THE FRUITFULNESS OF COLLABORATION
HEART OF THE VILLAGE
IS THREE BETTER THAN ONE?
THE FRUITFULNESS OF
by Steve Jones
The Bible tells us two are better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9). The whole is greater than the sum of its parts: in other
words, we should expect more from a combined collaborative effort than from each individual part alone. The synergy
of intentional collaborative partnership has the exponential possibility of combining and adding greater capacity to
our own effort — we are stronger together.
Each year I ask the Lord for a Scripture verse for our Fellowship. Last year, during our “Year of Renewal”, our theme
verse was Hosea 12:6 (NIV):
“But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.”
How could any of us have known we would experience a pandemic and opportunity to look deep into our souls and
discover if we truly trust God in times of acute uncertainty. I am looking forward to hearing in the years to come testimonies
of COVID conversions and transformation of lives during these pandemic days.
In 2021 our theme verse is I Corinthians 1:10 (NIV):
THE FIRST WORD
“I APPEAL TO YOU, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD
JESUS CHRIST, THAT ALL OF YOU AGREE WITH ONE ANOTHER IN WHAT
YOU SAY AND THAT THERE BE NO DIVISIONS AMONG YOU, BUT THAT YOU
BE PERFECTLY UNITED IN MIND AND THOUGHT.”
thrive / 3
I would like to call on all our churches and missions personnel to make 2021 our
“Year of Collaboration” — a time to:
• Agree with one another as we continue discussing deeper collaboration
with two other Canadian Baptist families, the Baptist General Conference
(BGC)” and Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC).
• Experience no division within our churches, Regions, and National ministries
as we complete the process of developing our next Fellowship National
Strategic Plan (2021-2026).
• Witness perfect unity among our churches as we navigate the realities of
creative ministry in these days of pandemic restrictions.
In this edition of Thrive, Collaborate: Fruitful Partnerships, we will be sharing and
celebrating what God has done in our movement over the past five years during
our Fellowship National Strategic Plan: 2015-2020 (20/20 by 2020). God has been
good! Fellowship National has partnered with our churches and experienced the
“more fruit” Jesus alludes to in John 15. Let’s thank the Lord and celebrate the
Kingdom fruit: 70 missionaries and 84 chaplains being appointed, the creation of
36 Francophone church plant partnerships, and 74 new churches planted across
the five Regions of our Fellowship in Canada between 2015-2020. This is good
We will mention some other highlights of the past five years while also looking
ahead. I’ll be sharing some news on discussions about possible deeper collaboration
with the Baptist General Conference and the Canadian National Baptist
Convention. Our three Baptist families are in conversation about how we might
better collaborate to ensure a greater missional impact on Canada for the Gospel. I
will also share about our upcoming Fellowship National Strategic Plan for 2021-
2026, “Catalyze: Disciples making Disciples Everywhere”.
My hope and prayer is that the news shared in this edition of Thrive magazine will
encourage you and embolden you to join the team, because together everyone accomplishes
Steven Jones is President of The
Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist
Churches in Canada. Follow Steve on
4 / thrive Winter 2021
THE FELLOWSHIP’S THEME VERSE FOR 2021 IS:
“I APPEAL TO YOU, BROTHERS AND SISTERS,
IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,
THAT ALL OF YOU AGREE WITH ONE ANOTHER
IN WHAT YOU SAY AND THAT THERE BE NO
DIVISIONS AMONG YOU, BUT THAT YOU BE
PERFECTLY UNITED IN MIND AND THOUGHT.”
I CORINTHIANS 1:10 (NIV)
You can connect with us on FACEBOOK:
on INSTAGRAM: @FellowshipNatl,
and on TWITTER: @FellowshipNatl.
Come and join the conversation.
2 THE FIRST WORD
THE FRUITFULNESS OF COLLABORATION / Steve Jones
5 BAPTIST BUILDERS: VILLE D’ANJOU, QC / Rob Cole
CHANGE A LIFE, SPONSOR A CHILD
6 OUT THERE
WHATSAPP / Lynda Schultz
DISCIPLESHIP MATTERS / Luc Tétreault
AND AS IT HAPPENED… / Dave Marttunen
THANK YOU DAVID MARTTUNEN / Steve Jones
10 LOVE EXTENDED
MEASURING FAIR’S IMPACT / Val Heaton
HEART OF THE VILLAGE / Denise Wicks
20 TRUTH TALK
IS THREE BETTER THAN ONE? / Steve Jones
22 THE LAST WORD
ON THE HORIZON / Steve Jones
14 GROUND WORK
FRUITFUL YEARS OF PARTNERSHIP
REFLECTING ON GOD’S BLESSINGS / Bethany Anderson
HOW FIRM THIS FOUNDATION / Lynda Schultz
MISSION STATEMENT: Thrive is the official magazine of The Fellowship of
Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada. It is published to enhance the life and ministry
of church leaders and members in Fellowship congregations by providing articles,
resources and news that reflect evangelical values, a common mission as well as a shared
sense of identity and vision. Thrive is published three times a year and is available in
English and French.
