Darryl Dash’s post re: Toronto has got me thinking a little…
Last night New City Baptist had our fifth meeting at our place (166 Carlton). It was my first opportunity to teach – I dealt with Mark 4 from Devers 9 Marks of a Healthy Church on having a biblical understanding of conversion. To be honest, I didn’t feel great about how it went on my end. I felt somewhat nervous and I don’t know if I dealt with the topic well enough. But in spite of it, I heard today that it really challenged one of our people – which was very encouraging. Also, we had a larger group out – we barely had room to sit in my apartment. It was great to hear that many people singing “How Great the Father’s Love.” My neighbours must think we’re nuts. One important observation that I had about last night was that I really noticed a cohesion amongst the people. Although we’re a fairly young group, we have diverse backgrounds. But last night I could see people connecting and acting like friends. That is a HUGE answer to prayer.
In regard to the greater Toronto scene. We are one of those church plants that Darryl mentioned. His feeling is that something is happening in Toronto and that we (that is NCB) is a sign of that. That is incredibly scary, incredibly humbling, and incredibly exciting. I really do hope and pray that the Spirit of Christ will descend on this city in a powerful way and that I/we can have a part in it. For God to move through weak vessels like me/us is amazing to think about.
Darryl also mentioned the informal gatherings that have sprung up. I was happy to be a part of one such gathering with a number of pastors and leaders at a Toronto pub on the Danforth called Sarah’s. Over some good food and beer we discussed John Frame’s article “Machen’s Warrior Children.” I was thrilled to meet new people – some whom I am very different from theologically. It was also particularly thrilling to see how Christians of different theological stripes can come together, recognise and discuss our differences, in a respectful way.
A more formal gathering was the Toronto Pastors Fellowship hosted by Grace Fellowship Church and the Sovereign Grace Fellowship a few weeks ago. This was another coming together of pastors who love this city and are labouring to see God honoured in it. I was personally encouraged and challenged by the event and met some really great people.
These and I am sure others, are signs that maybe something is happening in Toronto. May it please God to be so.