What does it mean to lead with hope in a season that has been so challenging for ministry leaders and the church in Canada? How can churches take the obstacles that the COVID-19 pandemic has created and turn them into opportunities for the gospel?
The Leading With Hope report we released last month contained valuable insights from church leaders across Canada about the most effective ways they are finding to share the gospel in this season. We invited sociologist, Joel Thiessen, and pastors, Jeff Lockyer (Southridge Community Church) and Ho-Ming Tsui (Richmond Hill Christian Community Church), to help us dig deeper into these findings and what they might mean for the Canadian church today.
If you missed the conversation, you can watch the recording below for Joel, Jeff, and Ho-Ming’s invaluable insights on evangelism.
One of the threads that wove its way through the conversation with our guests is how churches who have a strong culture of evangelism are more likely to thrive in this season. These churches were quick to focus their attention on neighbourhood evangelism and what it means for believers to live incarnationally from their homes.
“I think this is partly shaped by a theological orientation and vision, how we think about our faith and how that manifests itself in our activities. You have members of a congregation who are actively participating in neighborhood involvement and engagement, whether it’s throwing block parties or community gardens or different things to get to know one another in very meaningful and tangible ways.” – Joel Thiessen
Churches that emphasize the importance of personal evangelism seem to be more willing to try new and innovative ways to share the gospel without fear of failure. They use small groups as a catalyst to reach geographically specific neighbourhoods by finding out what the needs are in that area, and then they pool their resources to meet them.
All our guests agreed that the shift of focus from hosting a large gathering to supporting the church as it lives out its calling to “love thy neighbour,” has ultimately been life giving and provided hope in the midst of a difficult season. Churches are seeing lives transformed by the gospel as new people engage online, and as congregations focus on incarnational living in their neighbourhoods.
To learn more about our conversations with Canadian church leaders, you can find the Leading With Hope report below.
Read the Report
Read more about the challenges and triumphs of ministry in this season from the insights and voices of Protestant church leaders across Canada.