One of the perks (if you will) of being a pastor in the Canadian Foursquare Gospel Church is attending our annual pastor’s conventions. This is a time of the year where we get to gather together with pastors from all across the country to connect with one another, receive fresh vision and encouragement in our ministry roles, and simply be refreshed in the presence of the Lord. It’s great to be able to attend a worship service that I don’t have to lead, speak or preach, but simply be able to receive from the Lord.
Another benefit to our national conventions is the opportunity to see other parts of our beautiful nation of Canada as well! Our conventions have taken us to Surrey, British Columbia, Quebec City in Quebec, and even Toronto Ontario (click here to can read about our Subway Adventures in Toronto).
And so this year found Liza and I arriving in Atlantic Canada in the maritime city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Having never been anywhere in the maritime provinces before, we were very excited about the new places we would see! Here is a look at some of the things we saw on our first day:
As you can see by the photo on the left, I enjoy visiting old churches!
On Tuesday night, we had our first session together. The theme for this year’s convention is “Empowered.” This year is the third part in a four year theme of conventions looking at the Foursquare Jesus: Our Saviour, Healer, Baptiser in the Holy Spirit, and soon Coming King. In the session, our President of Foursquare Canada, Steve Falkiner, spoke about experiencing the Holy Spirit.
Steve shared with us about the church in the Book of Acts, and talked about how the fullness of the Holy Spirit was a big deal to them. One of the reasons they saw manifestations of the Holy Spirit in their midst was because of their intentional focus on prayer. The early church saw a connection between Bible teaching and experiences – what a great balance! As they taught on the Holy Spirit, and the people believed what they heard, they received the Holy Spirit. We learned how their worldview in the first century church was much different than ours: They believed in the supernatural – angels, prophets, miracles, and people being raised from the dead. And to the church in Acts, they saw being filled with the Holy Spirit as a part of a bigger picture. It wasn’t just so the church could have ‘Holy Spirit parties’, but rather to be empowered with boldness to be witnesses for Jesus.
My prayer this week is that those of us pastors and leaders who have gathered together from across our great nation of Canada will be inspired, challenged, and equipped to return home with more fire of the Holy Spirit and passion to change our communities for Jesus. Amen!