God on the move in Montreal
This message originally appeared in an email from the North American Mission Board.
By Kevin Ezell
We talk a lot at NAMB about lostness rates and church-to-population ratios because these are the numbers that help prioritize our efforts. By far the least-reached area of North America is Quebec and our efforts there are concentrated on metropolitan Montreal where 3.8 million people live.
The percentage of evangelicals in Montreal is less than one percent. By comparison, Oklahoma is 53 percent evangelical. Tennessee is 51 percent.
Planting churches in Montreal has been a challenge. Residents have been very suspicious toward organized religion since a backlash against the Catholic church that began in the 1960’s.
In the last three years we have tripled the amount of money we are sending for church planting efforts in Canada and many new resources are going into Montreal. We are beginning to see some encouraging signs.
Church planter David Pothier launched La Chapelle on April 7th, 2013. Today, the church is averaging more than 700 each week. That would be an amazing thing even in the heart of the Bible belt! But it is nothing short of a miracle for Montreal.
And David’s church is not alone. Église Urbaine Axe21, another church plant, saw 595 in attendance this past Easter and baptized 20. Église Le Contact had 275 in attendance and baptized 15. Église Urbaine 180 had 160 and baptized 8.
How are these churches growing? David says most people have come to La Chapelle because of word of mouth—church members having conversations with people and inviting them to church. There is a lesson there for churches everywhere—conversation is still very powerful.
It has been exciting to see several churches in the United States step up to partner with church plants in Montreal and the surrounding areas, but we need more. Please pray with me that God would send more people and more resources to help Montreal. Perhaps you or your church are part of that answer.
View a video about La Chapelle in Montreal.
Learn how you can help start churches in Montreal.
Kevin Ezell is president of the North American Mission Board.55