“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen!” Ephesians 3:20-21
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (JOHN 17:20-21)
We are excited to see God continue to move us forward on a mission to reach Muskoka and Parry Sound with the Good News of Jesus Christ. As we take these next steps of multiplying campuses we are calling the mission ahead, “ONE”.
Why are we calling the campaign, “ONE”?
The target of our whole life is Jesus. It is through Him alone that we are saved, and transformed and so our whole purpose in life is to be filled with the presence of God and live our lives for the purpose of God and the glory of God.
So whatever our plans are as a church we start from this place: Our purpose, our life, and our church is all about Jesus.
Jesus prays that, as we stay connected to Him, we would also be ONE with each other. Being ONE as a church is not optional. Living out Acts 2:42-27 (doing life together, digging into the Word together, pressing into hearts together and laughing, loving, crying, and sharing together) is the reality of Jesus prayer being answered.
The depth of this oneness is more than potlucks and saying good morning on a Sunday. Jesus asks for us to be ONE like He and the Father are ONE!
We will be 3 different church gatherings each Sunday but we will be united in our mission. It means that we will be a bunch of very different people unified in Christ (He is the source of this unity) and unified in our mission to make him known.
Practically, we will have one central administrative hub helping each Campus to be effective on the mission in their community. This shared resource will help us steward God’s resource most wisely by providing the maximum amount of ministry support at a sustainable financial cost.
Jesus says that this unity will be how the world will know that it is a work of God. Our unity as ONE Church will launch us in to our mission.
The whole purpose in this next move as a church is this: God’s will is that the Church is on mission to together.
When we use the word mission it gets it’s roots from the same word used by Jesus in John 17:18 when we says that we are “sent into the world.” Our primary role is “sent ones” or “missionaries”
Practically, it means that our comfort, our position or our safety all comes second to the mission. We sacrifice each of these for the cause … that’s what a mission is.
It will take a sacrifice in our finances.
It will take a sacrifice in our schedules.
It will take a sacrifice in our preferences.
But this all begins with ONE God. We can only sacrifice as much as we trust Him. We will be on ONE Mission as ONE Church when we see that it’s all about ONE God … it’s all about Jesus.
In the mid-16th century Francis Xavier wrote about the dangers as a missionary:
“The danger of all dangers would be to lose trust and confidence in the mercy of God. To distrust him would be a far more terrible thing than any physical evil which all the enemies of God put together could inflict on us, for without God’s permission neither the devils nor their human ministers could hinder us in the slightest degree.”
The greatest danger we face on our mission is not the loss of our stuff, our time, our reputation or even our lives … the greatest danger is to distrust our God. In fact, if that danger is avoided, then all other dangers lose their sting.
Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane a prayer of trust as he completed His mission of salvation … and he prays in John 17 that we would also move in our mission full of trust.
WHAT ABOUT SOME OF THE DETAILS OF THIS MISSION?
Why this campus model?
It is a way to reach more people more efficiently and more effectively.
How much will the North Campus cost?
It will cost a little over $2M. But we have the first $1M already donated in the purchase of the building so we are looking to raise approx. $1.2M (not including any gifts in kind).
What is the timeline?
We have been on a strict timeline since January 1st and are at the stage now where we have the finalized drawings and are waiting on a finalized quote for renovations. We also have financing lined up in case we need funds before our official fundraising campaign begins. We would love to not have to use this bridge financing, so if you are able and feel the Lord calling you to participate financially in these early stages to provide “seed money” you can give to our “Growth Fund.”
The fundraising campaign will officially begin in June.
Over the next few days we will be establishing a leadership team to oversee the construction, the financials, the interior design, etc. Our hope is to see the North Campus completed by late fall.
Along with this “build timeline” we are in the process of also creating a “ministry timeline” to ensure we have each of our ministries well prepared to move to serving another campus (raising up key volunteers and praying through any needed new hires).
What about preaching?
Pastor Kaj will drive between Muskoka North & Muskoka South so that each Campus has live preaching. When we find the need to move to 2 services at either of the 2 Muskoka Campuses we will re-evaluate the Sunday morning preaching strategy.
Our long term plan is that all 3 campus will have their own Preaching Pastor.
What about South Muskoka?
This fundraising campaign is not for the North Muskoka Campus only. We are looking to raise enough funds to also pursue a permanent South Campus facility. As of now, we do not have as much financial clarity for the South Campus facility as we are still looking for a suitable option.
What about the land we own now?
