Welcome to our E-Tools Newsletter for September 2011! This monthly TCC field report also includes strategic outreach resources to encourage, equip, and empower you to more effectively share the Gospel with all the loved ones in your life as we faithfully serve Christ in Canada together.
“WHAT IF?”…GOD DID!
Please allow me to reminisce. It was Spring of 2007 and the scene was Victoria Park in the downtown core of London, Ontario (where our ministry is headquartered). TCC Senior Rep Jeff Mardling and I sat alone at a picnic table in the park dreaming together about the possibility of: “what if?”…
What if the entire church gathered together to worship and to be Christ’s witnesses in the heart of our city? What if the God-given gifts we read about in His Word converged to reflect the grace and truth of Christ to our community while keeping His Gospel at the centre of it all? What would that church look like? What if…?
It would look like Acts 2:42-47…and I believe that the Lord gave us a gracious glimpse of that church this past month.
Let the record show that on Friday, September 16th, 2011, our great and sovereign God reminded us all that again that He does answer prayer – in His own time and in His own way, of course. Because not 50 feet from where Jeff and I sat four years previous yearning in the Lord about that church without walls, our home church gathered to worship together and to preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the public square – and it was a breathtakingly beautiful thing to behold.
Church in the Park
Hundreds of Christ-followers came together to worship, preach the Word, and witness according to our various God-given gifts. Not only were many of the people The Cross Current has trained over the years actively sharing Christ as the night went on, but TCC Rep and extreme team leader, Steve Hodge also took the stage to share his own powerful Gospel testimonial of God’s faithfulness in his own personal life and witness.
Click here to read TCC Rep, Steve Hodge’s entire Gospel testimonial
It was estimated that upwards of 25% of those in attendance were not regular attenders of Harvest, and many on our evangelism team testified to the fact that we spoke with many people who were not churchgoers at all! Well, rest assured that they’ve certainly heard the Good News now.
Left: The saints of Harvest Bible Chapel London gather together for worship and the Word in the heart of downtown London
And as if this “Church in the Park” event during the first part of the night wasn’t enough of a blessing, the Lord also graciously allowed our weekly witnessing team to then take turns open air preaching to the park passer-byes for a couple more hours afterward. God is so good! Not only did our regular open air extraordinaires faithfully proclaim Christ on the streets, but we even had the privilege of leading yet another young evangelist to preach open air for the very first time! Congratulations to Matt Wagenaar for faithfully “breaking the sound barrier” on that momentous Friday night. We thank God for you, brother!
Right: Norm Millar, Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel London, preaches the Word at “Church in the Park”
Pat Belanger, a team leader from the Fishers of Men ministry at People’s Church in Wyoming, Ontario, also preached open air for his second time. Keep up the “God” work, Pat!;)
An “Evangelism Experiment”
We are very thankful for the many Christians that the Lord has allowed us to equip in the basics of evangelism at churches and conferences across Canada since TCC was founded.
However, our mission has always been to help pastors equip entire churches for the work of evangelism, and our home church has always served as our “evangelism experiment” for implementing church-wide Gospel outreach.
Our biblical hypothesis is that evangelism isn’t reserved for the select gifted few, but rather, all Christ-followers must be equipped to be His witnesses in our own personal lives and together in the community. By God’s grace, “Church in the Park” marked many very encouraging steps toward fulfillment of this mission.
Church Champion Training
Next year The Cross Current is scheduled to provide very specialized “Church Champion Training”.
This training time has been over 5 years in the making, and will effectively equip a small group of evangelists from several local churches to champion the cause of the Gospel in their churches and equip the other believers to do the same.
Stay tuned for info and updates on our exclusive “Church Champion Training” conference in Spring of 2012!
PARTNERS IN PRESUPPOSITIONAL APOLOGETICS
To the church in Philippi, the Apostle Paul writes: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.” (Philippans 1:3-7)
As partakers of the grace of God, Christians are called to partner together to defend and confirm His gospel – even amidst the most trying of circumstances.
