that NV had to relocate several times before settling in to its current spacious location. Today, it supports 800 families on a
regular basis with food and other needs –
even more at Christmastime.
“There are many churches that impact
their community and la Francophonie. It’s
obvious that NV has reached beyond the
borders of Longueuil or Montreal,” says
Jocelyn Olivier, Claude Houde’s assistant
and one of the church’s 25 pastors (many
of whom lead “subministries”).
NV offers conferences, training for
preachers and equipping for singers and
musicians conducting worship. NV ministry teams are at work every week helping
churches in the surrounding area, they
say. And of course, online engagement
stretches the church’s impact even farther
through la Francophonie, from Montreal
to Sept-Îles, from Paris to Port-au-Prince.
“Teams of pastors and leaders regularly
come for a few days from the four corners
of the French [-speaking] world to learn
and see how things are done around here,”
says Olivier. They say they are inspired by
NV’s ability to build a church with impact
in la Francophonie – a notoriously difficult group to reach.
David Gosselin is a writer based in Montreal.
Lire une traduction française de cet article à
The publishing arm of NV (Ministères
Parole d’Espoir) and music production
team produce material for the French-speaking world. Music from singers and songwriters like Luc Dumont, a popular Quebecois contemporary Christian singer/
songwriter, spreads NV’s message of hope.
Effective use of social media plays a vital
role in the life of NV, say the leaders.
In 2005, a group of churches including
NV formed the new denomination l’Association Chrétienne pour la Francophonie
(ACF). With Pastor Houde and Mark Le-compte, a fellow NV pastor at the helm,
ACF dedicated itself to training people and
ACF also founded L’Institut de théolo-gie pour la francophonie (I TF), a theology
school accredited by Laval University.
Students from all over la Francophonie
(including France, Belgium, Switzerland,
New Caledonia, Haiti, Martinique, Reunion Island, Madagascar and Quebec)
study each year at the school.
“Many students [most of them pastors]
return to their native countries full of not
only theological and theoretical knowledge, but also practical training as well,”
NV branched out from reaching just
members, to the community, to the entire
French-speaking world, without a script
or master plan, say its leaders. The Internet expanded the NV base with 12,000
Facebook “likes” at last count, 300,000
annual website visitors and the church
schedule downloaded 18,000 times.
“NV has always been careful to not
forget local members, but we found our
members bonded even more when they
saw the need in la Francophonie,” says
Hélène Bergeron, an NV member. /FT
Claude Houde is lead pastor of L’Église Nouvelle
Vie in Montreal, the largest church in the
THEY ARE INSPIRED BY NOUVELLE
VIE’S ABILITY TO BUILD A CHURCH
WITH IMPACT IN LA FRANCOPHONIE
– A NOTORIOUSLY DIFFICULT
GROUP TO REACH.