Our conversation began over his E-reader. I was curious what he was reading. (I’m always curious what people are reading). Then I asked about his travels, and why he was in Kelowna, and what he did for a living, and next thing you know, I am sitting across the table from David Macfarlane, Director of National Initiatives for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada, discussing Mark 5 and Talitha Koum, and my degree, my children and James Patterson.
I was impressed by the irony of meeting such a man of God in my restaurant, of all places, and was excited to think of all the amazing people who will populate heaven someday. But when I asked what he did for a living, he didn’t tell me he was Director of National Initiatives for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada (the internet told me that a few minutes ago), he told me he was a motivational speaker for a non-profit organization.
“I bore people to sleep for a living,” he told me with a grin and the hint of an accent. When pressed though, he told me he’d just spoken at a gathering of 50 pastors on the topic of how to change the world. I briefly wished I’d met him at the conference rather than at the restaurant. Had I, though, it seems unlikely that I would have enjoyed a private audience over a lunch table with him.
Today was my Monday. It was a gorgeous sunny day. I’d wished myself outdoors, and not inside for a long, slow work shift. Turns out, I was meant to be indoors today.
* The following excerpt is from http://damacfarlane.blogspot.ca/
Monday, November 29, 2010
The “Quitting Church” series of blogs generated lots of responses. One leader said “I have been serving in the church for over twenty years and I want to quit – but I won’t. I am tired of all the politics”. Another thought that I was brave to tackle this issue as, to him, “Quitting Church” is the “elephant in the room” of Canadian Christianity.
Here are some wonderful signs of life that I see in growing and vibrant churches as I speak across our nation:
Numerous congregations that strategically and sacrificially reach out to unbelievers and are filled with the excitement of seeing many come to Christ each week!
Multicultural celebrations in churches that intentionally reflect the ethnic diversity of their changing neighbourhoods.
A congregation receiving a citation from the Mayor for the positive influence that they are seen to have as they serve their community.
Rural churches that are full of youth attracted by vibrant worship, genuine relationships and messages that they can clearly relate to.
A growing congregation that translates each service into seven languages simultaneously every Sunday like they do at the United Nations.
Christians that volunteer with the police to keep the streets safe for the community children as they go about on Halloween.
A small church now packed with youth after they built a skate park. Young people arrive each week with a Bible under one arm and a skate board under the other.
Churches working together to impact their cites with acts of kindness that is attractive to the community and getting the attention of the media.
Small groups that “adopt a block” that they serve and witness to throughout the year with amazing God sightings as a consequence.
Congregations, big on discipleship, where those that come to Christ stay and grow in their new found faith and fill the sanctuary with joy and celebration.
Compassionate churches where even strangers and neighbours feel loved and cared for.
The common denominator of exciting and growing Canadian congregations is not fancy programs, big budgets or the latest technology but Christians with such an authentic faith and an outward focus that it is attractive to a spiritually hungry Canada.
Ministry Update: Thank you for your prayers. This has been a wonderfully fruitful month with ministry in Toronto; Burlington; San Diego; Fredericton; Ottawa; Tampa and North York. We are encouraged by the positive response we have received everywhere and the many new requests to speak for groups in the future.
David Arrol Macfarlane
Cell: 519 503 8380