What God began as Risen City, is going to be stepping into a new season as C3 KW. We are excited about what God is doing in our community and the new family we have found a fit with.
Two years ago, God put a vision in our hearts to see our city meet Jesus and the vision He stirred in our hearts hasn’t changed. We are forever going to be a church that is all about leading people into soul changing relationship with Jesus. That’s it. But, who we are has grown, been clarified, and been challenged.
As a church we have been on a journey to discover what makes us, us. The thoughts and the plans we started with were great, the ideas were needed, but God has been working on us and in us, leading us to become the community He wants us to be and to be defined by the things He desires us to be defined by. We have come to a point in our journey where we are more confident in what that is now.
Really, what is coming to pass now, began last year at C4 Conference - put on by C4 Church in Ajax, ON (which is on again this year in June and you need to be there). A team of us went to participate in and learn from what God was doing in Ajax, and the clear message that our team received was simple but challenging - are we actually being led by God or by our opinions on how to do church? Who are we dependent on? What has God given us permission for in our context and gifting, and do we seek it out? What was planted in us then became the framework for how we thought about and sought to do church.
(Personally as well, this was a significant moment where God spoke deeply into my heart. By what was spoken at that conference, a time in some prayer ministry, and an amazing opportunity to be coached by Tom Lambshead (who is such a good leadership and personal development coach), God changed my perspective on who he has called me to be as a leader and pastor. He challenged my assumptions, question my desires, and truly refined my direction. I was freed up to be the leader He needed, the more I chose to surrender to His will.)
From that time on, we began to change how we as a church thought about leadership, discerning God’s direction, how we talked about discipleship, spiritual gifts, callings, the limitations God allows, the presence of God in the church, disciplines of the faith, personal and communal capacity, our unique role in the greater kingdom, and as our church has heard so often, it all gets summed up for us in our desire to truly pray, expect, and be all about, “Your Kingdom Come and Your will be, on earth as in Heaven.” This is our heart. This is what has led us here.
Since September 2018, there have been stirrings in our Lead Team’s heart that change was upon us. Through many conversations, prayers together and alone, meetings, discussions, times of weighing the pros and cons, and what we feel were genuine moments of hearing God’s heart for our church, we believe that a transition to the C3 family is what He desires for us and is the right step forward into our future.
We met Pst. Sam and Jess Picken from C3 Toronto in the summer before we launched Risen, and although we felt a deep connection, we didn’t have in mind any idea where we would end up. Over the last 2 year, they have been some of our biggest supporters and have poured into Emily and I, and our team. They have coached us through some big decisions, offering wisdom to us when we needed it, and have truly felt like family from the very start.
We cannot say thank you enough to the AGC for what they have done for us over the last 2 years. They helped to spark what is now a growing faith community. Tom, Donna, Susan, and Laird, just to name a few of the people who made our church possible, we thank you!
We are committed to continuing to seek God and wanting him to keep doing what he has been doing amongst us. We love where he has brought us, how we have found our unique expression of faith and following Jesus, and we are excited about a new opportunity and to step into the C3 family of churches.
We can’t wait for June 2!
Mike and Emily