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SKMB On Mission Together: January 6, 2021

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Click here for the printable version of On Mission Together.

 

SKMB Leaders Collective 2.0

The Leaders Collective Team is incredibly thankful to be running the Leaders Collective program for a second year. This year we have 5 participants from churches in Saskatoon and Hepburn. We had our first retreat day at the beginning of November at Forest Grove Community Church. Irma Barkman from West Portal Church led our group through an afternoon workshop based on creating our personal storyboards.

Although the exercise is interpersonal and reflective, there was still space to share. Many shared a lesson or two that God taught us throughout our lives. This was followed by a time of prayer for each individual. It was a rich learning experience and a great way to begin to build community within this year’s Leaders Collective cohort. As we enter the New Year, it is our hope that we will be able to gather again with our small cohort for our second retreat at the end of January.

 

Leaders Collective Purpose

Leaders Collective works towards building into young leaders who are serving within their local MB church. The program offers workshops and teachings with the focus of equipping people to feel confident in taking on leadership roles, as well as diving into who we are in Christ as individuals and the values that we hold. An additional key element of the program is mentorship. Each participant is partnered with a mentor – typically from within their local church – to come alongside the participant and help them process what they have been learning, and simply invite one another into each other’s lives.

Participants from last year’s cohort are currently serving within their churches in areas such as leading worship, chairing a board, leading small groups, board members of a committee, etc. Leaders Collective is not the primary reason why these roles are being taken on by young people within the church, but the program serves as a tool to further equip and make disciples of Jesus who disciple others. It is also an opportunity for the local church to take initiative in identifying and affirming the gifts of the young people within their congregation and to come alongside and cheer them on as they pursue their walk with the Lord.

 

If you have questions or would like more information about Leaders Collective and how to involve your church in the 2021-2022 cohort, you can check out our website: https://skmb.ca/leaders-collective/ or email our team: .

 

What’s Your Church’s ‘Rep’?

What’s the reputation of your church? That is a difficult question to ask. One you might not want to hear the answer to it. But it is a question I have been asking about the church I lead. What’s our reputation? If people heard the name The Compass West, what would be the rumours and the buzz be about us? What would we be known for?

I would love to hear people saying that we have Gospel-centred preaching, amazing worship, great kids ministry, and a loving community. I would even take “They have good coffee.” Those would be great things to be known for. Yet, as I think it through, there is something else I would love my church to be known for: A place where anyone can come and grow deep in their relationship with Jesus.

 

The Heart of Jesus’ Ministry

Don’t get me wrong, those other compliments would be wins. When I hear compliments like that, I write them down and tape them to my desk. I keep them as reminders and little pick me ups,for the challenging seasons that come with ministry. Yet, there is something about having a church culture where anyone can come and grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus that has captivated me. Wasn’t this the heart of Jesus’ ministry?  Wasn’t this what made his ministry so scandalous as the kingdom of God invaded this world (Matthew 11:19)?  The broken, the outcast, the worst of sinners found safety, love and grace with Jesus. And as they encountered that grace, they were transformed.

That’s the kind of culture I want to be in and want The Compass West to ooze. So, how can we develop this kind of culture? One of the voices that have given me insight into that question is Ray Ortlund. Ray has written and spoken a lot about what he calls a “Gospel Culture.” He says there are three key ingredients to create a culture where anyone can grow.

 

1. Gospel

The gospel is the key ingredient to create a culture where anyone can come and grow in their relationship with Jesus. The gospel is good news for bad people. Through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection we can have a restored relationship with Jesus. From the pulpit, to the Sunday school classes, to midweeks groups, the gospel needs to be on our lips. We are in need to be continuously reminded of it and soaked in it. There is no such thing as over-exposure to the gospel of Jesus. There is a real danger, however, to not getting enough of it.

 

2. Safety

Whenever I think about safety, I go back to an experience I had at a home group in high school. I was visiting this group with a friend. As the night came to an end, they asked for people to share a prayer request. Awkward silence engulfed the room. People avoided eye contact until one of the leaders spoke up. “You guys all know Sarah isn’t here tonight. We need to pray for her tonight. She has really fallen into sin.” This leader went on into the personal details of this girl’s sin and how horrible it was.

It was a cringe-worthy moment, but worst of all, it told the group that you are not safe to be real here. If you confess your sins, the real sins you are struggling with, you will be looked down upon, possibly embarrassed, and gossiped about. This place is not safe for sinful people, but just for those who can hide their sin and put on a good smile.

A place where anyone can come and grow is a place where you know you won’t be embarrassed, ashamed, gossiped about. It is a place where you can be real; you can be honest and spill your soul, knowing you have nothing to fear.

 

3. Time

Transformation takes place over some time. I struggle with this because I want to see instant results. I want a change over days, not years. Yet the reality is that Jesus’ process of change in my life is slow. Humans are complicated, and any deep level change in our lives will take time. The question is if we are willing to give them the space they need to see this change take place.  No pressure, no plan, no hurry.

My prayer is that God would use these three ingredients to create a gospel culture in the Compass West. So, the question is, “What do you want your church to be known for?”

 

Luke Etelamaki
SKMB Discipleship Coach