2 Tim. 2:19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his.”
As I led worship one morning at the 2016 Exousia Conference, I was reminded that the depth and strength of a building’s foundation determines the height that can be built upon it.
This related to a theme which emerged in our time together as Dunamis Fellowship Canada (DFC) leaders–the sense that God was digging deeper foundations in DFC and its leaders.
Of course as believers, we’ve spent years building our lives on the cornerstone of Jesus Christ, but there was a sense that during these days God was working on our existing foundations, digging deeper and reinforcing them with his “concrete” to withstand pressures and shock waves, presumably because he’s calling us to significant growth in this second decade of DFC’s existence.
We benefited from Brad Long and Cindy Strickler’s experiences of spiritual leadership as they led DFC leaders gathered from across Canada March 1-4 for our first Exousia on Canadian soil.
Exercises in knowing ourselves led to humbling yet valuable insights into places of weaknesses and strengths, which, in turn, informed how we better work together in team ministry.
Hearing Brad talk about the distinctives of Dunamis led to “aha” moments, connecting the dots, and understanding that how we do ministry is as important as what we teach from our manuals and personal stories.
It was so helpful to make explicit what is implicit in each of our DFC events.
We were nudged out of our comfort zones as we served in roles we weren’t used to, as different teams led the evenings–discerning together before dinner what the Holy Spirit had been doing during the day and how he was directing us in our evening time.
There’s nothing like actually getting out on the dance floor with the Holy Spirit to learn by experience where we were in step and where we missed his beat–and watching how he can use and even redeem our naiveté.
Yet, even though we were “practicing”, the Holy Spirit moved powerfully in those evening ministry times as we feasted at his table, prayed, and ministered to one another.
So often leaders give out, but this was a time when they could also receive prayer and have time with Jesus.
Many were in places of discerning call and next steps, and this time apart in prayer was helpful. Receiving prayer for empowerment was particularly meaningful then, as leaders had greater clarity going forward.
It seems that God has found in Canada particularly fertile soil for the Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit teaching and conferences.
We recognize that too often people who attend an inspiring conference return and shelve the materials, finding the local church culture difficult to shift. Both Kevin DeRaaf and Ray VanderKooij have been teachers at our Growing the Church (GtC) events in Canada and share a passion to see a process developed to help congregational leaders implement the principles of GtC to facilitate transformation of their local contexts.
The DFC board blessed this idea, and Brad and Cindy anointed and commissioned Kevin and Ray to lead that work. We now join in praying for them as they develop materials to help facilitate that process.
We departed with hearts bound together through an increased koinonia among DFC leaders who are spread across this vast land. We marvel at the variety and depth of leadership that God has provided us in DFC and wonder in great anticipation how God intends to use this small but growing ministry to help advance his Kingdom.
Pray for us as we seek clear guidance for this growth. We trust some direction will come as we see just who God brings to our April Dunamis Projects: Gateways in Guelph, ON and Spiritual Warfare in Edmonton, AB.
To God be the Glory!