© The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada
MINISTRY CENTRE: P.O. Box 457, Guelph ON N1H 6K9
T: 519-821-4830 F: 519-821-9829 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
SENIOR EDITOR: Steven Jones MANAGING EDITOR: Valerie Heaton COPY EDITOR: Jesskah McCartney LAYOUT & DESIGN: Ampersand
EMAIL: email@example.com POSTAGE: Return undeliverable Canadian address to Circulation Department, P.O. Box 457, Guelph ON N1H 6K9
VILLE D’ANJOU, QC by Rob Cole
The Baptist Builders program, established over 40 years ago,
assists churches with the first-time purchase of land, with
an existing building, or with construction of a building. Each
new appeal provides an opportunity for committed Baptist
Builder partners to support a new project, helping to expand
the reach of the Kingdom. This winter, Baptist Builder seeks to
support a church plant in Ville d’Anjou, QC, in their efforts to
create a permanent meeting space. Approximately 20 people
are currently meeting every Sunday afternoon either outside,
when weather permits, or on Zoom, and once each month in
the Rivière-des-Prairies church building.
With the help of AÉBÉQ Regional Church Planting
Commission they have acquired a small house in Anjou, intending
to use the basement as a meeting space once pandemic
restrictions allow. Their goal is to start having small meetings
of people (young people, discipleship, prayer, etc.). In order to
meet this goal, the basement must first be renovated. Would
you prayerfully consider becoming a Baptist Builder? By partnering
together, we can help a small church reach out to this
For more information on our Baptist Builders program, please visit fellowship.ca/BaptistBuilders.
CHANGE A LIFE,
SPONSOR A CHILD
Across the globe there are countless children who are in need,
living in impoverished conditions without access to the education,
nutrition, and emotional and physical support they need
in order to thrive. The Fellowship Child Sponsorship Program
provides Fellowship churches and individuals with a way to directly
support a child in need through sponsorship. By partnering
with Fellowship missionaries working in one of four areas
of ministry — Casa Hogar (Honduras), Cedar Home (Lebanon),
Clementia Life Centre (Lebanon), and Love Trust (Sri Lanka)
— we can enable them to do the hard work of ministering to
children who have been left behind, displaced, unappreciated,
and under-resourced. Using a holistic approach, they provide
for the educational, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs
of each child. Through sponsorship, these children are being
given access to so much more than they would have otherwise,
and we in turn are given the opportunity to be generous in a
way that has huge potential impact. Would you prayerfully
consider sponsoring a child? In doing so, you can bring meaningful
change to a child’s life today.
For more information about the Fellowship Child Sponsorship
Program, please visit fellowship.ca/ChildSponsorship.
by Lynda Schultz
Bugs Bunny, of Looney Tunes fame, used to tap his companion characters on the shoulder and ask:
“What’s up, Doc?” Today we have Whatsapp, an online communications tool asking that same question.
But whichever model works best for you, Dave Marttunen, recently retired Director of Fellowship
International, Luc Tétreault, Fellowship International Associate Director, and Ben Porter, Fellowship
International Candidate Coordinator have the answers.
OUT THERE: FELLOWSHIP INTERNATIONAL
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PAST
Dave: In 2018 the Poland Summit for
Fellowship International missionaries
and staff provided a framework
for building groups that could, in
time, become churches. Fast forward
to Colombia 2020, which now has 80
trained leaders and 100 groups with
500 participants, of which twentyfive
percent are not yet believers.
There are a number of small groups among people of
Muslim background. Twenty full-time missionaries have
been added over the last six years, and four new fields, including
two closed countries.
Luc: Recently, the tendency has been towards smaller
groups of missionaries, and individuals working without
the benefit of the care that a larger group provides. Much
of that responsibility has been gladly taken on by our
Fellowship International staff and the Services department
of Fellowship National. We are grateful for the creativity of
our staff and the new technologies at our disposal permitting
us to easily remain in contact with our missionaries
scattered across the globe.
Ben: Over the last year there has been an influx of individuals
and couples exploring mid-term and long-term missions
with Fellowship International. Currently there are about 30
people who are in various stages of the process.
thrive / 7
WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE CREATIVITY OF OUR STAFF AND THE NEW
TECHNOLOGIES AT OUR DISPOSAL PERMITTING US TO EASILY REMAIN
IN CONTACT WITH OUR MISSIONARIES SCATTERED ACROSS THE GLOBE.
Dave: Fellowship pastors and missions committees
have increased their referrals to our department as we
have widened our scope to include disciple-making, training
national leaders, and FAIR projects or humanitarian
Luc: The work of reaching the world
is much too vast for us to do alone.
Formal and informal partnerships benefit
us and our partners. For example,
one Fellowship missionary is working
in Ethiopia with a group of churches —
over 10 million members combined —
helping them to prepare, mobilize, and
better support an army of Ethiopian
Ben: We have seen the need for partnership development in
supporting our recruitment and communication. Power to
Change, Onside Athletics, Tyndale University and Seminary,
a variety of Fellowship churches, and a mission meeting hub
in Toronto are just some examples.
Dave: In 2019 we were able to connect with a missionary
leader in Asia who has published two excellent ebooks describing
how a movement among Muslims was initiated and
developed. Currently this movement has spread to seven nations
with 300,000 followers and 78,000 trained leaders.
Luc: We needed to refocus on making disciples who would
make other disciples. We did research on disciple-making
movements (DMMs) and collected resources to share with
our missionaries. We learned about the Discover App
(discoverapp.org), a simple tool to help participants through
a series of discovery Bible studies. The founder, an experienced
DMM practitioner, also provides DMM training. About
half of our missionaries have benefitted, or will soon benefit,
from his experience.
