Connecting

Points from the President


4 chairs.pngOne of the occupational hazards faced by many pastors and ministry leaders is the few unbelievers with whom we spend time or have a personal relationship.  If we expect to convince those we lead of their need to invest in “Chair 1” people, which are those who do not yet know Jesus as their Saviour and Lord, then we need to lead them by modeling such relationships.  Working primarily with already churched people does not excuse us from evangelistic relationships with those who are not yet Christ followers.

Have we ever considered the spiritual status of Jesus’ original disciples when they first connected with Him?  Were they “believers”, as we might define that term, when they first inquired curiously about Him, as recorded in John 1:39ff?  Initially, Jesus invited them to “Come and see.”  They were only curious inquirers who later became believers.  In time, they became committed followers.

Making disciples, as we are commanded by Jesus to do, is a process that begins with influencing those who are curious about God, those who are open to considering how He can be known through His Son, Jesus (“Chair 1” people).

If there is a notable deficiency of these kinds of curious inquirers and seekers in our lives, what might we do to develop relationships with them?  Let me make some suggestions gained from my own experience:

  • Start with prayer, asking God to direct people our way, some of whom are already in our lives, such as unbelieving family or neighbors.  Be aware of new acquaintances that enter our sphere of influence.
  • Prayerfully consider those who may be drawn to us and invite them to get together and share in a commonly enjoyed outing, such as a BBQ or a game.
  • Learn and practice creative ways to share the Gospel as the opportunity presents itself.  We may want to include a simple Gospel presentation in our preaching … it’s a safe assumption that not everyone in our church is a committed follower of Jesus.
  • Anticipate and pray that God’s Spirit will use us to influence and introduce others to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Don’t hesitate to share some of the struggles we share as fellow disciple-makers with those we lead.

Spending time with the curious and the unconvinced can be a breath of fresh air after all the time we spend with churched people (no offense intended).

Together with you in being a disciple and in making disciples for Jesus,

Lorne Meisner.jpg 

Lorne Meisner

AGC Canada West Associate Superintendent


Making Disciples

Posted by donna on September 5, 2017

4 Chair.jpgDuring Jesus’ nearly four-year ministry on this earth He spent much of His time making and developing His Disciples.

As we read the gospel narratives we discover many occasions on which Jesus developed a few key men and women who would literally turn the world upside down.

In a short period of time, Jesus, anointed by the power of the Spirit, chose His followers carefully. He walked with them and helped them grow in their knowledge and faith. Intentional about growing faith and commitment in His Disciples, He took the time to do so.  He grew His Disciples, teaching them to put their faith into action.  Jesus was and is the Master Disciple Maker.

In just a few short years these ordinary men and women established a multiplying movement of churches that eventually overtook the whole of the Roman Empire.  That movement continues growing today.

As a movement of healthy reproducing churches, the AGC can only fulfill this great vision by becoming intentional, Spirit-empowered disciple makers, who can, with God’s help, make new disciples. 


Bill's Blog: Summer 2017

Posted by donna on July 19, 2017

Summer 2017.PNG 

Summer is finally here and I want to encourage all of you to spend time with your families, to rest and recharge … to be still and know that He is God.  Before you know it, turn around twice and the fall preparations will be upon us.

It was such a pleasure to see many of you at the Canada West and Canada East AGC Regional Conferences.


"Chasing the Lion" - A Personal Story

Posted by donna on June 8, 2017

ChasingtheLion (002).pngThose of you who receive emails from me may have noticed that under my signature, I always have a quote from Hudson Taylor, one of my life’s hero’s. Taylor once said, “Without the element of risk there is no need for faith.”

The life of a disciple of Jesus Christ was never meant or promised to be without risk; quite the opposite in fact. Jesus said “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (Mark 8:34f)

Jim Elliot, famed martyr, is noted to have said, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he can never lose.” Jim Elliott was killed along with several other young men on the shores of a remote river in the jungles of Ecuador.

