Life on the front porch

Faith, life, kids & bikes


An open letter to my family in the Canadian Vineyard churches

Dear brothers and sisters,

The Lord seems to have given me a little time to reflect on my time with the Vineyard and I’d like to encourage you to keep on in the work of the Canadian Vineyard Churches. Abba has given us an amazing row to hoe.

We came into the Vineyard in 2002 as we looked for a church that was evangelically orthodox and that had a practice of caring for the poor. We’d been working in an inner-city drop-in centre, living in that community and going to a large suburban church. The way we did church did not translate well to the way we did ministry.

Our second Sunday at Winnipeg Centre Vineyard was the summer of 2002 – 200+ people packed into the ministry centre at Main and Selkirk. The chaos was strangely familiar and I loved that I could see three distinct groups – the highly engaged at the front, the socializers at the back (mixed in too with the street crowd) and the people in the middle were trying to find a safe spot between the flag wavers, arm raisers, sniffers and the socializers. We had intended to shop around for churches but we really didn’t – we found the Vineyard to feel like what we were looking for.

I felt that if our drop-in families came to faith in Jesus, that church would begin to feel like this.

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Are you keeping up with the first ever Youth Alpha Film Series project?

The Youth Alpha guys just released an update email.  They’re working on the first Alpha videos to be filmed outside the UK!  If you’re like me, you’re excited about the potential for thousands of Alpha Courses across Canada and beyond.  Best news, it’s Free!

Hey Friends,

Hope you are doing well! We are so thankful for all of the kind responses and support after the last message we sent. We have just entered our fifth week of filming and thankfully, we are on schedule and the creative team continues to bring a level of creativity and quality that is beyond what we ever imagined. We spent the first 3 weeks in a studio where we filmed more than half of the course content but now we are able to breath some fresh air. [read more here]

If you’re into the social media thing:
follow Jason & Ben on twitter & Facebook.

Who else needs to know about this? Email them and drop me a comment!

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God must love small churches

I believe, deep in my spirit, that God’s plan for Canada, and the whole earth, is deeply tied to small churches.  He must really love small churches, because there are so many of them.  I am confident that when Jesus returns, faithful men and women, from small churches, will receive great honour in their cities and towns because they faithfully announced the Good News, cared for widows and orphans and were known by the King as a lover of Jesus.

A very small church

In a few weeks I’ll be in Saskatchewan where there are more than 1800 Christian churches – many are small, many are struggling and many are faithful.  I don’t believe church size is a sign of God’s blessing and favour, but I also don’t believe that small churches must be small minded – we must be Kingdom minded.  I think there are 2 questions each believer and church leader should be asking to ensure that we’re in the place that God wants us.

1. What are you thinking and feeling about me Lord?

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3 Marks of an Alpha Church

I’d like you to imagine (and maybe as I write, a real person will come to mind) a young lady who’s looking for an Alpha Course.  She’s grown up in the church and now she’s in her twenties and dating a handsome young man who doesn’t share her faith, but he’s willing to learn (love does funny things doesn’t it?).  Then she asks at her church and can’t make it to her church’s course.  So she goes over to the Alpha website looking for a course, but can’t find anything there either.  Now I get the call – “Do you know of any churches who are running Alpha.
My kind of church - good name and they're running Alpha!

My kind of church – good name and they’re running Alpha!

This story does 3 things to me

  1. I want to find a course or start one.  Today!  I mean, there’s a young man who wants to know about Christianity and can’t find a church who’s ready to do it.
  2. I’m driven to pray – Lord, would you help this couple?  Are there more?  Help me to help them.
  3. I’m motivated to see 200 courses running in from Saskatoon to Thunder Bay this year.  Don’t tell my boss, she thinks we’re shooting for 103, but that won’t be enough. Continue reading

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A Review of The Parenting Course

Last night was the last night of our Parenting Course and I thought that you might appreciate a review of how it went for us.

We advertised by word of mouth, in the community, at church, on Facebook and targeted emails.  We were quite specific with who we advertised to because we ran it in our home and knew that not everyone would be comfortable going to someone’s house.  In the end, it was Christa and I and one other couple. Continue reading