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I saw the power of people working together last week. I was in Montreal meeting with pastors and leaders of our 9 churches there. At one point not that long ago we had no churches there. Then we had one, then we had four, then we had six, then we had eight, then we had 9.

University students walking in a campus photo

It became evident to us over the last year or so that we needed to look at how we operated as a group. Historically we had been rather laissez faire leaving most of the organizational activity up to the founding leader in the group. He’d been there the longest and certainly had the good will of the group in his heart. But over the past while he had grown weary of leading by himself, and the others had wanted to step up into leadership.

So, we invested the hard effort of sitting down in multiple times and spaces over the last 16 months to talk about it. Clearly, change was desired, but what change? and when? and with whom? My role in the discussion was both listener and leader. About 6 months ago I thought I had heard enough input to summarize the situation, and suggest new direction. My effort at new direction was rebuffed. Not only was it inconsistent with the dynamic of the group, but they weren’t ready yet for change.

But now we were. And we did. We organizationally changed. It was evident to all that this was good. There seemed to be harmony as I described for the group what I was seeing, sensing, and hearing from them. It was “their” dream collectively.
Here are some thoughts—

1. we want to be a leadership team, not just a leader and followers. So, we built a council with members and appointed a leader from within.
2. we know the founding leader is tired and wanted to step back, but we don’t want to lose him. So he agreed to be on the new team, not controlling it, nor really leading it, but willing to help it.
3. we want the leadership team to be multicultural and multi ethnic. In Montreal we are not just Quebecois, nor are we just immigrants. We are together a multi cultural, multi ethnic group. We want our leadership team to reflect that diversity. We will converse in a common language, but we want to honour our cultures and work together. So, a commitment was made to diversity. No one group wold dominate, no one group would be left out.
4. we want our group to make progress so we will commit ourselves to goals, and hold ourselves to those goals–
a. we are 9 churches today we want to be 15 churches by 2015
b. we are evangelistic churches so we commit to every one of our churches will baptize someone every year. we will pray for each other to that end.
c. we are part of a mission called the BGCC so we will all contribute financially to the needs of the larger mission. we will collect the funds here and send them to our national office for sake of the Canadian mission. the executive director is committed to returning half of the mission funds to Quebec to be used for the mission in Quebec.

We joined hands at the end of the time and sang, laughed and prayed. The phrase “new beginning” was the operative word in our prayers. This was hopeful.

As individuals we can do something. We can. But how much more can we do when we come together as a group to listen, pray, decide, commit then launch?