2023 National Assembly

BCMB (British Columbia) Report

This summer, BC roadside signs noted the severity of drought conditions. Warning words like “acute” and “critical” provide a sober moment for those thinking about watering their lawn or washing the car.  What adjectives are appropriate to describe the challenging times facing the body of Christ in Canada? 

The Hope of Renewal

In this darkening horizon, the light of the gospel and the hope of God’s people the church is more relevant than ever. Following the trying years of Covid lockdowns, BCMB assessed its ministry. As a direct result of that time of discernment and listening, BCMB, at its April 2023 convention, voted overwhelmingly to refocus its staff and resources on the priority of church renewal. In general, the vision is to see….

  • Every BCMB church renewed in prayer to, worship of, and obedient submission to, Christ.
  • Every BCMB church bearing witness to the gospel in their community resulting in people experiencing salvation, being baptized and maturing in the faith. 
  • Every BCMB church impacting their community on mission expressing the life of Christ by bringing healing to the broken, freedom to the addicted and justice to the oppressed.

Our National Partnership

BCMB giving has not been strong in 2023 and this has reduced our ability to forward funds to our partners including CCMBC. Despite this reality, we are excited about the collaborative relationship that has been established across Canada over the past few years and we believe that our new BCMB focus on renewal may be of interest and benefit to other provinces in the coming years, just as we hope to gain insight from the other provinces as they engage strategically in their particular contexts. BCMB believes that the strategic initiative for serving churches in a given province resides with the leadership of that province. We are eager to pursue a national relationship based on an understanding that provincial conferences bring their insights and initiatives to a national table for the benefit of all. We would appreciate further discussion on the details of the CUSP model put forward in 2022. Specifically, the description of the National office as the ““Principal”” organization with provinces focused on “coordination and distribution” of resources. 

BCMB has engaged in the collaborative discussion with the assumption that in the collaborative model provinces will serve and resource their churches strategically. The national office will convene gatherings of the provinces and agencies, guard our doctrinal integrity around the Confession of Faith and reinforce our common mission to reach the people of Canada and the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have done our best to articulate this perspective over the past few years, but it may be that a clearer or “different” understanding is now emerging. It appears that our BCMB strategic initiative to bring renewal to our churches is ushering us into a new season, and there is work to be done to understand how the CUSP interfaces with that.

Currently BCMB is…

  • In a season of prayer for renewal and God’s guidance going forward
  • Seeking a new Executive Director with a Renewal Mandate
  • Building resources for a cohort network to equip pastors and churches in Renewal principles and practices.

On the administrative front, we are excited to report that Wanda Froese is the new Director of Operations for BCMB. Wanda began her new role in late July. She has been well received by the office staff and is learning the systems that pertain to her role. We are excited to see the new level of excellence and knowledge that Wanda brings to her role.

Signs of God’s Faithfulness

Finally and most importantly we are thrilled to report of God’s faithfulness in the growth and mulitiplication that we have seen in many of our churches. Last year BC reported on the launch of Praxis church. As of this fall in year two of their existence they have trained over 100 people in personal evangelism and have grown in Sunday attendance to over 600!

We praise God for reports of many coming to faith through over 20 Alpha courses that are presented across BCMB churches. We are deeply grateful for the Camps ministries which reported many hundreds of first-time decisions for Christ. (Over 300 reported at Gardom Lake Camp alone).  

Church renewal has been on display at Cedar Park church in Ladner where a small remnant committed to following Christ as outlined in our MB Confession is now thriving and growing with the help of pastors Chris and Rachel Wilson from Church on Five (formerly Richmond Bethel MB). The willingness of healthy congregations to come alongside those who are in decline or crises has been a source of great joy and hope across the province. 

In Christ,

Rob Thiessen