continue supporting home missions or missions to “evangelized” fields. A strong home base is critical to completing the Great Commission, but we must remain vigilant and intentional about still giving a fair share to missions in those tougher un-evangelized fields. I imagine many of our church mission budgets may not represent this reality.

Fellowship International Missionaries

Currently, five amazing couples are looking for partners to enable them to go to those fields that are the least-evangelized (less than 1-2% evangelical).

I encourage you to learn more about:

  • Randy and Rachel Burwell (Central Asia) – contact Fellowship International for more info – 519-821-4830 Ext. 230
  • Robby and Gemelle Carlson (Japan) – contact Fellowship International for more info. – 519-821-4830 Ext. 230
  • Bechara and Roula Karkafi (Middle East) – www.fellowship.ca/Karkafi
  • Eric and Val Nielsen (Quebec) - www.fellowship.ca/Nielsen
  • Nadeem and Jamila Qazi (Pakistan) – www.fellowship.ca/Qazi
  • Wayne and Shirley van der Merwe (Cambodia) – contact Fellowship International for more info. – 519-821-4830 Ext. 230

Please consider praying and supporting these missionaries as they seek to reach those in the tough places. God bless you as you pray about this request.

Have a blessed week,

Steve

Get a person amazed and you’re a short step away from worship
posted February 13, 2017

Steve here… I was 22 years old and visiting my friend at Moody Bible Institute during Moody’s “Founder’s Week”, a week of great preaching and challenge.

I was only three years old in the faith, and 20 months into my Seminary education.

We sat together in Moody’s auditorium listening to Alan Redpath preaching from Acts chapter two, verse 12: “They stood there AMAZED and perplexed, ‘what can this mean?’, they asked each other.”

“Amazed”… by what?

By Spirit-controlled, Spirit-empowered, passionate disciples of Christ. Dr. Redpath declared “you get a person amazed, and you’re only a short step away from worship!”

I remember that prophetic message like it was yesterday, and that was 30 years ago. Where did followers of Christ get that kind of power to impact and transform their community? Redpath claimed the secret was found in the “secret place”. Time alone with God.

Redpath was a British ex-pat, part of the Keswick tradition along with Stephen Olford, pastoring the Historic Moody Bible Church when a Moody professor named A.W. Tozer contacted him. He invited him to meet him daily at a park in the very wee hours of the morning for prayer.

Redpath said, “It was a bit early for me, but when I went, I found Tozer lying face down on holy ground in concerted prayer”.

Tozer’s been dead for five decades (died May 12, 1963), but they’re still re-publishing the man’s books – maybe because he lived the secret and most of us are trying to vicariously discover it through his books. For too many of us, prayer is supplemental rather than fundamental to our lives and ministry. If we want to see the Mission accomplished we must recommit ourselves to becoming desperate for communion with the Spirit of God. Without it, we’re only playing games.

Isaiah 62:6 says, “You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest”. If we want to see God’s power raining down on our churches, then let us give God no rest from our intercession.

In his book, “The Knowledge of the Holy”, Tozer writes this in his chapter on the self-sufficiency of God:

“Almighty God, just because He is almighty, needs no support. The picture of a nervous, ingratiating God, fawning over men to win their favour is not a pleasant one; yet if we look at the popular conception of God, that is precisely what we see… so lofty is our opinion of ourselves that we find it quite easy, not to say, enjoyable, to believe that we are necessary to God. Probably the hardest thought of all for our natural egotism is to entertain that God does not need our help. We commonly represent Him as a busy, eager, somewhat frustrated Father, hurrying about seeking help to carry out His benevolent plan to bring peace and salvation to the world.”

Although very humbling… we must come to the brutal realization that we worship a self-existent, self-sustaining, self-sufficient God who:

  • Does not need me.
  • Does not need my church.
  • Does not need you.
  • Does not need Fellowship Baptists.
  • Does not need our plans, programs or buildings.

All that we have created (and let’s even argue that we’ve done it all for God’s gory) could burn up and turn to dust… and God would still make a great, grand and glorious Name for Himself among the nations.

God doesn’t involve us in His grand global plan to win the nations because He actually NEEDS us. God involves us because He LOVES us. And until we really come to terms with this – recognizing it’s in the “secret place of prayer” that we gain any power to accomplish the mission – then we will continue to be frustrated in our attempts to fulfill God’s purposes. We’ll miss the mark.

Have a blessed week,

Steve

Marketplace Ministry in Closed-Communities
posted February 06, 2017

Steve here… Fellowship Chaplains are an extension of the local church, often serving people in closed-communities.