We want to be good stewards and use that land the best way we can financially. We may find that building the South Campus on that land is the best option. Or we may discover that it is better used by selling it and using the funds to build or renovate in another Bracebridge location.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Jim Beattie here:firstname.lastname@example.org
What an incredible night of prayer and worship Wednesday night at our new Muskoka North Campus. Thank you all who came out from across Muskoka and Parry Sound to pray and celebrate what God is doing in us and through us. I am looking forward to sharing more of the vision and plan in the weeks ahead as we continue to pray that God would grow our faith as we seek him and see him more clearly … he is all powerful and completely trustworthy. Our hope and prayer is that God would fulfill his promise from Habakkuk 2:14: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” May that begin in our hearts, our families, our communities and that God would use us as a church to see this happen throughout the whole earth. Thank you all for you partnership in this … ONE God, ONE Church, ONE Mission.
As was announced early this fall, Harvest Bible Fellowship (the organization that we were serving with as a church) was essentially shut down and many HBF churches were moving away from James MacDonald’s leadership.
When we launched as a church nearly 10 years ago we didn’t plant with HBF because of a brand or because of a particular leader – we were eager to be a part of HBF because of the clarity, urgency and simplicity of the vision and the mission. So while we are thankful for the years with HBF, we move forward with anticipation as we partner with a new fellowship called the Great Commission Collective (GCC).
We are very excited for what God has for us in this new chapter!
As we move forward, what will a GCC church look like?
The GCC exists to empower the local church to fulfill the mission of making disciples in every nation.
This happens through equipping, training and coaching us, as the local church, to raise up pastors and leaders and partner together with other churches to plant more great commission churches around the world.
In the past we participated with HBF through giving 5% of our budget. This money was used by HBF to plant churches. The GCC will only take 2.5% and allow the local church to use the other half to help fund church planting efforts that God places on their hearts.
In doing this, the GCC is striving to move the model from churches supporting an organization that plants churches to being an organization that equips the local church to plant churches.
Harvest Muskoka, as a GCC church, will have at the core of this mission a conviction that a WORSHIPPING Church will be a SENDING Church.
As God finds worshipers who adore Him in spirit and truth, a watching world notices. This invitation to worship is not just an invitation to experience God’s presence; it’s an invitation to share His presence –worshipping and sending.
This conviction is seen in the 6 Distinctives of a GCC Church:
WE ARE A WORSHIPPING CHURCH:
- Fervent Prayer: We will seek the Lord, His Will and His way with hearts humble before him and confident in his plan
- Bold Preaching: We will fearlessly proclaim the truth about God and His Gospel by preaching the Scriptures in context with a dependence on the Holy Spirit to bring eternal life change.
- Passionate Worship: We will join our voices and lives with worshippers from every tribe, tongue and people to exalt Jesus Christ, responding to His matchless name.
WE ARE A SENDING CHURCH:
- Purposeful Disciple-Making: We will unreservedly give ourselves to the multiplication and maturation of Jesus’ followers in the pursuit of Christ-likeness together
- Courageous Evangelism: We will invade the darkness of a lost world by proclaiming the truth about Jesus and demonstrating His compassion locally and globally.
- Strategic Church Planting: We will plant churches – irresistible communities committed to the worship of God, the making of disciples, and the sending of multipliers into a world that needs Christ.
We pray that God will continue to use each of us for his mission…as God’s people, under God’s word, filled with God’s Spirit are humbly and desperately calling out to him…we will see God at work!
This summer it was announced that, with over 150 churches, HBF had become too large for a centralized structure (all the churches reporting to one church) and so a process was in place to regionalize the leadership structure.
As was mentioned in the earlier announcement, the Fellowship here in Canada is different than in the US as we are already a fully separate, autonomous legal charity, with our own functioning board. So while the Canadian Harvest Churches have been, in essence, regionalized for years this was now an HBF-wide change.
In this process of regionalization James MacDonald (the founding pastor and head of HBF) chose to abruptly resign from leading HBF.
So, rather than just regionalizing, we are joining a group of churches to form a completely new organization outside of James MacDonald’s leadership.
Please pray for the key leaders who are working to establish a new fellowship (tentatively called, the Great Commission Collective) marked by humility and the call of the gospel.
A group of 189 pastors and leaders, from 9 countries, representing 118 churches (including Pastor Kaj and Godfrey) are meeting in Dallas in a couple of weeks to prayerfully put together the next steps for what this new fellowship of churches will look like.
There is a lot of excitement for what God is building! Please be upholding us in prayer, as this re-establishing of the Fellowship is a significant task.
We will keep you up-to-date as more changes develop in the coming months.
Some FAQ’s that you may be asking:
How does this affect our church here in Muskoka and Parry Sound? There is no effect at all to what we are going here in our 2 Campuses. Also, as the organization moves forward there will be the same deep commitment to the same biblical values/ministry model we had since we launched.
Will we be changing our Church name? There are no plans right now to make a name change.
When will more details be coming? When Pastor Kaj returns from meeting in Dallas there will be much more clarity. Until then you can direct any questions to Kaj or any of our other Elders.