We passed a significant milestone last week, or maybe I should say we launched from a new starting line. Our Classis (that is, the Christian Reformed Churches in our region) gave unanimous approval to an ambitious proposal from the Classical Home Missions Committee. They said “yes” to planting five churches in 15 years, “yes” to pursuing a program for restoring health and vitality to existing churches, and “yes” to uniting all of the churches of Classis in prayer in support of this vision.
Perhaps my favorite moment of the meeting was when I, as chair of the Home Missions Team, asked all the church representatives gathered in Sonrise Church of Ponoka: “We will unite in prayer for the fulfillment of the Great Commission in our Classis and pray for one another as churches?” They responded with a resounding “Amen.”
I believe Classis’ decision is the beginning of something important--in the way a freshly planted acorn is the start of something much, much bigger. I believe it is the first step in a journey of following God into His chosen future, and I genuinely expect to see miracles.
This has practical implications for us, at Bethel.
· We plan to take a team through the Classis-endorsed, two-year educational journey toward increased church health called “The Church Renewal Lab.”
· I am hoping our own prayer group will play an important role in helping other churches to launch their own prayer groups.
· Bethel can now seriously undertake a discussion about the possibility of planting a church in the confidence that Classis is prepared to partner with us if we decided that God is leading us to do so.
I have mentioned before that the word “Classis” is Latin term which means “a fleet of ships moving together.” I feel like our fleet has set off on a new and exciting course.
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