Just a couple months back in our June E-Tools Newsletter, we testified to how God brought a team of TCC evangelists and presuppositional apologist Sye TenBruggencate together this past June at the Living Waters Ambassadors Academy in Los Angeles, California. Since that time, we continue to thank God for how He has been faithful to grow and strengthen the partnership in the gospel that He has begun between TCC and Sye.
Above: Presuppositional apologist Sye TenBruggencate trains The Cross Current evangelism team to defend and confirm the Gospel
Sye is an expert in the area of presuppositional apologetics and he offers powerful training to equip the average, everyday believer to defend their faith with anyone and everyone in our culture. Sye has been a guest on the Living Waters “On the Box” internet TV program, he has been featured in numerous debates with top “Atheists”, and he is also currently writing a book on this subject. In short…he knows his stuff!
We were very thankful to have had the opportunity to leverage Sye’s expertise in our ministry this past month. Not only did we welcome Sye in the studio as a special guest on TCC Radio, but we also had him train our TCC team and several other Christ-followers who were burdened to get better equipped for Gospel proclamation in our culture!
The Bible says to ALWAYS be ready to give an answer for your faith – no matter whether you’re asked by a fifth-grader…or a philosopher! And we are very thankful for Sye setting the example and helping us learn how simply and biblically.
Watch Sye’s exclusive 3-part pressupositional apologetics training sessions on our TCC TV Vimeo channel
Listen to our 4-part series on TCC Radio called “Proving God” with Sye TenBruggencate
BREAKING THE SOUND BARRIER!
Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:37)
Left: The second Niagara Extreme Mission Team of 2011
We praise the Lord that He again answered our prayer this last month! On Saturday September 3rd, more than 18 seed sowers hit the streets of Clifton Hill to partner together for our our second Extreme Team Mission to Niagara Falls of the summer. And, after all, what better time of year to labour for the Lord than Labour Day weekend?
Throughout our seven hours of street witnessing together, thousands of tracts were passed and we also enjoyed hundreds of one-to-one Gospel conversations! However, while we thank God for all those seeds sown, never before have we ever had such a powerful display of obedience on behalf of our participants specifically in the area of open air preaching.
Right: “Open Air Extraordinaire” award winner, Kristine Gabriel, steps up onto the box for the very first time
Not only did almost everyone on our entire team preach the Gospel open air, but four of those were candidates for the title: “TCC Open Air Extraordinaire”!
Left: Becca Fraser pleads with passerby’s as she preaches the Gospel open air for the first time
The TCC Open Air Extraordinaire award is presented at each Extreme Team Mission to the new open air preacher who demonstrates the greatest faithfulness and boldness while standing on the box for the very first time. Suffice to say, choosing the award winner for this event was the most difficult in TCC history!
Though the “official” Open Air Extraordinaire award was presented to Kristine Gabriel, it was really a “4-way tie” of faithfulness between Kristine, her father Aldo, Becca Fraser, and senior TCC Rep, Tom Briggs.
Right: TCC Rep and senior team leader, Tom Briggs, “stoplight preaching” for the first time at the Niagara Extreme Team Mission
We also need to extend a very special thanks to our partner churches for this mission – Harvest Bible Chapel Niagara and Harvest Bible Chapel Oakville – for allowing your evangelists to join the team as well. It was a privilege and an honour to fight on the frontlines for the Lord with you all!
We trust that the Lord will use the testimonies of the following 3 TCC team members to encourage you to be a more bold and faithful witness for Him:
Kristine Gabriel shares: “The Extreme Team Mission to Niagara Falls was truly a blessing as the Lord worked in so many miraculous ways that day. On Saturday afternoon, the team began open air preaching on the streets of Niagara Falls. But little did they know that the night before our Niagara trip I was filled with nervousness. I knew that the Holy Spirit was leading me to step out in my faith and open air preach. So the time had come, and through God’s grace, I stepped up onto the box and read the back of a Gospel track. After stepping down, every ounce of nervousness had left because I knew the Holy Spirit was speaking through me! Knowing this, in obedience, I was encouraged to open air preach a second time. It is amazing how God works through the weak to bring His powerful message to others. He is an amazing and faithful God. Niagara’s Extreme Team Mission has taught me that it’s normal to be nervous but don’t ever let that hinder you. Instead let “the Holy Spirit teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12:12)”.
