By Ivy Mak and Jacqueline Solomon
Trying something new in ministry requires innovation, openness to the Holy Spirit and… courage. Taking any risk brings with it the possibility of roaring success, dismal failure or anything in between. But being innovative in ministry often means that we are listening to our creative Father and showing a willingness to follow his leading, which is why CBOQ provides grants to churches to help them as they step out in faith. One such risk-taker is Montreal Chinese Baptist Church (MCBC). Despite being a small Chinese church in a predominantly French-speaking province, MCBC demonstrated great courage as they set out to accomplish something that seemed beyond their ability.
On September 5-6 2014, Montreal Chinese Baptist Church, in collaboration with Initiative 22 and Transform Quebec, and with a grant from CBOQ, organized their first discipleship /evangelism conference “Je Me Souviens: How the Gospel Moves.” With only 0.06% evangelical Christians, Quebec is known as one of the hardest mission fields in North America due to a multitude of cultural and historical reasons. Seeing the pressing need for evangelical movements in the province, the two-day conference aimed to equip and mobilize the Church for the work of the Gospel in Quebec.
The phrase “Je Me Souviens” means “I remember”. Dated back from the end of the 1800s, it is found easily throughout the province, yet very little is known about its origin or inspiration. Worse still, they don’t know what they are to remember. One assumption is that they should remember the heroes and history of Quebec.
Naming the conference after this motto, their desire and hope was to see God give the phrase a meaning worth remembering – letting him redeem the slogan and write a page in Quebec’s history. When future generations ask, “What do we remember?” They will say:
- “We remember God doing something powerful at the beginning of the 21st century”
- “We remember a spiritual awakening in Quebec and God moving”
- “We remember the church rising to the realities of the 21st century and making a difference”
- “We remember the King of Quebec”
Pastor and writer Jonathan Dodson gave a series of three messages centered on the specific obstacles and needs for the work of the Gospel in Quebec. The messages were then complimented by workshops conducted by local pastors and church planters in Quebec, as well as an international filmmaker based in Montreal. The conference was brought to a close with a discussion panel between all speakers, sharing their experience and vision for the city. It was truly encouraging to witness the emerging movements in Quebec, and we are excited to see where God will bring us next for the glory of his Kingdom.
In one of the least Christian cities in Canada, God has planted a church family that is committed to sharing his message of hope, reconciliation and new life. And it’s just beginning. Pastor Rici’s passion and vision for his province is clear.
“The whole vision of this, how it happened, is that I have a heart to see true revival in Quebec where people would be able to look at Quebec and see that the people are revived – spiritually revived. There’s such a strong history of God here. The vision is to equip and mobilize Christians from across denominations,” says Pastor Rici. “Down the road what we really want is for future generations to see what happened to Quebec and remember God mobilizing people and starting a movement. We want to see this expand where more people are sharing their vision, more people being involved and working with each other. We want to see people who are trying to reach this province working together – sharing in the field, sharing resources and partnering together. We’re looking for a province-wide movement where Christians are rallying together to reach the lost in Quebec.”
At CBOQ, we are so excited to have the opportunity to open up possibilities for churches that are ready and willing to discern what God has in store for them.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
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