candle lightLast week I was privileged to travel the maritimes with a lovely couple, John and Lorraine Baergan from Church Renewal Ministry Canada. This is an organization I have been hearing about for the last year or two. It centres on a church in Steinbach, Manitoba which defies logic as to the numbers who attend worship weekly when compared to the size of the community.

Steinbach of a town of roughly 14,000 people in rural Manitoba, about an hour from Winnipeg.

The weekly attendance at Southland Church is 4,500.

How do they do it?

I can’t share a lot, because I’ve only heard some stories, it’s really something I need to experience for myself. What I do know is that it is a church with a solid foundation on prayer and listening to what Jesus has to say to the people who call this church home.

Realistically, the church has been built by the Holy Spirit. The quote which titles this post is something a pastor said about this church after spending the weekend there.

Lord willing, I will be attending one of their Church Renewal Weekends.

I’m not looking for 4,500 people in my church. I’m looking for ways in which we can be more faithful and more obedient to what Jesus wants to do in our churches and communities. If I can see something that I can bring back to Cape Breton and engage with my church, then the trip will be worth it.

Overall, the response we had after meeting with 19 pastors from a diverse collection of denominations over 4 long days of travel showed me the Maritimes is in need of prayer, and in need of ways of finding hope in these dark days of addiction, under-employment, higher rates of violence, among other issues we face.

This gives me hope. It gave many of us hope.

My prayer is that the Maritimes are ready to receive the hope and love of God in a powerful way.