Ben: Our Launch program has met a need
for local churches exploring long-term
missions. Another initiative has been
more emphasis on increased video communication,
which helps drive our social
media presence, share what God has been
doing through Fellowship International,
and showcases opportunities for
NEW AREAS OF MINISTRY AND OLDER FIELDS
Dave: Latin American churches have advanced missions in
their own regions and sent their first missionaries to Spain and
the Canary Islands. The Japan team is being revitalized with
the addition of three new missionaries who will be working
through the Disciple-Making Movement strategy alongside our
two veteran couples. Inroads are being made in the D.R. Congo
as the Disciple-Making Movement Strategy takes hold among
Luc: Lebanon suffered greatly in 2020, and I am grateful that
our team has chosen to remain there. This has required flexibility,
creativity, and perseverance. There is a forward-looking
vision to see the Gospel spread to the rest of the Middle East
and North Africa, as well as among Arabic-speaking people in
Ontario and Quebec. We are grateful for AÉBÉQ’s invitation to
send missionaries to Quebec with the focus on disciple-making
and recruiting new workers to reach francophones — the largest
underreached people group in North America. We are also
encouraged to know that, despite huge obstacles, the Gospel is
spreading through Pakistan, one of our oldest fields of service.
Ben: It is exciting to have an experienced couple appointed to
Madagascar, along with two new missionaries who are connecting
with international students and helping churches reach the
increasing ethnic population in the GTA.
WHATSAPP? A LOT—WITH MUCH MORE TO BE
— Lynda Schultz is a former Fellowship missionary, former
editor of Thrive magazine, Bible teacher, author, blogger,
and currently Fellowship Archives Co-ordinator.
FELLOWSHIP INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR
Fellowship National is currently searching for interested candidates for the position of Fellowship International Director. The
job description is available at: fellowship.ca/FellowshipInternationalDirectordescription. Those wishing to be considered
for this position should forward their resume, by February 28, 2021, to the President at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Only those
applicants being considered for the position will be contacted (by March 2021).
8 / thrive Winter 2021
by Luc Tétreault
“AND I WANT YOU TO KNOW, MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS THAT
EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME HERE HAS HELPED TO SPREAD
THE GOOD NEWS.” PHILIPPIANS 1 :12 (NLT)
Fellowship International exists to
catalyze disciple-making movements
by empowering nationals. Our desire is
for those we disciple to become makers of
disciples who will make other disciples.
We pray, we investigate, we strategize,
and we implement, all with this goal in
Like many of you, we have had to face the reality that 2020
didn’t quite work out the way we had planned. The words of the
apostle Paul quoted above remind us that the hardships we suffer
can help the progress of the Gospel.
During these difficult times many of our missionaries reported
an increased willingness to speak about spiritual things from
people who normally would not be open to such conversations.
Because of the difficulty of gathering together physically, most
have turned to virtual conversations with the people they are
ministering to, inviting them to discover what God’s Word says
Fellowship missionaries Diego and Claudia Cardona have
trained 80 discovery Bible study (DBS) facilitators in Colombia
since the beginning of 2020. These DBS facilitators have started
100 groups, totaling 500 people, 25% of whom are being
exposed to God’s Word and His Good News for the first time.
Ken and Cathy Yinger are reporting that a DBS they facilitate
has expanded from their city in Spain to South America because
one of the participants shared what she was learning in
God’s Word with a friend, who is now part of the DBS.
Brenda and Richard Flemming are based in Canada. Brenda
has started a network of discovery Bible studies in Guelph, ON,
virtually, with a friend and new believer who realized she needs
to help others discover who God really is through His Word.
Richard is working with church denomination leaders in the
D. R. Congo who are excited about using DBS to make disciples
who will become disciple-makers themselves.
In Lebanon, Indonesia, and Spain our missionaries are training
Many of our missionaries and staff are now being coached
by individuals who have seen God establish disciple-making
movements around the world.
We are seeing God’s Hand at work in magnificent ways during
this pandemic. We, too, can say that everything that has happened
to us has helped the spread of the Good News!
—Luc Tétreault is Fellowship International Associate Director.
thrive / 9
AND AS IT
by Dave Marttunen
Most of my life has been governed by the phrase “and as it
happened…” (Ruth 2:3 NRSV), not as a nod to coincidence,
but rather an expressed belief that God is providentially guiding
my wife Donna and me.
My role with Fellowship International is changing on January
1, 2021: I will formally retire and become a volunteer ministry
and member care coach. Donna and I have been caring for our
missionaries since 1992, and this new opportunity allows us to
stay involved, serve our missionary family, and use our gifts to
advance the mission and values of the department.
There have been many highlights for me as the Director of
Fellowship International, the introduction of the disciple-making
movement (DMM) strategy being high on that list. Recently
Diego Cardona, a Fellowship missionary in Colombia, shared
that he has trained 80 leaders using the discovery Bible study
model — one of the key methods in the DMM strategy. These
leaders have gone on to found many new discover Bible study
groups, bringing the Gospel to an exponential number of individuals.
This is but one example of the fruit coming from our
I am deeply grateful to God for the pleasure of leading the
Fellowship International department for the last six years, and
to the Fellowship for their prayers and generous support for our
new missionaries. The Lord has added 20 full-time missionaries
to our Fellowship International family, and others in mid-term
and short-term ministry.
