Church Multiplying

Our Vision

Since 1946 NCEM has been reaching Canada’s First Peoples for Christ. Many have found salvation, a number of indigenous churches and fellowship groups have been established, and ministries such as Bible schools, Bible camps, aviation, television, literature and other media outreaches have developed. We thank God for increasing partnership opportunities with the developing Native Church.

Though the ministries of our missionaries may vary, we still believe that the local church is God’s instrument for proclaiming the Gospel, uniting believers, and transforming communities.

Our Vision Statement reads: “by faith to establish strong indigenous multiplying churches.”

More about Church Multiplying

Christ meets people in every area of their lives. So also our missionaries are active in evangelism, discipling, and caring for the needs of the whole person. We do these things within the framework of the bigger picture — with a greater goal in mind.

The unique task of missions is to establish a viable growing church movement among every tribe, tongue, people and nation — that Christ might be exalted in all the earth!

We believe that establishing churches is central to the Great Commission and the building of God’s Kingdom among Canada’s First Peoples. That’s why we’ve made it our NCEM Vision Statement.

A local church is where God’s people will find fellowship and mutual support, worship, teaching, and opportunities for growth through service. It is the most effective means of winning others to Christ. The church remains Christ’s representative in the community long after initial missionary effort.

Until there is a strong church movement within every people group, the Great Commission is not finished.

Anytime a goal is stated, it begs the question: how is the goal to be reached? … and is a strategy needed?

We believe that planning our work helps us to be effective. It helps us evaluate our efforts. It gives us direction. It keeps us from getting distracted by other things.

That kind of clarity is needed especially in ministry. Ministry is connecting people with God. It’s all about relationships. Relationships, by their very nature, are hard to regulate and evaluate because no one can control another person.

There is a danger of going to one extreme or the other. One extreme is to become so regimented in the use of time and energy that relationships suffer for the sake of trying to accomplish our mandate. The other extreme is to become so lax in use of time in order to accommodate the flexibility needed for quality relationships, that little gets accomplished.

Another challenge in relational ministry is that it is difficult to evaluate the difference our relationships are making for eternity. If no evaluations are made, the ministry may go on for years without being effective. Something that diminishes the tendency to slide into an extreme is to have a good plan or strategy.

Of course the following is not the only church planting approach God has used, but it is Bible-based and has proven effective. The time frame may vary from one Aboriginal community to another.

1. Preparing

Joshua 18:8 / Proverbs 19:2, 16:3 / Ecclesiastes 10:10 / Habbakuk 2:2

This “pre-entry” stage focuses on the missionary’s personal and ministry development, and the forming of missionary teams. The church planters train and research their future field of service before moving to the Native community. They will also be building their financial/prayer support team during this stage.

2. Discovering

1 Chronicles 12:23-40 / Proverbs 18:13-15 / 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Also called “pre-evangelism,” church planters move to the Native community and begin building relationships. They continue as learners, exploring the local culture deeply, learning how the people perceive reality. The missionaries do not hide their reason for coming, but at this stage their primary purpose is to cause local people to question why they believe what they believe, and arouse a hunger for the Gospel.

3. Presenting

Acts 17:16-31 / Acts 26:28-29

In this “evangelism” stage, the primary goal is the accurate and understandable communication of the entire Scriptures in the context of the local culture. The Bible is taught chronologically, intentionally addressing those parts of the local worldview which rival God’s worldview. Bible teaching curriculum is developed so that the yet-to-be-established church will have God’s Word in an understandable format.

4. Discipling

Ephesians 3:17 / Titus 1:5 / 1 Peter 4:1-2

Also known as “post-evangelism” or “leadership development,” the primary goal at this stage is continuation of Bible teaching and curriculum development, discipling of new believers, development of church leaders, and their own mission endeavors to other communities. The missionary does not take the role of pastor — the newly formed church develops its own ministries: worship, leadership, and outreach.

5. Multiplying

Mark 1:38 / Romans 15:23 / Philippians 2:12 / 1 Thessalonians 3:6

Referred to as “phase-out,” in this transition stage the missionaries begin planned absences until the entire team is withdrawn physically. Relationships are maintained with returned visits. By faith, at this stage we see a healthy indigenous multiplying community of faith!

An important component of church planting is Chronological Bible Teaching — beginning in Genesis, telling God’s story, laying foundations for understanding the Gospel of Christ and the New Testament. On that firm foundation, the church is in a healthy position to grow and mature.

A missionary who has used the Chronological approach in another part of the world explains: “The goal of the teaching is not just to get a person saved, but to lay a foundation that helps them grow after becoming a believer.

“Salvation alone is far too short-sighted a goal. If we who have had Christianity available on every street corner and coffee table have gaps in our understanding, these can be compared to cracks in a sidewalk. But for others these are whole lengths of football field comparatively!”

Can you imagine anything more rewarding than seeing firsthand a church planted where there previously wasn’t one?

Our goal is to see churches developed in Aboriginal communities, and each of them initiating their own church planting ministry in other communities.

NCEM has opportunities for missionaries who are committed long-term. Please prayerfully consider that God may be calling you to this important work.

Wondering if you’re qualified? Foremost, the Lord desires a willingness to learn and serve among people whom He loves and for whom He gave His life.

Further clarifying NCEM’s vision for church multiplying:

NCEM’s Executive Committee, field and ministry leaders have prepared the following documents to clarify NCEM’s definition of a number of ministry-related terms. These are especially important as we form church planting teams, so that we can minister from a unified position.

We understand that these definitions and position statements may need some adjustment in the future, but they are the result of significant Bible study, prayer, research and discussion. Click the link below to learn more about our Statement of Faith, and Position Statements on The Church, The Gospel, Evangelism, Discipling, Spiritual Warfare, and Definition of Team.