The EFC’s work in building partner- ships in areas such as evangelism, higher education, ministry to the poor,
youth, First Nations communities and others
has lasting influence.
One good example is Vision 2000, formed
in the 1980s as a way to reach out to all Canadians with the gospel message. A task force
begun in 1987 turned into a full-time ministry
with Don Moore as its executive director.
“It began to grow beyond what anyone
expected,” recalls Moore, now with World
Vision Canada. Some 120 denominations and
agencies – many of them outside the EFC’s
membership – participated.
Vision 2000’s goal was “that every person
in Canada can see, hear and respond to the
gospel by the year 2000.” A 1990 congress in
Ottawa brought together denominational
leaders as well as those focusing on urban,
ethnic and media ministries and many other
Among those attending was Gord
Martin of Waterloo, Ont., who remembers
being “deeply moved” by what he heard at
the event. As a result Martin, a pastor and
former missionary, founded Vision Ministries
Canada in 1992 “with a focus on church plant-
ing, leadership development and cultivating
a supportive network of churches.” In the two
decades since, Vision Ministries Canada has
been involved in at least 70 church plants,
most of them with Brethren roots.
The 1990 congress was followed by regional consultations across the country in 1995.
That year the EFC also published a Vision
2000 book In Search of Hidden Heroes, Evidence That God is at Work. It included dozens
of stories of ordinary Canadian Christians
who have influenced their neighbourhoods,
schools and workplaces through sharing their
faith in their own unique ways.
Collaboration has also given strength to
street ministries and agencies that focus on
the poor and marginalized. In the early 1990s
frontline workers from street ministries were
brought together for a conference called You
Are Not Alone, spearheaded by Rick Tobias,
then-executive director of Yonge Street Mission in Toronto. That resulted in StreetLevel,
an ad hoc umbrella organization that ministered to the needs of workers.
In 2003 the EFC convened a two-day con-
sultation on poverty. Tim Huff, then working
with Youth for Christ, remembers it as a time
of discussing “what we might be able to do
better together than separately.”
Although street ministry workers had
held their own conferences, Huff gives
credit to the EFC for drawing them together
again, first through a roundtable, and then a
national conference in Ottawa in 2006, also
The 2006 conference gave street ministers
a national voice, says Huff, especially through
producing the Ottawa Manifesto, nine statements directed at citizens and the government to help alleviate poverty.
The EFC facilitated a second Ottawa
conference inviting Members of Parliament to
join with frontline workers. The EFC Ottawa
office, says Huff, “was a big help because they
knew a lot of MPs who were friendly to the
Recently Huff joined Pat Nixon, founder
and former director of Calgary’s Mustard
Seed, to launch StreetLevel as a formal
ministry and secure its own charitable status.
It has a triple mandate of caring for frontline
poverty workers, teaching children and youth
to be compassionate, and building a national
EFC leaders are still “very connected to
what we are doing,” says Huff. He affirms
that the EFC “really did help birth the current StreetLevel. We probably wouldn’t be
where we are” without the EFC.
Christian Higher Education Canada
(CHEC) is another charity with roots in an
EFC partnership. In 1998 the EFC facilitated a roundtable with representatives
from Christian liberal arts universities and
colleges. In 2005 the roundtable, together
with two other groups (the Association of
Canadian Bible Colleges and the Christian
Higher Education Enrolment Association),
launched CHEC, which remained under the
EFC’s umbrella for several years.
The education roundtable grew to include
seminaries and gained charitable status
in 2008. CHEC now has 34 members, all of
them also affiliated with the EFC, according
to executive director Justin Cooper, formerly
president of Redeemer University College in
“We have a very close and good relationship with the EFC,” says Cooper. Examples
include recent co-operation on a study of
Quebec theological education, a database on
Christian higher education and a higher education parliamentary breakfast in Ottawa.
“I’m not sure we could do what we do
effectively without the EFC,” Cooper says,
pointing to the EFC’s legal advice and expertise in carrying out surveys.
Other EFC partnerships have included
the Aboriginal Ministries Council chaired by
Ray Aldred, the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Roundtable chaired by John Wilkinson
of Youth Unlimited, Equipping Evangelists
headed by Merv Budd, the Child in Church
and Culture Partnership led by Shelley Cam-pagnola, the Canadian Network of Ministries
to Muslims headed by Randy Hoffman, the
Canadian Marriage and Family Network
with Greg McCombs and Purpose at Work
chaired by Gerry Organ. n
By Debra Fieguth
The EFC has facilitated many partnerships that have blessed the nation.
says Tim Huff.