Thanks be to God for the forming and deepening of lasting relationships
across Canada and around the world with those who
work to bring people to Jesus!
— Dave Marttunen served as Fellowship International
Director until January 2021. Dave now serves as Fellowship
International Ministry and Member Care Coach.
THANK YOU, DAVE MARTTUNEN!
by Steve Jones
After six years as our Fellowship International Director, Dave Marttunen is stepping down, but not out. He will be
transitioning into a part-time role as our ministry and member care coach in January 2021.
On behalf of our local churches and National Council, I want to thank both Dave and Donna for their compassionate
care of our missionary family, International staff, and churches. Dave has served us with distinction. We have
experienced a recruitment boom in these six years with the appointment of 20 long-term, 25 mid-term, and 26 shortterm
Fellowship missionaries. We acquired and further developed an indigenous leadership development ministry,
LeadersFormation, along with many other initiatives. Possibly the most impactful contribution that Dave made with the
department was training our missionaries in the disciple-making movement strategy. The critical work of our mission
personnel focusses on making disciples who then go on to start Discovery Bible studies (making new disciples) and coach
nationals to plant churches.
Thank you, Dave and Donna, for six fruitful years as Fellowship International director. We are grateful to still have you on the
Please be in prayer as the search for our next Fellowship International Director continues.
by Valerie Heaton
As the first five years of FAIR’s ministry come to a close, FAIR Director, Dan Shurr, and FAIR Projects and
Promotion Coordinator, Denise Wicks update us on what’s been happening in the humanitarian relief
department over the last five years, recounting the enormous impact of the various projects funded by our
Fellowship churches and individuals.
LOVE EXTENDED: FAIR
FAIR’s mission is to alleviate human suffering and social injustice in
our world. How has this mission directed FAIR’s ministry over the
past five years, since the department’s official launch?
Dan: It has propelled us to seek out partnerships
with like-minded faith-based
organizations, and has led us to not only
make wonderful progress in alleviating
human suffering and social injustice, but
to be able to offer education about our
causes to our Fellowship churches as well.
Denise: This mission has acted
as the lens through which we
view each potential project as
we decide whether to promote
it to Fellowship churches and
FAIR donors. This means that
every need that is presented
through an appeal or in our
catalogue represents some
form of human suffering or social injustice that FAIR
is seeking to address.
thrive / 11
*FULL DESCRIPTIONS OF FAIR’S FORMAL PARTNERSHIPS
CAN BE FOUND ON OUR WEBSITE:
Partnership plays a significant role in
FAIR’s ministry. Can you describe these
ferent types of partnerships, and elaborate on
how they help to accomplish FAIR’s ministry
Denise: When FAIR partners with an organization,
the purpose is to provide Fellowship
churches access to that organization’s expertise.
Partners are carefully selected based
on whether they are a like-minded organization
and the kind of work they are doing. The
major benefit to this is that FAIR doesn’t have to
“recreate the wheel”. For example, because FAIR
has partnered with International Justice Mission
(IJM), there is no need to build a Fellowship justicefocused
ministry to be able to help Fellowship
churches engage in freeing the exploited. FAIR also
partners with different organizations on a case-bycase
basis to respond to emergency needs when there
are no Fellowship International missionaries present in
that country. In these cases, organizations are selected
based on their current presence in the affected country
and ability to respond to the need. This greatly expands
the number of countries that Fellowship churches and
donors can extend the love of Christ to through their giving
in a time of crisis.
Dan: This was the motivating factor for FAIR to enter into
a myriad of important partnerships, including: our partnership
with International Justice Mission Canada, to fight the
online sexual exploitation of young children in the Philippines;
our partnership with BridgeNorth seeking to rescue women
trapped in Canada’s sex trade; our partnership with Operation
Mobilization Canada, enabling us to quickly respond to disasters
with emergency relief; our partnership with Pregnancy
Care Canada; our partnership with Christian and Missionary
Alliance to help refugees seeking safe haven in Canada; and
finally, our membership in the Canadian Council of Relief
and Development organizations, which allows us access to
relevant, wise, and practical teaching for our staff and missionary
partners. However, our greatest partnership is with our
local churches. We have many church partners who choose to
support FAIR projects, sometimes going as far as to send work
teams to provide practical help!
What are some other highlights from the last five years of ministry
Dan: In 2019 FAIR stepped out in faith to administer the
Fellowship Child Sponsorship program, operating in four ministries
across Honduras, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka. We also experienced
some notable staffing changes, such as Norman Nielsen
retiring from his position as FAIR associate director and transitioning
to serving as volunteer supervisor of Latin America
project managers. Also, Denise Wicks, former FAIR administrative
assistant, was promoted to the position of project and
Denise: It has been such a blessing to see how generously
churches, businesses and individuals respond to the needs that
are presented through FAIR. God has been providing abundantly
for each of the projects that have been launched in the last five
years, and we have received close to $3.6 million towards these
needs, with over $2,180,500 flowing from Fellowship churches.
We know that there are many worthy causes and crises that
are competing for attention, and it’s humbling to witness the
financial goals of FAIR appeals being met so frequently. Some
highlights for me have been seeing the response to appeals like
Rebuilding Innocence (which established aftercare for children
rescued from cybersex trafficking in the Philippines) and Labour’s
Refuge (which is funding the construction of a birthing clinic
in D.R. Congo). Not only does it mean that these projects can do
more than originally planned, but it shows the heart of those
who are giving. It’s an honour to be part of the FAIR department
and to help your generous giving make Kingdom impact in all
corners of the world.
