A Good Pattern to Follow
When we planted Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills there was very little that we wanted to do differently from what we had seen. You might have been able to tell from the name that we chose (we were planted by another Grace Fellowship Church), but we firmly believed — and still believe — that the pattern that had been established for us was a good one.
That church prioritizes the word, exalts Christ, depends on God in prayer, worships him with authentic and theologically rich singing, and lives out some genuine New Testament fellowship. She is led by godly elders and served well by deacons that look an awful lot like Jesus in their Christ-like serving. All the essentials are there, so there really was very little to change when we planted.
That being said, we didn’t simply want to copy & paste, or go with a church-in-a-box mentality either, so we carefully investigated just about everything so that from top-to-bottom we were making sure that we weren’t just assuming essentials.
We wanted to act out of conviction, not convention.
Taking a Different Turn
One place where we decided to head in a different direction was in our Statement of Faith. While we believed (and still believe!) everything in the Statement of Faith from our planting church, we wanted something a little more. Our desire was twofold for our Statement of Faith:
The Grace Connexion
One of the greatest blessings I have known in my time pastoring is the fellowship I’ve been able to have with other pastors. The accountability, the friendship, the collective wisdom of more-experienced brothers, and the perspective they have provided has had huge benefits for my soul (and I’m sure for the life of our church as well). I’m well aware that there are many pastors who go many years without having such fellowship with peers, and so I want to give thanks to God for allowing me to have relationships with godly pastors in my first years of pastoring.
That has been great. But I’m eager to pass it on as well. I want our church to have fellowship like that with brothers and sisters! I want our people to know that the church of Jesus is bigger than our little work in Don Mills.
That’s one of the reasons why I love having our church get together with other churches from around the city of Toronto. Fellowship, friendship, partnership, worship together. We get to celebrate what God is doing in calling a people to himself in Toronto.
‘The Grace Connexion’ (name taken from here) is simply a semi-annual event held by four local evangelical churches. Twice per year Grace Fellowship Church Rexdale, Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills, New City Baptist (downtown), and Grace Chapel (Markham) get our people together to worship and sit under the ministry of the word — and then enjoy some fellowship together. I love these events!
This year, we’ll be holding a Grace Connexion service on Monday, February 20, at Richview Baptist Church. We planned it for Family Day so that as many people could come as possible. We’ll be having our worship service, then enjoying lunch together, then taking the Lord’s Supper. What a glorious opportunity for fellowship with believers outside of our own local church!
If you live in or near the city and you’re interested in joining with us, click below for details. If you’re a member of any of these churches, please make sure you get all the details, then RSVP so we know how much food to bring.
I’m so thankful for the chance to see Christ building his church close-up. I can’t wait to see all our brothers and sisters on February 20!