if you are the ones already there and a new
church moves into town. I think it’s important for all churches, and church
planters coming into a new place, to go the
extra mile and give honour to the people
who have been there all along, trying to
serve and putting in decades of work.
And they might not be the shiniest
thing in town, but they’ve put in years of
work. At the same time what should help
to reduce the sense of competition is a
sense of identity and vision in each church.
Before I got to Evangel, they had just
finished a renovation project. There was
a little bit of, “What are we going to do
next?” We worked very quickly to [say],
“This is the direction we are going to go.
This is where we are going.” Because a
sense of identity here will help that back
and forth. And they [the other church]
have a very strong sense of who they are.
So instead of worrying about the people
across the street, focus on your own
identity. And when they opened across
the street, I made a big announcement.
“We need to bless them.” The Millennial
generation is much more interested in
collaboration than competition. The
Boomer generation tends to be a bit more
competitive. If a church wants to stay
relevant, they need to recognize that.
FT: In your work in urban centres, have you
seen any clumsy mistakes repeated? What do
we need to avoid?
PM: Christians who come into an urban
setting can make the mistake of thinking
they are the first who have noticed a need
and that there’s an easy solution. They can
think there are simple reasons why people
are in whatever situation they are in. If we
just solve addiction, if we just solve mental illness, etc. It’s usually much more
complex than that. They are real people
with a story. I think maybe people don’t
want to listen to the story. They just want
to solve the label.
F T: You have moved from Hamilton to Montreal,
which seems like a move between two very
different cities and cultures that perhaps
represent two different takes on Canada. What
are you seeing?
PM: I realized about a month after I got
here that really all I had ever known
THE FT INTERVIEW