SUDBURY, Ont. – The wide open spaces spanning between isolated cities and townships can make Canada’s Northern Ontario feel like one of the loneliest places on earth to do ministry.
Such was the case for All Nations Church Senior Pastor Jeremy Mahood.
“I felt alone out here all the time,” Mahood said. “I felt it especially in those years prior to our church’s growth, when our staff consisted of … well, me.”
However, Mahood recently discovered that All Nations is not alone in its desire to reach Northern Ontario for Christ. In fact, it’s far from it.
Gary Smith, senior church starting catalyst for the Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC), contacted Mahood and asked All Nations Church to join in the convention’s goal of planting new churches in the province. Smith also told him about the partnership CNBC has with the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) and how prayers are spoken daily for Mahood’s corner of Canada.
“In 33 years of ministry no one with any depth of support has ever offered to give us a boost and now we are just overwhelmed that God would do this for us,” Mahood said. “Our goals are one and the same. We are going to help the CNBC plant 1,000 churches by 2020 and meanwhile, they are going to help us reach the lost of Northern Ontario.”
Smith believes bringing All Nations on board is the crucial missing piece of the CNBC’s long-term church starting plans.
“As one of the largest churches in Northern Ontario, All Nations is both strategic and strong,” he said. “They have outstanding leaders that know Northern Ontario and the culture and they know how to minister to the people there. They are also centrally located, which will be invaluable in placing future mission teams there.”
“We have many years of experience on what works and what doesn’t,” Mahood said. “With our experience and the CNBC’s external resources we should really be able to push our vision to the next level.”
He said the most exciting asset of all is willing and faithful Missouri Baptists.
“We believe this partnership is God’s way of bringing us workers for the harvest,” Mahood said. “We have been planting seeds, sowing and watering and we are just waiting for God to give the increase. We are excited about the people, wisdom and experience that Missouri Baptists can bring to us.”
Because of the MBC’s broad international mission experience, Mahood compared Missouri Baptists to a big brother willing to encourage and teach his younger brother.
“We see it as a hand-in-glove partnership,” Mahood said. “The combined experience, enthusiasm and heart for the lost have all been brought together by God’s design.”