What I mean by “closed” is communities that many people from the public are not allowed to enter. Pastors and lay people are typically not allowed to enter police stations to minister to police officers, yet chaplains do this.

Fellowship Chaplaincy is a growing ministry at Fellowship National, with 20 new chaplains appointed in the last 20 months. Annually, we gather together for enrichment and training.

CHAPLAINCY TRAINING

This past September over 70 chaplains and Fellowship pastors gathered for some crisis management training.

I will let our Fellowship National Eastern Coordinator, Richard Flemming (who hosted the event) briefly describe the day’s training:

Marie Allen is a committed believer, qualified counsellor, and one of Toronto’s most experienced in trauma interventions. She has been involved in some high profile cases, including the 2014 Moncton shootings of three RCMP officers, as well the shootings at the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill in Ottawa that same year. This chaplaincy training event, done in cooperation with FEB Central and held at Hespeler Baptist Church in Cambridge, ON, allowed both chaplains and pastors to profit from Marie’s rich experience as she shared some helpful information regarding critical incident stress management.

Given the three hour time limit, Marie concentrated on providing us with practical information on how to approach and help those dealing with a crisis situation in their lives. She reminded us that while everyone experiences trauma in their own way, generally, it leaves people feeling as if they have lost control without knowing how to get it back. She talked about believers who may at the same time go through a crisis of faith, wondering why God would allow such a thing to happen to them. She then presented a few ways that chaplains and pastors could provide assistance to those having experienced a crisis in their life. This included a seven-step outline in how to conduct a ‘debrief,’ the five stages of grieving, a list of common mistakes in dealing with those in crisis, and some practical advice regarding self-care for those involved in trauma counseling.

Marie’s emphasis on the practical meant that we all left with something to help guide us when dealing with people in crisis. It seems to me that’s what makes for a successful training event, and this one certainly was that!

CHAPLAINCY NEWS

Karate for Christ

Neil McGillivray, Sports Chaplain

Karate for Christ Canada is a faith-based martial arts program that has been providing a karate experience based on Christian values to hundreds of kids and adults since 2001. Fellowship Chaplain, Neil McGillivray, is founder and senior instructor of Karate for Christ in Canada, and has over 25 years of ministry experience through his unique background having served as a youth pastor, and Bible College instructor. He also has more than 30 years of martial arts experience, and holds a fourth Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate.

Sensei McGillivray writes, “I dreamt whether or not I could use my martial arts background to serve God. My dream was to combine my love for Jesus, with my love for martial arts and my love of working with young people. The day of our first class we were hoping we would get at least a dozen kids so that we would have enough kids to run the program. That first day 62 kids showed up and I was the only instructor. Over the past 15 years we have grown to three member schools and three affiliate schools in five cities, with over 40 instructors. You don't have to worry about eastern mysticism as all of our classes are taught by Christian martial artists. We only serve one Master and that is Jesus Christ.

“We teach a Bible lesson at each class, and require scripture memory work for each belt. Students receive patches for their uniform for reading books of the Bible. Classes are free. We rely completely on donations. “We offer Karate classes for ages three and up. Our oldest student is a grandmother who brings her grandkids. She is 65 years old and just earned her orange belt.”

For more information about classes, volunteer opportunities, to make a donation, or on starting up a new program at your church, visit www.karateforchrist.ca. You can watch a brief video about this unique ministry at:   www.fellowship.ca/AboutFellowshipChaplains

From Ride-Along to an Amazing Adventure

James Turner, First Response Chaplain

Police Chaplaincy began for me with a ride-along with a church member who was an officer with

Vancouver Police Department in May of 1982.

Since that time I have been led to serve in Chaplaincy full time. I have the honour to serve as Divisional Chaplain for “E” Division (British Columbia) Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Vancouver Police Department, Delta Police Department and Transit Police. That people group represents 8,800 sworn police officers.

This calling has allowed me to serve on many happy occasions such as wedding and the dedication of children. Unfortunately, it has also required that I serve by officiating at many funerals as well. The Regimental funerals that I have been honoured to conduct have allowed me to speak to literally thousands of people that would never walk through the doors of our Fellowship churches. The opportunity to care for those who are on the front line and make such a profound difference in the lives of all Canadians is a sacred privilege.

Chaplaincy is for a people group with a unique culture and very specialized needs. Chaplaincy is a bridge built to provide care, in my case, to the police personnel and their families. For the past 34 years this has been a ride that has started small and has blossomed into an amazing adventure.

