One of the exciting gifts in my role is the opportunity to dialogue with other Canadian denominational leaders. While the Anabaptist perspective I bring is an important contribution to the dialogue I also benefit from the perspective of others.
One such meeting recently with denominational leaders within the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) produced an interesting conversation. We were discerning together what new initiatives will be required for missional effectiveness in Canada. The discussion turned to church planting and the need to develop congregations that appeal to Caucasian Canadians.
This prompted one denominational leader to exclaim: “For denominations to be effective in the future they will need to focus on new Canadian church plants. It will be the new Canadians who will reach out to the white, young adult Canadians. You see that happening already in the second generation English services of these congregations.”
It was an interesting comment that caused us all to pause in silence. I had often heard denominations lament that the only new congregations being formed were among new Canadian groups. But here was a perspective that not only applauded this reality but declared it to be of strategic importance for impacting mainstream Canadian society.
I have always appreciated the ethnic diversity within Mennonite Church Canada and feel we are much richer as a Church family because of it. We worship in over 15 different languages. This is a reality to be celebrated.
Perhaps it is true: that as we embrace the enthusiastic witness of new Canadians, our impact in mainstream Canadian society will be strengthened.