Looking forward another five years, what are some of the department’s
goals for the future? What direction would you like to see
FAIR move toward?
Dan: We would love to see the Fellowship Child Sponsorship
program fully funded, so that the maximum number of children
could be reached by the Gospel. We also hope to see more
church partnerships with leading Fellowship churches across
Canada and the recruitment of new Fellowship missionaries
who are called to partner with FAIR on relief and development
Denise: In the next five years, FAIR is seeking to continue to
build on the good work that we have been doing for the past
five years. We aim to continue to present needs brought forward
by Fellowship missionaries and partner organizations,
and to increase engagement in immediate and ongoing needs.
Overall, FAIR’s goal for the next five years is to provide new
ways for Fellowship churches and donors to engage in alleviating
human suffering and social injustice.
— Valerie Heaton is Managing Editor of Thrive magazine.
12 / thrive Winter 2021
thrive / 13
HEART OF THE
by Denise Wicks
WORKERS ARE NOT
ONLY GIVEN ACCESS
THEY COULDN’T GET
OTHERWISE, BUT THEY
ALSO HEAR THE GOSPEL
AND LEARN THEIR VALUE
AS CHILDREN OF GOD.
The familiar saying
“it takes a village
to raise a child”
rings particularly true
when a child is born
into difficult circumstances.
In the rural
Sri Lankan village of
Lindula, the reality is that unmarried young
women who find themselves pregnant are
often cast out from society. This effectively
cuts them off from any support they
might get from their family or the village
The people living in Lindula are among
the most marginalized in Sri Lanka, since
the majority are of Indian descent and are
daily workers at tea plantations. If they
don’t work, they don’t get paid. What little
they make at the tea plantations is barely
enough to provide basic necessities for
themselves and their families. Because of
the remote location of the village, access to
social services like education and medical
care is either limited or non-existent.
Through the work of Fellowship missionary
Ronald Jeyaseelan and his team
of local church members and pastors, a
preschool was established in Lindula called
Hannah Montessori. The Lindula preschool,
along with two other preschool locations,
make up Love Trust, our Fellowship
Child Sponsorship ministry in Sri Lanka.
Preschool-aged children of tea plantation
workers are not only given access to education
they couldn’t get otherwise, but they
also hear the Gospel and learn their value
as children of God.
In many ways, the building where Hannah
Montessori operates is the heart of the village.
It’s here that the local church meets,
provides vocational sewing training to
women, and has been distributing basic
food supplies to those most affected by
COVID-19 restrictions. For such a well-used
building, it is in desperate need of repairs
and expansion. Making this happen would
also allow the local church to provide additional
supports, services, and community
Through the Heart of the Village special
appeal, FAIR is partnering with Ronald
Jeyaseelan and his team on the ground in Sri
Lanka. The goal is to raise $85,000 to expand
the holistic nature of the Love Trust ministry
to care for the children’s mothers as well.
Funds raised through the Heart of the Village
will be used toward three areas of expansion
designed to improve the building, maximizing
the impact on both mother and child.
Area one of Heart of the Village appeal is
the planned renovations to the existing
building, which includes the addition and
outfitting of a large recreational/church
space, prenatal care room and vocational
training room, as well as improvements to
the preschool facilities. Area two of Heart of
the Village appeal is acquiring the resources
and labour needed to launch a prenatal
education and food support program for
pregnant women and vocational training
to empower the women of Lindula to support
themselves and their families. Area
three of Heart of the Village is the provision
of support to the Love Trust Fellowship Child
Sponsorship program at all three Sri Lanka
locations as it transitions to being funded
FAIR believes that by supporting and empowering
the pregnant women of Lindula,
we are investing in two lives. Through the
Heart of the Village, we are inviting you to
be the global “village” that helps raise up
marginalized mothers and their children.
You can also commit to being a Love Trust
child sponsor at $35 per month. Would you
prayerfully consider how the Lord is calling
you to respond to this appeal?
— Denise Wicks is FAIR Projects and
FRUITFUL YEARS OF
GROUND LEVEL: FRANCOPHONE
PARTNERSHIP by Valerie Heaton
The Fellowship French Mission was established in 1958, planting over 100 French churches in
Quebec during its lifetime. However, a desire to enable AÉBÉQ, our French Region, to take over
francophone church planting initiatives led to the mission’s retirement. In December 2014, after a
five-year transition period, a new agreement was formed between Fellowship National and AÉBÉQ:
the “7x7=1” model was born, in which seven church partners would commit to support one new
francophone church plant for seven years. Steve Jones, Fellowship President/Francophone Director,
Terry Cuthbert, former National Francophone Coordinator, and Dave Dobson, former Fellowship French
Mission Director, fill us in on what’s been happening in this growing ministry since January 2015.
thrive / 15
Six years ago, the Fellowship French Mission came to an end. What
has been happening in francophone ministry since then?
Steve: Since January 2015, when this
new partnership model was adopted,
Fellowship National has facilitated
75 support relationships between
Fellowship churches and donors and
12 new francophone churches have
been planted in Quebec. In 2018-19 the
AÉBÉQ Region launched Mission Quebec,
the church planting arm of their ministry, while Fellowship
National’s francophone ministry department refreshed its
Direction Document and manual in order to accommodate new
mission Quebec realities. Terry Cuthbert retired as Fellowship
Francophone Coordinator in 2019 and Sergei Li started as our
new coordinator in 2020.