PASTORS ARE JOINING FELLOWSHIP CHAPLAINCY

This past year several Fellowship pastors have been appointed “volunteer” Fellowship chaplains — something to think about? As a pastor, you continue ministry in your local church while volunteering in your community as a credentialed “official” chaplain. It may open doors to ministry that would otherwise be closed to the public.

The application process is simple and the privileges are tangible. Just go to www.fellowship.ca/ChaplaincyForms to apply today.

Thank you for praying for our Fellowship chaplains. Most would love an opportunity to share their ministry in our local churches. Go to www.fellowship.ca/ChaplainsAlphabetical to see a list of our Fellowship Chaplains across Canada.

Report on Discussion re: Membership Issue at FNC 2016
posted January 30, 2017

Steve here… My dear friend and mentor, Roy Lawson, told me often:

“Distinguishing between what is worth fighting for and what is not conserves emotional energy.”

Good advice, although sometimes it’s hard to live by.

Some folks warned me a fight was going to happen at our recent FNC 2016 in Niagara Falls, ON. We continue to dialogue together on our current Membership/Baptism issue.

Some thought it would be a National Conference where we would experience “Baptists-behaving-badly”, but it didn’t happen.

In fact, my emotional reservoir was filled during our discussion. I was proud of how our Fellowship family discussed, debated, and declared. For the most part, the comments and questions constituted a fruitful and helpful exchange. Yes, strong opinions were shared — even passionately — but I detected a tremendous spirit of generosity. And so, I tip my hat to you all; well done.

So, what was said? Your National and Regional Council leaders met in Congress immediately after our FNC 2016 to discuss what our delegates and churches said.

I encourage you CLICK HERE to read the FNC 2016 Report. The purpose of this report is to attempt to capture the key concerns and suggestions made regarding National Council’s motion. Our hope is that those in attendance at FNC 2016 will agree that the highlights contained in the report do represent what we all heard.

Please pass this FNC 2016 Report along to your church’s pastors and leaders. My hope is that the report will, at the very least, be given discussion time at an upcoming church board meeting in each of your local facilities. We will continue the discussion at our upcoming Fellowship Regional Conferences in the spring of 2017. Lord willing, I will be in attendance at all five Regional Conferences, listening attentively to the discussion. We all get a chance to vote on the motion at FNC 2017, November 13-15, at the Holiday Inn International Airport Hotel in Toronto. Hope to see you there.

Rebuilding Innocence in the Philippines
posted January 23, 2017

Steve here… Sex-trafficking is a world-wide phenomenon. Predators go on sex vacations to countries like Thailand to pay for sex with minors.

In September 2014 Canada became the third country in the world to propose legislation that views prostitution as violence against women. Bill C-36 was passed and called the “Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act”. The sex industry remains alive and well in Canada.

Our Fellowship Aid and International Relief (FAIR) department recently announced a new appeal called Rebuilding Innocence, which is focused on alleviating the suffering of children rescued from cybersex trafficking in the Philippines. In collaboration with our partner organization, International Justice Mission (IJM), and their government partners in the Philippines, FAIR is seeking to support increased aftercare so these children can lead normal lives.

Our FAIR Director, Dan Shurr, has this to say about our current FAIR appeal:

“Last spring, my wife and I travelled to the Philippines with IJM Canada, where we observed the great work that is happening to rescue vulnerable little lives.

“The reality we witnessed there was heartbreaking but there was much to celebrate. We rejoiced seeing children rescued from the horrors of sexual exploitation and the perpetrators of these crimes brought to justice. What a thrill for us to visit survivors of the cybersex trade, and see happy children in the process of recovery.

“Because of this experience, God placed in my heart a strong desire to support IJM’s efforts in the Philippines and to work in partnership with them and our Fellowship churches as we strive to reach even one more of these children. Through Rebuilding Innocence (Philippines), we will be bringing much needed financial support to survivor aftercare.

“Our goal is to provide $120,000 towards launching a survivor foster care program in the Philippines. This program will equip the families who will be taking in these children to support their healing. Some of the rescued children are very young, and aftercare continues until they are adults. This makes funding very important to ensure these children get the physical, emotional and spiritual care they need and deserve.

“Funds received through the Rebuilding Innocence project will go towards training new foster families and organizational staff ($45,000), general operation and start-up of the program ($7,000) and the most significant portion will provide a subsidy for the rescued children ($68,000). The goal has been set high, but the need is great, and we’re trusting the Lord to provide for these little children.”

My hope is you will personally support this appeal and encourage your church to make it an Easter offering. Thank you for prayerfully considering this important FAIR appeal. Lives are being transformed by the efforts of this work.