canyon creek christian
Fellowship, calgary, alta.
phOTO cOUr TESY: NEiGhBOUr liNK
no crib for a Bed – canyon creek donates crib and baby supplies to a new
(single) mom in the neighbourhood.
Taking acts of kindness outside the church can evoke more response from
neighbours than inviting them to church.
change at Canyon Creek Christian Fellowship, a member of the Baptist General Conference on the southeastern fringes of Calgary, Alta., was triggered by a shift in local
culture. Fifteen years ago the church’s focus was attractional
ministry, expecting neighbours to come to Sunday school,
church services or other special programs. Outreach to neighbours (or “local missions”) wasn’t something most members
thought about, even as recently as five years ago.
But today that mindset is inadequate. “Church just isn’t on
[our neighbours’] radar these days,” says Pastor Rick Bayer. “We
can’t focus on the number that regularly attends church. We
must challenge ourselves to go out and bless the community.”
Bayer discovered practical suggestions can help church mem-
bers rise to that challenge. His congregation of 150 is now be-
coming a “church that scatters,” where 80 per cent of the con-
gregation is involved in sharing the love of Christ through acts
of kindness. He models acts of kindness himself as the Popsicle
Guy, giving away Popsicles in a local park on a hot summer day.
When passersby ask why, his invariable response is, “I just want
to share a little of God’s love for you.”
The church also holds Kindness to Go Sundays each spring
when it provides members with plants to give away. “Take a
plant after the service, stop and strike up a conversation with
Sometimes attendees deliver gifts to those working late shifts,
unable to spend time with their families – on Christmas Eve,
for instance. Members phone to confirm how many employees
are working at a convenience store, local hotel, fire hall or retire-
ment home before they stop by to deliver gifts.