A former minister of our Church gave this prophecy about Edmonton Baptist Church a number of years ago: “You have been faithful over the past years in proclaiming the Good News. There is a new season coming when you are called to see a deepening of faith. You cannot allow the fruit to wither on the vine. Teach, love, encourage, bless and nurture those I am bringing to you. This is your new calling. Walk in faith and I will meet your needs”.
Some weeks later, a member of our congregation reiterated this prophecy with a word from the Lord that said, “how are you preparing for growth?”
With these encouragements, we committed to developing a mature Christ-centred congregation that was biblically literate, engaged in dynamic worship and prayer, deepening in fellowship and reaching out to a world hungry for the Gospel.
A Vision Plan was developed that included five “big ideas” that would be reflected in all we did as a Church:
Dynamic worship and prayer
Mission outreach both local and global
This vision still holds good today for Edmonton Baptist Church but in 2017 as we were reviewing our ministry team due to the retirement of our former Lead Minister, we felt led by the Spirit to add a new emphasis to the fifth point, summed up in the following strapline:
“From Maintenance to Mission”
Having developed our core biblical teaching, grown a preaching team, holding a number of prayer meetings during the week, and running a reasonably effective pastoral support network, mission had become the poor relation, as we had perhaps focussed too much internally, “maintaining” our existing church life with limited intentional mission.
The first action we took was to engage a new “Mission and Outreach Minister”, William Clark, to help us focus on all aspects of mission, locally, nationally and internationally. See Staff and Leadership for more details of our Leadership Team and see Mission for a fuller description of what we consider constitutes “Mission” and what we are currently planning to do to take this exciting venture forward.
“Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20 and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew chapter 28, verses 19 to 20)