And thus ends 14 fantastic concert nights outside, at Gage Park. The grand finale concert on Friday August 31 was massive and there are many reports of people giving their life to Jesus for the first time, rededicating their life to Jesus. We’ve heard stories directly from people who’s lives have been changed. Marriages healed. Families restored. More hope, more faith, more passion for life.
A few words of praise to God:
Last year in August, we couldn’t afford Bibles to give away to new believers. They would ask, and we just didn’t have the money. This year, we purchased Bibles in bulk, loading up our cars with bibles.
Last year, one of our pastors assembled worship cds (to give away for free) while traveling on the bus to get to Gage Park. This year, we purchased professionally made cds by the hundreds, and most of our team have transportation. Hundreds of people have responded about how much they’ve been blessed by the worship.
Last year, we made flyers by hand because we couldn’t afford printers, ink, etc. This year we had help from professional designers and everything was printed in print shops.
Last year, we were struggling to get churches together to do outreach in their local community. This year churches come to us regularly asking for help to start an outreach in their local community. We have at least 10 different projects going in the GTA, each one yielding changed lives in the community.
Praise God! We still have a long way to go still but this is a decent start.
It’s been an amazing, crazy summer. Bittersweet, filled with tough decisions. Filled with both victories and losses. We’ve ministered to hundreds of people through outreach. We’ve been reaching people in the community we never thought we could reach, sharing the love of Jesus with people who have never stepped foot in a church in their life.
A frequent question we get asked: “I’m not a Christian, can I still come to Sonoma Church?” And of course our answer is “YES YES YES!”.
The amazing thing is, we find that new believers who have no previous church background, are far superior to life-long religious “Christians” who grew up in the church. There are too many Christians who only seem to suck the life out of the church while never contributing anything. Paul was right when he said “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” – Hebrews 5:12
Our new believers show up early, help with setup, help with cleanup, volunteer. The others “who have been a Christian all their life” seem to think Jesus is their personal Santa-clause and the church is their personal butler. They always need need need and ‘wa-wa-wa’ like newborn babies. It’s time for people who call themselves long-time Christians to start growing-up in their faith, because we need adult-believers to bring in this massive harvest of souls that the Lord has prepared in Brampton Ontario.
We regularly meet with other churches in the city of Brampton and the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and pastors of different denominations are saying the same thing, their churches have huge opportunity to reach the lost but there aren’t enough workers in their church. Some churches have hundreds, even thousands of members, but Outreach efforts are frequently squashed or reduced because there aren’t enough workers (aka disciples). Christians want more entertainment, more plays, more comfortable seating, but they never seem to want to work.
There are so many precious people of all ages and backgrounds in Brampton, who are desperate for the love of God, and not enough mature Christians to do the work.
God wants us in, or out. Nobody wants an unstable marriage. Nobody wants unstable finances. But to many church people are unstable. If you do something for God, do it with all you’ve got. Otherwise go do something else!
So many people in Brampton are desperately seeking Jesus but there are not enough Christian workers, they are always busy serving themselves – they have endless excuses as to why they call themselves Christians but are never able to do any actual Christian work.
This also means that Christians who are actually faithful, are suffering because they do more than their fair share of work and are usually exhausted and at wits end. They continue to press on because of their love of God and their love for people.
Jesus said to pray for more workers:
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” – Matthew 9:37
We pray that the Lord would build up many workers in Brampton to take in the massive harvest that God has prepared.
Anyway that’s enough ranting and venting for this month.
People, we are still new, still starting out, still small and weak. We have a long way to go. Pray for us! The Lord be with you all.