Church Planting, So What?

– By Alex Newman

Click picture to see the original article in Faith Today.

You can usually tell you’re on to something when research raises more questions than it answers. While working on the church plant story, one thing kept nagging at me. So what? And who cares?

Sounds shocking, but let’s consider the times we live in. The church is under fire not only for its claims of knowing Truth, but its intention to spread that Truth. Evangelizing the developing world was one thing, but turning its missionary zeal on the developed, enlightened, self-determining and relativistic world is sure to raise hackles. Especially since North Americans have made it clear that Christianity’s demise is not only natural, but desirable. In short, they don’t care to hear about it.

Continue reading Church Planting, So What?

Great Expectations in Church Planting

By Doug Koop

When it comes to launching new churches in Canada, we are living in the best of times, which may also be the worst of times. The upside is that just about anything goes. The downside is, well … it’s that just about anything goes.

And church is increasingly optional.

When I was asked to write an article about new church plants in Winnipeg, I was drawn to a couple fresh expressions of Christian witness that struck me as community-focused in their ethos and wholistic in their methods. My bias skewed towards groups I believed to be demonstrating a creative concern for the people they seek to serve in God’s name.

Continue reading Great Expectations in Church Planting

How To Be Called a Bigot in One Easy Step

TWU President Bob Kuhn

I feel vulnerable every time I research and write something that brushes up against the issue of same-sex union, or anything that might be perceived to be any thing less than tolerant and loving of the LGBT community.

I feel nervous for two reasons: 1. I am a scaredy-cat who likes to be liked and I used to be cool (I think). 2. It is so incredibly difficult – maybe impossible – to be heard in today’s Canada as anything less than a bigoted homophobic crazy person on a rant.

That is one of the things that interested me about Bob Kuhn, president of embattled Trinity Western University, and why I was intrigued to speak to him for the May/June Faith Today Interview. In today’s Canada, how do you gird your loins sufficiently to lead a battle to have a law school at a Christian university that requires students to sign a community covenant pledging to keep sex in marriage between a man and a woman?

Continue reading How To Be Called a Bigot in One Easy Step

The Challenge of Growth

Click the cover image to read the May/Jun 2014 issue.

Church planting these days usually means breaking up some pretty hard Canadian soil. That’s why we thought it would be fascinating to assign writers in three cities to go behind the scenes in very different church plants to see what makes them tick – or grow.

If you live in eastern Canada, a part of the country where we had a tough time matching an available writer with an existing plant, please write to us and tell us about your church plant experience. We’d love to hear.

Continue reading The Challenge of Growth

Asking the Right Questions of the Right People on Your Behalf

Click the cover image to read the Mar/Apr 2014 issue.

It was right down to the wire to schedule the interview with Ambassador Andrew Bennett of Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom. He was travelling the week before our interview and committed to a busy schedule after that, but he graciously made time for us just before our deadline.

As his newly created government position reached its first anniversary, we thought it important to check in to see how the work is going. Religious freedom is something Evangelicals watch carefully, even in Canada – maybe especially in Canada.

Continue reading Asking the Right Questions of the Right People on Your Behalf

Être évangélique au Québec

The following article appears in our Mar/Apr 2014 issue in English form. Here is a translation en français. Comments in English or en français are welcome at or at

Dans une province pas comme les autres – alors que, plus que jamais dans l’histoire du Canada, tout est remis en question – les Chrétiens évangéliques se taillent une identité personnelle et communautaire.

Par Jenna Smith

Dimanche soir, centre-ville de Montréal – Je suis à l’événement de formation en implantation d’église du C2C, atelier visant à équiper et à mobiliser l’Église au Québec. Le hall d’entrée de l’église Evangel Pentecostal est rempli à capacité de pasteurs, d’implantateurs, de membres de diverses congrégations et de leaders d’église.

Nous avons tous connu notre juste part de fiascos lors de rassemblements chrétiens dans cette ville, mais ce soir, les gens autour de moi semblent agréablement surpris de la tournure des événements. Les mouvements d’implantation de nouvelles églises comme C2C et Transforme Québec – qui a pour vision d’implanter 25 000 nouvelles églises au Québec au cours des 40 prochaines années – font des vagues dans les milieux évangéliques.

La pensée religieuse traverse une période unique et décisive au Québec. À l’Assemblée nationale, les politiciens se prononcent sur le libellé de la Charte des valeurs. Radio-Canada mentionne qu’une paroisse catholique a fermé ses portes à chaque semaine au cours de 2013. Les défenseurs des droits de la personne et les médias signalent la montée des incidents racistes contre certains groupes religieux, notamment les Musulmans.

Une chose est certaine : la religion est un sujet chaud. Continue reading Être évangélique au Québec

Doing Things the Less Instant Way

Click the cover image to read the Jan/Feb 2014 issue.

Being a Christian can mean embracing weakness rather than strength.

Arranging to interview Dr. J.I. Packer, one of Canada’s most celebrated evangelical scholars, involved phone calls, faxes, more phone calls and another fax or two.

In an age of immediate electronic communication, Packer prefers to do things offline, the less instant way.

Even the writing for which he is so well known (his classic book Knowing God, originally written as a five-year series of articles for The Evangelical Magazine, turned 40 last year) is carefully composed on a manual typewriter.

Although that bit about the typewriter is the least of the many insights Packer shared with Faith Today in this issue’s exclusive interview, it’s still a delightful peek behind the scenes at the work of a wise and unique evangelical influencer.

(By the way, we’re offering a free copy of Packer’s latest book Weakness Is the Way along with every new subscription purchased before the end of February. Pass the word along to anyone you know who may be interested!)

Continue reading Doing Things the Less Instant Way

Love Dispels Fear

Click the cover image to read the Nov/Dec 2013 issue.

Our stories this issue challenge us to think Christianly.

We really did go behind the scenes for this issue, to the streets of Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Our writers were assigned to get a glimpse of what life on the street is like for prostituted women and the Christians who try to serve them.

Senior editor Karen Stiller handled the Toronto segment only three nights prior to her departure for another story in Senegal (see “Operation Christmas Child” on p.12).

Continue reading Love Dispels Fear

Clearly Relevant

Click the cover image to read the Sep/Oct 2013 issue.

When Calgary flooded, the Church responded providing shelter, food, clothing and comfort.

When the terrible train crash devastated the town and people of Lac-Mégantic, the Church provided solace. It became the place where people gathered to mourn together, ask impossible questions and begin to heal.

In both of those difficult, unpredictable disasters that made this a Canadian summer like few others in recent memory, the Church catapulted into relevancy: providing practical and spiritual help when people needed it the most.

In case you ever thought otherwise, the Church still matters in Canada.

This issue of Faith Today will help your church prepare to be light in the darkness of a community emergency.

Continue reading Clearly Relevant

Canada's Christian Magazine