I’d like to relate a personal story that illustrates how I came to understand more fully the words that Jesus spoke and that Elliot echoed.


The Holy Spirit and Church Renewal/Revival

Posted by donna on May 2, 2017

holy spirit.jpgThis past January, I joined a team that travelled to Steinbach Manitoba to experience a Church Renewal weekend. For four days, we experienced what God is doing in the lives of the people at Southland Church. For the past two decades, they have walked with God, demonstrating life in the Spirit through confession, prayer, worship, and transformational obedience to God’s Word.

Pastor Ray Duerksen and his wife Fran have experienced God building into their lives. They teach from experience, often through years of real life challenges with which most people could identify. The central teaching is best understood as ‘going back to the ancient basics’ rather than finding the ‘new and improved’ which often captures merely out of our curiosity.


Eph 2vs8.pngFor centuries, church theologians, both scholarly and novice, have been in a bitter struggle about the moment and manner of conversion. This doctrine of salvation has divided serious students and orthodox believers into two camps.

Arminians, following the teachings of Jacobus Arminius, believe that every person, having been made in the image of God, can apply faith in their life. Arminians know that salvation is the gracious gift of God to people, but each person must apply their faith, as small as it is, to receive and activate the salvation freely offered and made known through the Holy Spirit. In short, faith precedes regeneration. Followers of John Wesley and all the denominations that come from that camp would hold to this belief. This would include our friends in the Salvation Army, as well as many brands of the more charismatic or Pentecostal denominations.


The Holy Spirit and Evangelism... Part 1

Posted by donna on March 1, 2017

Evangelism.PNGWhen speaking with Nicodemus, Jesus compared the Holy Spirit to the wind, which cannot be seen, but whose effect is evident.  Perhaps the clearest evidence of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit is seeing unregenerate people continually coming to Christ and receiving salvation … becoming “born again.”

The Scriptures have one central theme from Genesis to Revelation and that is the redemption, reconciliation and restoration of all things back to God the Father through the work of Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  Ephesians 1:1-10 captures this theme perfectly.  This theme is only made known through the process of revelation.


Holy Spirit and Spiritual Renewal

Posted by donna on February 1, 2017

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The Apostle Paul reveals the secret of Holy Spirit renewal in Romans 12:1-12 - “I appeal to you therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)

Paul took 11 chapters to outline what God’s grace means to us, His children. It is all the work of God for His elect. It is Paul’s manner to begin with doctrine and move to practice, and he does so here. Paul makes it clear that we have a vital role to play in living out this grace, and it is to our spiritual benefit to obey God’s injunctions to us.


Prayer and the Holy Spirit

Posted by donna on January 3, 2017

invitation to prayer.jpgThis year, from January 18-25th, believers in Christ around the world will observe the Week of Prayer.  The theme for this year is “Christian Unity.” This is also a time when the Protestant Church celebrates the 500th Anniversary of The Reformation. At the heart of The Reformation is the reality of reconciliation to God through faith, apart from works.

As we contemplate this year’s theme, I want to direct our attention to the role the Holy Spirit plays in bringing about unity and reconciliation.


The Gift of the Holy Spirit

Posted by donna on December 1, 2016

Manger.PNGChristmas is my favourite time of year.  Ever since early childhood, the anticipation of Christmas has been somewhat overwhelming. The thought of gifts and presents had something to do with the anticipation, but it was much more than that. It was the sounds, sights and smell of the season.  It was my keenness to be with extended family. It was Christmas concerts, with the memory of bags of candies being placed in my eager hand as I made my way out the door. It was simply a joyous feeling and it remains that way to this day.

Yet, above all else, it was the story of the birth of Jesus that impacted me the greatest. Even when I wasn’t faithful as a teen, the message of Jesus was truly overwhelming to me. God in the flesh. The incarnation. The walking, talking Jesus.  The very image of God and Man without sin. Such a glorious truth.