Every year around this time, I find myself shocked that the summer’s over, and that we’re less than 100 days from the New Year.
It seems like it might be a good time for a brief personal update.
Liberty Grace Church
This past Sunday, Liberty Grace Church celebrated its ninth anniversary.
Over a decade ago, I sensed a growing burden to see churches started in downtown Toronto. I didn’t think I would ever plant a church; I felt too old and too unqualified. I actually thought I was on my way to joining the faculty of a seminary.
To my surprise, we passed a church planting assessment. We worked through our fears, and began the process of planting in a condo community close to the core of the city.
The hardest challenge has been the transience of our community. 70% of people move every two years in our community.
But it’s been a joy to see God at work in our little church. Pastoring this church has been one of the greatest privileges of my life.
I would appreciate your prayers for us as we continue the work of establishing a church in a transient, young, progressive part of Toronto. It’s been both a challenge and a joy.
Writing and Speaking
For the past number of years, I’ve worked for Liberty Grace Church for the majority of my time, but also spent anywhere from a quarter to half my time training church planters.
This past February, I gave up my part-time role training church planters and began spending a day a week writing and speaking. This means I’m only partially paid by the church, but it’s allowed me the freedom to also serve outside our local church.
It’s been fun. I’ve taught a course at Western Seminary in Portland. I’ve spoken for a week at Wesley Acres Retreat Centre in Prince Edward County, Ontario. I’ve written for Impactus. I’m speaking at a men’s retreat in Muskoka, and to some churches in Montreal. And I get to speak at churches on Sunday mornings, because our church meets in the afternoon.
I’ve also been pleased to see 8 Habits for Growth doing well. The YouVersion devotional I wrote based on the book seems to have taken off, and it’s helping to raise interest in the book.
I’m excited about a writing project I’ve got going. If things go well, I’ll be telling you more about that in a few months.
For the past few years, I’ve been running two websites: this one, and Gospel for Life. I’ve also been running two newsletters: a weekly one called “A Thought, a Quote, and a Resource,” and a monthly Gospel for Life newsletter.
It was too much.
I’m in the process of folding the Gospel for Life website into this one. I’m switching to only one newsletter. If you haven’t joined, I’d love to welcome you. And I’ve moved my podcast here too. I’m in the process of planning another season.
I’ve also moved from Wordpress to Ghost. It’s faster and simpler. It’s taken away all the headaches of updates and managing resources. If you’re interested in checking it out, I highly recommend it. Tell them I sent you, or even better, use my affiliate link.
In short, it’s been a busy but rewarding year. I’m grateful for all that God has given me to do, and I’m grateful that you’ve stuck around long enough to read this sentence.
As someone wrote to me recently, “Be encouraged. Just keep walking.” Good advice indeed.