Marc Nzikobari is an African pastor who came to Canada 5 years ago. He is from Burundi, a relatively small country with a population of less than 10 million people, Burundi is found between Congo, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Having had theological education in Africa and been in church ministry for more than 15 years, Marc sensed God’s calling to Canada.
Now in Toronto, as a bi-vocational pastor, which means to have a day job in addition to ministry, Marc is pastoring a house church he planted among Burundian community. The Burundian community in Toronto is quite small in number, and many Torontonians would not even know that it exists in Toronto. Marc, however, within only 2 years of his ministry in Toronto, was able to plant the house church and start his vibrant outreach ministry among Burundian families.
Pastor Marc represents the reality that church growth in Toronto and Canada is growing fastest among the immigrant population. Recognizing this reality TIM Centre is working with NCCP’s to resource and equip them for effective ministry in their newly adopted country of Canada.
As newcomers to Canada, often times, New Canadian Church Planters lack resources for life and ministry. However, the experience and passion in church planting, in addition to the knowledge of specific culture and language, give NCCPs potential for their ministry in Canada.
The Ministry Vision Of New Canadian Church Planters
NCCPs are doing ‘missions to the diasporas’ by reaching out to members of their linguistic and ethnic groups and planting churches among them. As Marc’s example in the introduction of this paper shows, the immigrant church planters are effective in finding a network of ethnic groups and reaching out to people of their own ethnic origin.
NCCPs are engaged in ‘missions through the diasporas.’ NCCP’s evangelize their kinsmen in their home country or diaspora in other countries. For example, one Arabic speaking church in Toronto, which was planted about two years ago by an Arabic NCCP, has purchased a broadcasting facility in order to produce gospel materials in Arabic language. The church is planning to spread their gospel materials to their home Arabic countries using the local network.
NCCP’s are practicing ‘missions beyond the diasporas.’ They have vision for not only reaching out to their own ethnic groups but also to broader Canadian community. These NCCPs and their churches choose to become intercultural in ministry. Green Hills Christian Fellowship Toronto Church, which was planted by a Filipino pastor in 2007 and planted 5 other churches in its first four year, shares a vision with its planted churches to be missional and multicultural. These churches are intentionally crossing the ethnic boundary in ministry.
How you Help New Canadian Church Planters?
- Adopt a NCCP leader. Pray for him/her, their family and ministry
- Get to know an NCCP leader personally. Have them for a meal
- Visit their church and encourage them in their ministry
- Provide a small scholarship enabling them to take the TIM Diploma
- Give a donation to TIM Centre so that we can expand our ministry to NCCP’s Need to have a place where they can give to TIM Centre