Terry: Over the past five years, our French
Region has assumed greater responsibility
for the recruiting and integration
of missionaries not only from English
Canada, but also from other parts of the
world such as Brazil, France, and the
United States. Another significant development
of this period was Fellowship
International’s decision to include
Quebec as a mission field. Currently, three Fellowship missionary
couples are serving in francophone Quebec.
Dave: I had the privilege of leading the
Fellowship French Mission for the final
16 years of its existence, when we saw
many new churches planted across
Quebec. Between April and December
2014, the last months before the mission
ended, I was forced to step away from
my position due to illness. How grateful
I am that God provided our National
President, Steve Jones, with the vision for the “7x7=1” model so
that our work in francophone Canada could continue unabated.
A significant number of Fellowship churches and individuals
have engaged in this partnership model, and new francophone
church plants have been well supported.
A large part of francophone ministry involves planting new churches.
How are these churches being supported in order to thrive?
Steve: Over the past five years, Fellowship National has sought
to establish six local church partnerships and several individual
donor partnerships per year to help
support new francophone church plants
in Quebec through prayer and financial
giving. Praise God we have exceeded this
goal! Partnerships are established through
Fellowship National but managed by our
National Francophone Coordinator, Sergei
Li, and AÉBÉQ Regional Church Planting
Director, Steve Cloutier. The AÉBÉQ Region
then provides church plants with training,
financial grants, coaching, and member care.
What is a Quebec Vision Tour, and what purpose does it serve?
Steve: Quebec Vision Tours (QVTs) are organized trips that allow
Fellowship leaders to see the realities of church planting in
Quebec. Fellowship pastors, leaders, or local church missions
committee members are able to travel to Montreal, hosted for
two days by Fellowship President Steve Jones. Participants meet
key AÉBÉQ leaders, visit the Region’s seminary, SÉMBÉQ, and
various church plants. Our prayer is that these encounters will
result in a partnership commitment. Due to pandemic restrictions
we are now offering virtual QVTs, consisting of a twohour
Zoom meeting where participants can encounter church
planting opportunities in Quebec. Enroute QVTs, which will
provide an opportunity for Fellowship leaders to gather in their
own Regions with AÉBÉQ leaders and church planters to learn
about church planting in Quebec, will soon be offered as well.
For more information on QVTs please contact Sergei Li at
What are the greatest issues facing those ministering to francophone
Canadians right now? What will the next five years of francophone
ministry look like?
OUR CHURCHES ARE
PIVOTING TO BECOME
MORE MISSIONAL IN
IN ORDER TO GAIN A
VOICE AMONG THOSE
Steve: It has never been
easy to plant churches in
Quebec. The current climate
seems to have moved from
indifference to hostility.
Our churches are pivoting
to become more missional
in their communities in
order to gain a voice among
those hostile toward religion.
Another concern is the need for developing future leaders,
as many pastors in Quebec are now nearing retirement. There is
a critical need for new leaders to replace these faithful retirees.
And lastly, with only 0.8% of French Canadians self-identifying
as evangelical Christians, Quebec remains one of the least
reached people groups in the world. Our Fellowship must
remain committed to reaching French Canadians for Christ. We
pray that over the next five years at least 30 more francophone
church planting partnerships and many more individual donor
partnerships will be established.
Dave: Quebec is much further down the road towards being a
post-modern society than the other Canadian provinces. This
is evidenced by the proliferation of common-law marriages,
the sexual revolution among young adults, and the frequency
of suicide, especially among young males. The need for leaders
stems from the fact that many of our Quebec leaders are
approaching retirement, and there is a scarcity of well-trained
young leaders that are ready to pick up the torch and carry the
Gospel to future generations. It is very difficult to predict what
the future will look like, but I trust that in five years there will
be many more partner churches that will respond to the challenge
of working with new Quebec church plants, that a new
generation of church planters will be raised up, and that our
Fellowship’s church planting efforts will continue to be blessed
by God Almighty.
— Valerie Heaton is Managing Editor of Thrive magazine.
REFLECTING ON GO
GROUND LEVEL: CHAPLAINCY MINISTRY
Fellowship Chaplaincy is an important
ministry that has worked hard to bring the
presence of Christ to people in their workplaces
and communities for the last three decades.
However, in the last five years we have seen
explosive growth in our chaplaincy ministry —
an increase of 84 men and women for a total of
107 Fellowship chaplains. Fellowship Chaplain
member-care Coordinator Richard Flemming
notes that this growth is occurring as “the Lord
is raising up individuals from our churches
who have a passion for the lost. He is bringing
these individuals to us more
than we are looking for them.”
Furthermore, this ministry is
being more widely recognized
as a way for ordinary men and
women to serve in their everyday
lives in a variety of contexts that
do not require years of experience
or qualifications. This means that
our volunteer chaplain role, in particular, have
expanded greatly over the last few years as people
chose to serve in this way. For example, to be a
part of Fellowship Chaplaincy one must undergo
training, but is not required to have previous experience.
Instead, applicants are able to use their
personal life and work knowledge to help equip
them for serving in a ministry role.
