President Herbold | June 2024 Update | The Alliance Canada

June 19, 2024 | 5 minute read
The Alliance Canada

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General Assembly

Greenhouse – Envision

 

Transcript:

Rev. Darren Herbold:

Hi Alliance Canada. This will be a shorter monthly video, but I wanted to share a few updates and also a story from Gary James in Newmarket, Ontario. First, depending on where you’re watching this video, there are only about ten days left to register for General Assembly. It’s not too late to sign up if you’re in Ontario or Montreal and you haven’t registered yet. Don’t miss this chance to attend the Assembly in person. While it’s close enough for a road trip. If you’re too far away, consider attending online. I cannot wait to see everyone. In about two weeks. I’m so excited to see what God is going to do, to hear what he’s doing in your churches and around the world, and to get some important business taken care of, and especially to gather in worship in prayer together.

Second, annual report has been released. So if you want to hear some of what God did in and through the Alliance in 2023 and previous, you can go to the link below this video. You can read all about it.

Now, thirdly, envision is now accepting applications for the Envision Greenhouse Mentoring program, which is starting their next cohort this fall. Greenhouse is a 12 week, one on one mentorship program for young leaders who are looking to grow and to be developed. There have been numerous studies with Barna that show how discipleship and mentorship is key to the resiliency and flourishing of young adults and their faith journeys, especially after high school. This is such an incredible opportunity for you to encourage and develop young leaders in your churches. I don’t want you, I don’t want us to miss this opportunity.

Now let’s listen to a story from Gary James and his church, Valley View Alliance in Newmarket, Ontario.

Rev. Gary James

The way we used to do church, the pastor was at the center of everything. And, now he’s not.

My name is Gary James, and I’ve been here at Valley View Alliance Church in Newmarket as a senior pastor. I’m in my 23rd year. I think one of the greatest themes of our ministry life is God’s faithfulness over the long haul. It seems to me there’s a rhythm of God taking us into the wilderness and then bringing us back into community and seasons of rest and refreshing, and then back into the community again, and then back into the wilderness.

One of the recurring trips into the wilderness has been, for both Pam and I, our health journey. Pam was diagnosed with terminal cancer, multiple myeloma, and our church chose to walk in that wilderness with us. So we had the blessing of not being alone in the wilderness. we carried on and kept our chin up and pushed on for Jesus, if you will. For several years until, my health fell and I was diagnosed with compassion fatigue and burnout. And I think at a time when most church elders sports would have said, hey, thanks for the five years, it’s been great, but you need to move on so we can get someone who’s healthy. Not our church board. And the church really cared for us, and they gave us the time we needed to pursue a path to healing.

I believe that was a tipping point for this church. And I believe God blessed our church and continues to bless our church because the elders acted so wisely and so honorably.

There was a season, where I wasn’t as in tune to hearing the Holy Spirit, and I was trying to do things to do ministry of my own strength. I confess that as sin, I repented publicly, and we invited publicly the Holy Spirit to go back into our church. And he came in power, and he’s been transforming us ever since.

Conviction of the spirit brings renewal and repentance. And, it’s there being healed. Sometimes the healing is deep inner healing in their soul. Sometimes the healing is physical healing. Sometimes the healing is just a sustaining grace that let someone like my wife, who was given 2 to 5 years, 19 years ago to be one of the longest living multiple myeloma patients in Canada.

That’s just the grace of God. But it’s his work of renewal by his spirit.

Christ-centred, Spirit-empowered, Mission-focused. The Alliance Vision Prayer. We actually pray it corporately every single Sunday out loud together. Encourage one another to be Christ centered. We want to be spirit empowered that we just sit in the presence of God. We hold a pre-service prayer time before Sunday morning service. It happens for 45 minutes, an hour before the service. That’s really the powerhouse of what happens here at Valley View.

I think Mission Focus means overseas, but also at home. Before I arrived, they had already planted another church in Bradford. And after I arrived, we planted a second church, the Newmarket Chinese Alliance Church. In fact, every Easter we have a joint service with them and it’s baptism service. We’re trying to get ourselves ready for heaven where, every nation, tribe, tongue and language will be together.And so we celebrate new life in Christ on Resurrection Sunday in a baptism service.

What we’ve noticed, moving from the east side of town to the west side of town, is that many new Canadians who never came to our church before are showing up as many as half a dozen every Sunday. New people from the nations that God is bringing to us. And so we’re very excited. as we continue to grow, to become intentionally an international thinking church, we really believe the church is one organization in the world that really doesn’t exist for the people who are already here. We exist for the people who are here, yet.

Rev. Darren Herbold:

So thankful for Gary to share his story of God’s faithfulness over the long haul, going from the wilderness to seasons of rest and back again. Right at the end, he says, we exist for the people who aren’t here yet, struck and motivated by their missional heart, fueled by prayer and the spirit. It’s a beautiful example of our alliance heritage, but a beautiful example of a church faithfully living out the gospel.

Alliance Canada, I’m excited. I’m hearing stories like this, stories of how God is moving people and how people are coming to Christ. And the spirit is working in powerful ways in Canada and around the world. Before I go, this will probably be the last update I have until August or September. It’s now approaching summer break, and I know that can be a slower time for ministry.

And so I pray that you’ll be able to take some time to breathe, to hear from the Lord. I pray for a time of rest for you and your ministries, and I want to thank you for your faithfulness to Jesus. His mission and our shared mission through The Alliance Canada. I’ll see you shortly a General Assembly. Until then, God bless. And would he keep you and make his face shine upon you as together we seek to make Jesus more famous each and every day. I love our church family. God bless.

 

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