Our Friday morning session opened with worship being led by the Pacific Life Bible College North America Tour Team. As an alumni from PLBC, I have a great love for my alma mater, and always look forward to hosting these students at our church every year. But after having seen a brief snippet of their presentation about the life-transforming power of the truth of God’s Word, I am more exciting than ever. (To those who are reading my blog locally, please come and join us on Wed. May 23rd at 7:00 pm to see this presentation).
After worship, we heard from another one of our Canadian Foursquare missionaries, Michel-lyn, who has been serving the Lord in Bangkok, Thailand. The speaker for this session was John Amstutz, the author of Disciples of All Nations. (Incidentally, I quoted from his book in my other blog today in a post: Called to Be a Missionary Christian. Check it out…). He talked about the church’s continuous mission until He comes: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matthew 28:19). He reminded us about how the Foursquare Gospel church is “dedicated unto the cause of interdenominational, world-wide evangelism.” The mission of our church is to glorify God and advance His kingdom by preaching the Gospel and making disciples. (If you are a Christian reading this, I want to challenge you – have you shared the Good News about Jesus with someone lately?).
The evening session was a significant moment in the life of our Canadian Foursquare Church. With the passing of the baton from our current President, Pastor Barry Buzza, who has served in this role for the past five years, to Steve Falkiner, our President-elect, it was a historic event.
After several people shared words for and about Steve, Glenn Burris, the President of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel got up and shared some words as well. After that, we had several pastors and leaders come and lay hands on Steve for his inauguration as the leader of our Foursquare family.
After this time of prayer and celebration, John Amstutz spoke again, challenging us as Christians to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ – speaking of making and multiplying disciples. Jesus has called us to go and bear fruit (John 15:6), and we need to follow Jesus’ example of discipleship. He said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” We are called first of all to be disciples, then to make disciples. (A challenge again to the believers reading this – who are you intentionally discipling in your life?).
In our final session on Saturday morning, Pastor Barry Buzza and Rebecca Friesen did a little tag-team teaching with a message called The Unfinished Life. Looking at Hebrews 11-13, Rebecca shared how we run the race by throwing off everything that hinders us, and fixing our eyes on Jesus. She shared the sobering statistic that 7 out of 10 leaders called by God will not finish well – either because of moral failure and they are disqualified, or they get burned out and quit. The 3 out of 10 leaders who finish well have one thing in common: accountable relationships. Then Pastor Barry shared how although we tend to think success in life revolves around me and the work I do, all that God really requires of us is that we be faithful stewards of His work. Amen!
We also heard from our good friends, Costa Rica missionaries John and Debbie Overholt, and saw a video of what God is currently doing through their many church plants there. (The picture here is of John and Debbie with Liza and me from the convention). Our church is sending a short term mission team to partner together with them in July – watch in the months to come for more reports about this team and their trip…
In the final session on Saturday morning, we had the opportunity to hear from Steve Falkiner as he shared about God’s vision for a family who would bear the likeness of His son, Jesus. He shared his love for and stressed the importance of the local church in fulfilling this mission. As Hebrews 10:24-25 exhorts us, we are to spur one another on to love and good deeds, and not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. He closed with a challenge to us – what do we need to lay down for Jesus?
There’s so much more that I could share from this convention, but I’ll close here for now. After the final session on Saturday, my wife Liza and I went on a tour bus with several other pastors to Niagara Falls. It was the first time I had been there, and it was breathtaking! Here are a couple of pics from our trip there.
Blessings to you today!