I recently had one of those moments when I had to carefully re-read an email to discover if I had read it correctly.
One Fellowship church had just sent their entire weekly offerings, for the month of January (2018), to another Fellowship church in need. Grandview Church (Kitchener, ON) sent Ecclesia Church (St. Jérôme, QC) $107,350.70. Yes, you read that correctly.
A few years back, Grandview entered into a partnership with this young church in Québec, an hour north of Montréal. Some of you have heard me challenge you to enter into a “7 x 7 = 1” partnership. Seven partners for seven years to establish one French church plant. In the past three years, 110 partners across Canada have partnered with church plants in Québec. It’s a wonderful story for which we praise God.
A Word from Pastor Bob and Pasteur Jacob
I asked Pastor Bob MacGregor (Grandview) and Pastor Jacob Mathieu (Écclésia) to comment on this recent “love gift”:
Grandview Church sanctuary
“Grandview is one of many churches that have partnered with sister churches in Quebec. Our particular partnership is with Ecclesia in St Jerome. This young congregation stewards a strategically located, but badly rundown, facility in this spiritually-needy city. Their vision and “crazy” faith has reminded our fifty year old congregation what it was like to be on mission for God, a mission that must always be renewed. While at National Conference in November 2017, some of our leaders had breakfast with Pastor Jacob Mathieu. We learned that our partners had grown weary in their good work and that renovations were stalled due to funding. Our elders took it personally and soon found ourselves infected with the same “crazy” faith we saw in them. We announced on Sunday that all offerings received in the month of January would go to Ecclesia. The total amount given was $107,350.70. The announcement was met with tears of joy and shouts of praise in both of our congregations. This is fun!”
— Pastor Bob MacGregor of Grandview (Kitchener, ON)
“‘Our elder board voted to give all our January offering to Ecclésia,’ said the Chair of the Mission Board to me over the phone a few weeks before Christmas. ‘That might represent up to $80,000’. That’s when I stopped breathing. ‘We see God moving in St. Jérôme and we want to help you finish your building project.’ Ever since we had started our construction project to transform the old REX theatre into a city outreach centre I had never doubted one bit that it was an amazing opportunity to reach the 10,000 student population that live and study there and much more. However, after two years of fundraising and construction, and still $195,000 to go, many in our church, including me, were starting to get discouraged. That phone call from Grandview was like the voice of Haggai and Zechariah to me and our leadership team: ‘You guys finish the job. This is not a human endeavour: the living God is drawing Québécois to his Son, Jesus Christ!’ I still cannot find the words to praise God for the love He pours in English- and French-speaking hearts towards the lost sheep of Canada. All to His glory!”
— Pastor Jacob Mathieu of Ecclesia (St. Jérôme, QC)
I love this story. I wanted you to know about it. This is an example of the Fellowship family working together to advance God’s Kingdom in Canada and beyond. We are stronger TOGETHER. This story models our Fellowship National motto: “SERVE, UNITE, THRIVE”. United together in mission, we serve one another, and thrive in winning the lost to Christ.
My dream has been, since we changed the Fellowship paradigm in francophone ministry in 2015, to see English and French Canadians love one another. We’ve not done a very good job at that as Canadians. But, in Christ, we can model a new way. It has been very gratifying to see so many churches and donors in Ontario, Alberta, and other places enter into Seven year partnerships to see French churches planted in Canada’s biggest mission field, Quebec.
My Next Québec Vision Tour is June 4-6, 2018
Join in with Grandview and Ecclésia and enter a partnership with a new church plant. Twice annually I take leaders or donors on a 48-hour “Québec Vision Tour” (QVT). You get yourself to the Montréal Airport and I care for your accommodation, travel, and food for two days traveling to seven to eight French church plants. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will direct you to the church plant He wants you or your church to begin a partnership and growing relationship with over the next seven years.
The next QVTs are June 4-6, 2018 and October 15-17, 2018. Contact me if interested, and I’ll send you more information. Please watch the brief video (click here) to learn more about joining my next QVT.