Individual experiences, personalized serving, and
engaging in the “ministry of presence” can also
make chaplains more easily accepted by communities
that may be more resistant to the engagement
of pastors or churches. Richard noted that
this is especially true in Quebec, where we have
seen many churches embrace the reach of chaplaincy
into new demographics that is allowing
for a greater reach of the local church when partnered
Many stories of conversion and accounts of how
the Lord is moving have been celebrated by the
thrive / 17
SHINING WHERE YOU ARE SO
THAT OTHERS WILL BE ATTRACTED TO
THE LIGHT THAT SHINES THROUGH YOU.
by Bethany Anderson
ministry’s leaders — Richard, Fellowship Chaplain Coordinator
Larry Freeman, and Fellowship Chaplaincy Director Steve
Jones. Director Steve Jones shares one story:
“One day as Fellowship chaplain Nat Scobie was
asking God whom he should visit, the phone
rang. Whispering, a woman asked if he was the
one who did visits at the nursing home in town.
When he answered that he was, the individual
identified herself as a believer and an employee
of the nursing home and briefly explained
that an elderly man was asking about Christ
as he waited by the side of his dying wife. She
asked if he could come and meet with him.
Nat’s explanation of the Gospel resulted in the
man giving his heart to Christ. For the following
two years, he was part of many Bible studies
with Nat, until his death.”
As we continue to dedicate ourselves to
the growth and expansion of Fellowship
Chaplaincy through further training
of our chaplains and growth in our
churches, there is a hope, as Larry notes,
to see “pastors challenging their people
to become chaplains in the places in
which they work, becoming partners
with Fellowship Chaplaincy just as our
churches partner with our missionaries.”
During these particularly uncertain times, being a part of the
“ministry of presence” wherever you are is principally important.
As Larry himself says, “that is what chaplaincy is: shining
where you are so that others will be attracted to the light that
shines through you. You have the relationships, you have the
access — now we need you to make yourself available to come
alongside and enter into the lives of those you work with, showing
them God’s love.”
— Bethany Anderson is Fellowship Administrative Assistant/
Social Media Coordinator, and is currently on maternity leave.
by Lynda Schultz
thrive / 19
The Fellowship Foundation, as a “new kid on the block”
in the Fellowship’s family of ministries, was established
in March of 2015 and has grown up to be a very significant
“kid.” Three key participants have been President Steve
Jones, Fellowship Advancement Director Gord Baptist, and
Foundation Secretary/Treasurer Rob Cole.
Establishing a Foundation was a topic of discussion within
National Council when Steve Jones became President in 2011.
Since then Steve has guided the process. By 2012 a legal audit
and plan was presented to Council. In 2013 both a policy
and procedures manual and a direction document were
written. By 2014, the hunt for a director began. Early in 2015
the Foundation was officially launched and the Foundation
directors, currently chaired by Doug Blair, approved the fund
manager, governance, and investment policies. The following
year, Gord Baptist became Fellowship Advancement Director,
responsible for the oversight of the Foundation and for promoting,
educating, and facilitating generosity among our
Steve comments: “The primary role of
the Foundation is to support Fellowship
people and churches in their generous
stewardship of God’s resources. Just as
critically, the Foundation is designed to
financially support Fellowship churches
and ministries into the future.” And
he adds: “…in the first five years of the
Fellowship Foundation, our constituency
gave over $7.1 million dollars in direct revenue, legacies, and
investments — exceeding our five-year goal by $1 million…
I’m excited by the missional opportunities that won’t be lost
because of lack of resources.”
Gord’s task has grown: “…my focus has
been to discover innovative ways, means,
and support materials to help connect
God’s people and their financial resources
to Fellowship ministries using
our Foundation. This includes handling
major gifts, legacy gifts through estate
planning, and helping our churches and
affiliates invest their dollars to generate
growth to fund their missions. More recently I have been speaking
to churches and groups on the blessings of giving, different
ways of giving, and helping people to understand the joy and
benefits of generosity.”
Rob Cole, who was in on the discussion
before the beginning, became Secretary/
Treasurer and is now also the main liaison
between the Foundation and C.I.
Institutional Asset Management, where
the funds are invested. He maintains the
books and records and communicates
regularly with the Foundation’s participants.
“The most exciting thing for me,”
says Rob, “has been the generosity of our church members in
including the Foundation in their Wills and providing over $4
million in legacies to support Kingdom-related ministries and
organizations. This initial response will put the Foundation in
a strong position in the future to provide financial support to
God’s work in Canada and around the world.”
God has been good, and there is more to come. As Director,
Gord’s dream is this: “Imagine... funds allocated to missions
would grow on a regular basis to provide support for newly appointed
missionaries. When a disaster comes or need arises, the
growth from a specific pocket of capital would be readily available
for relief purposes, to help provide loans to build churches,
or to support a chaplain ministry in jails, hospitals and nursing
homes through our chaplaincy ministry. My prayer is that
by the end of 2025, there would be $16 million earmarked for
ministries such as these… All of this would be done with one
specific goal in mind: to glorify God and advance all ministries
in His Kingdom.”
— Lynda is a former Fellowship missionary, former editor of
Thrive Magazine, Bible teacher, author, blogger, and currently
Fellowship Archives Co-ordinator.
