Our Shared Every Day Faith Journey to 2020

Shared Journey to 2020by Jordan Hageman

As a regular contributor to testimony, I find myself speaking with our PAOC pastors from all over the country to write the story of what God is doing in their specific church community. It’s a fascinating point-of-view I get to have. Whether you can truly grasp this or not, God is up to something in Canada. Because when you talk to a pastor in rural Alberta, and the vision and mission God has given them is the same one that an urban pastor in Toronto has received, that just so happens to be the same mission and vision that the church I attend rolled out in the fall, it makes one pause.

My husband, a PAOC pastor in Stoney Creek, Ontario, and I, went to our Fellowship’s General Conference in the Spring 2018 where we celebrated the start of PAOC’s centennial year. It was our first time attending a General Conference, and we weren’t sure what to expect. It far exceeded our expectations, not just because it was a well-run conference in beautiful Victoria, B.C., but because there was a strong and tangible sense of unity and purpose in our Fellowship. One of the most fascinating moments was Van Johnson’s message called “Now What?” The premise was What do you do with a movement that was never meant to last? I’m not sure if everyone who is attending a PAOC church today knows that the movement that morphed into the founding of PAOC was something that was never supposed to last. Why? Because the pioneers of the PAOC firmly and completely believed that Jesus was coming back soon, and that time was short. There was an urgency to reach as many lost souls as possible in what little time was left, and it spurred bold action among men and women to spread the gospel as far and wide as they could in their country of Canada. If you scroll back through the archives of the history of the PAOC, you will see seemingly fearless men and a shockingly large number of courageous women leaving their families, homes and comfort, and getting on trains and wagons, travelling into unknown and unreached parts of our country to evangelize and plant churches. And they didn’t do this to make a name for themselves or to start a cool, new, hip church. They did it because Jesus was returning and they knew that when He said “Go into all the world and make disciples,” they didn’t want to be caught upon His return sitting at home, twiddling their thumbs.

David Wells, our general superintendent, has placed a great vision and responsibility on our Fellowship to plant at least 350 new churches or places of worship by 2020. He has also called our existing churches to a renewed sense of vitality, purpose and mission. God did not place this vision upon our Fellowship for it to fail, and He did not place this mission upon our shoulders for no reason. The PAOC has always been about relying on the Holy Spirit to accomplish in the supernatural what we cannot in the physical.

Hearing, seeing and believing in the vision and mission of our Fellowship is something we are all called to, not just the leadership.

So, what is this common mission and vision God is saying to our Fellowship’s pastors across Canada? What is He asking His church to accomplish? It’s simple, really.

Are you making disciples like I asked you to?

And here’s why it matters to you. This isn’t a general question the Holy Spirit is asking pastors to ask about their ministries and churches. This is a question God is asking you, personally. Are you making disciples like He has asked you to?

We all have grand ideas of changing the world. Of making a mark and going down in the pages of history for some great and mighty deed we did in our lifetime. But changing the world according to Jesus is quite simple. Who have you personally told about Jesus? Who, through your witness and the power and leading of the Holy Spirit, has come to know Him personally? Who are you right now discipling into greater faith and trust in our Lord? If you can’t answer this question with a name, then you need to pray that God will show you whom He has placed in your life that you have neglected. I guarantee you, God placed you in your province, in your city and in your community because there is a name that should be on your lips when you read those questions. If you read those questions and said to yourself, “That’s not my job, that’s the pastor’s,” you have gravely missed the point of what being a Christian means.

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11, NIV, emphasis mine).

“The fruit of righteousness is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30, NIV).

Many of us have strived to lead faithful lives unto the Lord. We have prayed for love and knowledge and depth of insight. We want to be discerning and lead pure lives, blameless and covered by His blood. But have we prayed to be filled with the fruit of righteousness? Have we prayed that we would be so full of abundant life that we are offering this fruit to others and they are partaking with us? Living faithfully is admirable, but God has not called us to only lead faithful lives, He has called us to lead fruitShareful lives. 

Jordan Hageman is a regular contributor to testimony magazine. Photo © istockphoto.com.

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