by Don Moore
Shifting Stats – Shaking the Church: 40 Canadian Churches Respond (World Vision, 2015)is catching the attention of church leaders with more than a thousand copies distributed during the first six weeks after its release.
This book contains the short stories of 40 Canadian churches that have broken out of their “comfort zones” to creatively meet the needs of the people living in their changing communities.
Each of these innovative churches is responding to the demographic changes that have been gradually happening in Canada over the last 25 years. These stories were selected from over 200 that the Church Engagement Team at World Vision Canada uncovered over the past year through the Annual Church Leaders Forums and through individual meetings with denominational leaders.
These stories represent every region in Canada and include 25 different denominations. The churches range in size from 20 to 3000+ congregants and are found in a variety of rural, urban, ethnic and First Nation communities.
Listening to the responses of church leaders, they report that these stories are inspiring to their leadership team and to their people. (Some have bought copies for each person on their church leadership team.) It’s pushing them to rethink their traditional way of doing ministry to see if there may be new ways they should consider to become more effective in accomplishing their mission as a church.
Each six-page story provides creative ideas and practical illustrations of how ministry can be done from different perspective. The authors provide insights into the common elements in these stories that explain their why they are so effective in what they’re trying to accomplish.
Commendations are coming in over the unique story matrix provided in the closing pages of this book that provide the reader the ability to sort through the stories by topic, region, denomination and church size. This is a great way to find stories that hold the greatest interest to the reader.
But overall, the most common response has been that this book provides tremendous hope for the future of the church in Canada. This is clear evidence that God is at work in His Church today in Canada for which we are truly thankful.
Rev. Dr. Don Moore is National Church Ambassador for World Vision Canada, and wrote the foreword and postscript for the book, co-written by Faith Today senior writer Patricia Paddey and Faith Today senior editor Karen Stiller. You can receive a copy of Shifting Stats for free when you subscribe to Faith Today by the end of June! (For Canadian residents and new subscribers only).