AND THERE IS
MORE TO COME
IF YOU HAVE INQUIRIES ABOUT INCLUDING THE FELLOWSHIP
FOUNDATION IN A WILL OR CONDUCTING SEMINARS ON
ESTATE PLANNING OR DEBT RETIREMENT IN YOUR CHURCH
OR MINISTRY, PLEASE CONTACT GORD BAPTIST AT
GBAPTIST@FELLOWSHIP.CA, OR 519.821.4830, EXT. 244.
truth talk Winter 2021
IS THREE BETTER
THAN ONE? by Steve Jones
Since the 1990s, the executive leaders of five Baptist
groups in Canada have gathered periodically for prayer,
study, fellowship, and conversation about mission. In 2016
the presidents of the Fellowship and the Baptist General
Conference started a conversation about the possibility
of collaboration to better engage and impact our nation
with the Gospel. Soon the national councils of both groups
began to discuss this possibility. In 2019, a third Baptist
family, the Canadian National Baptist Convention, was
invited to join the conversation. Several meetings followed,
resulting in agreement that the mission is too great and the
scope too large for anything less then a unified voice for the
Gospel in our country.
The dialogue has been about deeper collaboration, not a
merger. Our hope is that our combined collaborative effort
could make a big impact for the Gospel in our country
in the years to come. However, the courtship must come
before any talk of marriage. Let’s learn to crawl before we
consider learning to walk or run together.
WHY WOULD WE CONSIDER DEEPER
Bigger is not always better; large size can make you sluggish.
However, when all are pointed in the same direction,
a larger force of missional churches has the capacity to
make a significant impact. Our three Baptist families share
a conservative theology and commitment to an adaptive
missional approach to ministry. Some of our executive
leadership have met to consider if there is merit in joining
together in the training of our leaders, caring for people
through our humanitarian relief appeals, the possible
planting of churches in the future and other initiatives.
We live in a time when the evangelical community is
shrinking in Canada. The EFCs recent survey (2019) indicated
6.4% of Canadians self-identified as evangelical — a
drop from 7.7% five years ago and double-digit percentages
only 30 years ago. There are more evangelical churches
deciding to adopt progressive theological positions, capitulating
to the current culture.
Evangelism rates are alarmingly
low. Political correctness,
group-think, and new theories
make the future landscape for
Biblical worldview thinking both
difficult to navigate and possibly
THEOLOGY AND TRENDS
THE BAPTIST COLLABORATION NETWORK TEAM.
thrive / 21
illegal. And the next generation has little stomach for institutional
self-preservation rather than putting all our effort into
Could we imagine the synergy of three combined forces seeking
to accomplish a single mission — whether that be feeding the
hungry, planting more churches, training pastors, or speaking
with a single voice into our current culture and to government
authorities? Could we be stronger together?
The evangelical church in Canada is decreasing. Our
Fellowship’s own incremental growth (102 churches were
planted from 2010-2020, but we remain approximately 500
churches total), is not going to provide the Gospel engagement
that needs to happen among all Canadians. None of our three
Baptist groups are meaningfully adding to the total Gospel ratio
gains that we long for in our country on our own. But what if
we worked together to lower a few of our walls, leverage our
strengths, and level our weaknesses? What might await us for
The Executive leaders of the Fellowship, Baptist General
Conference, and Canadian National Baptist Convention have
agreed to continue the journey to discover the right questions
and discuss them with our leaders and larger constituencies; to
discover what being on mission together might mean; to investigate
what deeper collaboration looks like. We are in the early
days of this conversation, and we’re in no rush. There are many
questions and few answers so far. We will seek the answers by
faith, and they will determine what our future collaboration
will look like. Please join with me in prayer as we seek the Lord
ON THE HORIZON
Fellowship National exists to support our churches in making passionate
disciples of Christ while ensuring they experience an unforgettable
impact in their communities and beyond. Fellowship National seeks to support
our Regions as they help our local churches in church health, church planting,
and church leadership development. Fellowship National directly supports our
churches in ministry areas that include international missions, humanitarian
relief, francophone ministry, chaplaincy ministry, and special services such as
healthcare and pension plans, church mortgages, and others.
THE LAST WORD
by Steve Jones
In this edition of Thrive, “Collaborate: Fruitful Partnerships”, we have read about
the fruit of five years of partnership together as a Fellowship of more than 500 local
churches. Our Fellowship National Strategic Plan for 2015-2020, “20/20 by 2020”, has
resulted in some very encouraging signs of growth and Kingdom advancement. God
has been good!
WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?
Our national team is in the final stages of preparing our next Fellowship National
Strategic Plan for 2021-2026, “Catalyze: Disciples Making Disciples Everywhere”, to present
to national council for their consideration and approval. My hope and prayer is that
this plan will encourage and inspire our churches to engage in greater depths of partnership
with one another in order to advance the Gospel at home and beyond.
We desire to come alongside our churches and Regions, offering support and helping to realize
their missional dreams and initiatives: to help send out missionaries overseas and within
Canada; to support chaplains with training, accountability, and credentialing; to ensure the
marginalized, abused, and hungry receive relief and justice through our FAIR department; to
support our Regions in church planting in Quebec and other parts of our country; to make sure
our pastors, missionaries, chaplains, and staff are properly cared for with world class healthcare
and pension plans; and to help grow the Fellowship Foundation in order to support Fellowship
local churches and international missions work far into the future. We seek to serve our movement
as a voice in our current culture, amidst the desperate need for Christ.
IT’S BEEN A GOOD FIVE YEARS, BUT THE BEST IS YET TO COME.
GLORY BE TO GOD!
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