Dear friends,

Just because we are a smallish church does not mean God cannot use us in mighty ways. Time will tell, but this past week, God may very well have used us in a small but important way in bringing reformation and renewal to local churches in Canada. I know, a big claim.

Some of you have probably heard of The Gospel Coalition. It was started by two people about 15 years ago. Tim Keller and Don Carson had been concerned with how the evangelical movement in the US was showing signs of drift connected to a loss of biblical thinking and thinking deeply on the Bible. However, they did not see the solution as an academic conference. They wanted to see strong local churches characterized by: solid biblical preaching and teaching; a commitment to evangelism; a strong commitment to be a blessing to their city; and a desire combined with action to have the biblical Gospel ground and shape local churches. So they started to bring people together and the result was The Gospel Coalition (TGC). TGC sponsors a major national conference every two years and regional and specialized conferences at other times. They have a superb website which is easily accessible. They also use the website and conferences to make people aware of great resources and to facilitate network formation among pastors, church leaders and congregations.

Three Canadians serve on TGC council. In light of the way God has been using TGC in the US they wondered if a Gospel Coalition Canada should be formed. Is God calling local churches to step up and be used by Him as He builds a Gospel Coalition in Canada?

John Mahaffey and John Neufeld contacted me and Church of the Messiah. They asked if I would attend a meeting of Canadian pastors to see if a Gospel Coalition Canada (GCC) should be begun. They also asked if Church of the Messiah would host this meeting. I said, “yes”. The Messiah Council said, “yes”. This past Tuesday – Thursday the meeting happened here in Ottawa, hosted by Messiah. As a result of this meeting, we agreed to begin GCC. We also agreed to have a national conference in Ottawa in 2018. We agreed to develop a “made in Canada” web presence, just as TGC has done so effectively in the US. I also agreed to serve on the inaugural council for GCC.

The web page for TGC is: thegospelcoalition.org

Please pray for the formation of the GCC. Please pray for reformation, revival and renewal in churches in Canada. Please pray that God would reform, revive and renew Messiah day-by-day. Please pray that Messiah will be a Gospel-shaped church used by God to make disciples of Jesus gripped by the Gospel living for God’s glory.

Georg