Aldo Gabriel (Kristine’s Dad), testifies: “The Lord Jesus has truly blessed me by introducing me to The Cross Current. I have participated in one of the weekly witnessing events in London and just recently participated in a day of witnessing and street preaching in Niagara Falls. I live 2 hours away from London and thirst for the opportunity to witness with the fellowship that The Cross Current provides. The Lord has blessed my family by allowing both my daughter Kristine and I to share his Word together as a team at these events. During and after these witnessing events, I experienced the realization of my faith, by being obedient to God, he filled me with the Holy Spirit beyond anything I have ever experienced. It really is overwhelming! It does not end with the witnessing event itself, it’s just the start. The joy of praying for those that you spoke to and those that received tracks, was prompted by the Holy Spirit – again overwhelming. It’s the first time I truly felt like one of Gods warriors participating in the spiritual war that we’re in.”
Rebecca Fraser says: “For the past month I have been a part of the Gospel Outreach “GO” Team at my home church, and recently joined the team as they went on an Extreme Team Mission Labor Day weekend to Niagara Falls. For the longest time I strayed away from stepping out in faith to proclaim God’s Truth. I was afraid that I wouldn’t have the answers to questions and apprehensive of how people would react and what they would think of me. I was too prideful to share the Good News with those in need, the lost. I still struggle, but God is constantly shaping me to faithfully witness in His Name. Through Christ I have been able to put away my pride and fear to let Him take over. Acts 1:8 says, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere.” My experience in Niagara Falls was exactly that, the Holy Spirit working His power through me, and still is. Do everything to spread the Good News, I’m not saying it will be easy, it’ll be a challenge but not one that can’t be overcome. We are all called to reach out to the lost, just like we were reached out to before we knew Christ. For you can do everything through Christ, who gives you strength (Philippians 4:13). It is my prayer that you will answer God’s calling to share the Good News with the lost, whether it’s to loved ones, friends or strangers. Do all to lift up His Name and bring the lost to His Kingdom!”
AWAITING A SAVIOR
Poverty. What is it? Jesus said that we will always have the poor with us (Matthew 26:11), but what are we supposed to do about it? Among other things, the “experts” recommend giving, talking to the government, and engaging with others about this issue towards a solution. But do these responses really get to the core of the problem?
In this breakthrough series of TCC Radio we are working with preacher, author, and blogger Aaron Armstrong both in the studio and on the street to talk truth about how and when poverty will end…once and for all.
Aaron Armstrong is a writer for an international Christian ministry focused on caring for the needs of the poor. He is also an itinerant preacher and blogs at BloggingTheologically.com. He and his family worship and serve at Harvest Bible Chapel in London, Ontario.
YOUR PRAYER PULSE FOR OCTOBER
Let’s continue partnering together to keep our prayer pulse for TCC and the Church in Canada strong!
We humbly ask you, your family, and your church to remember to pray for the following TCC ministry needs in October:
Brigdon Fair | October 9th & 10th – Please pray for God’s protection and favour as our evangelism team preaches the Gospel to thousands of people at the Brigdon Fair in Brigdon, Ontario for the very first time.
TCC Board Retreat | October 11th & 12th – Please pray for our ministry leadership team as we set aside this special time to come together for prayer and planning with several new board members.
Project 180 | October – Have you bought into this powerful new evangelistic video project yet? Get yourself up to speed by CLICKING HERE and please pray for the front-line involvement of our TCC Radio & TV team in this initiative.
Bookmark our ministry calendar to continue praying for our local missions
–We again thank God for you and your partnership in preaching the Gospel.
For His Glory Alone,
The Cross Current Team