Making the Gospel known, one church at a time


The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
MATTHEW 28:16-20 CSB

At some point all believers in Christ must grapple with the verse above and how it should affect their lives. It’s powerful. It’s a command given by God in the flesh that echoes out to future generations. It’s a capstone to His earthly ministry.

Today in North America this verse automatically conjures up the idea of personal evangelism. Every Christian has the duty to tell others about Jesus’ amazing sacrifice of love. This is wonderful. Surely every Christian individually has this duty, and we should all feel the responsibility to share the Good News. The problem is that there is more to this verse than can be seen through an individualist lens.

Coming from perhaps the most individualist culture known to man, we tend to minimize the communal elements in Scripture. Look more closely at Jesus’ command. Where we have truncated this verse into simply telling others about Christ, He is actually telling us to make disciples, baptize, and teach. All of the sudden this is not a command that every individual Christian can fully embrace. This is a directive for the Church. This is a directive that calls for a community.

Praise be to God that He preserved the tireless work of Paul in such detail for us see. Well, not just Paul. He had many fellow workers, such Barnabas, Timothy, Titus, Silas, Luke and many others. His was a team effort and we do well to remember that. Furthermore this team effort was focused on team building which beget more team effort. Practically speaking, Paul and his fellow workers didn’t just convert individuals to Christ and let them go their merry way, they built churches. They taught people about Christ, baptized them, and created out of them a community so they could grow as disciples. These churches in turn taught and made more disciples who went and started more churches.

At Voyage Church we desire to be a church that sends: a church that propogates new churches. We embrace the fact that new churches are usually more effective at evangelism than established churches. We embrace the idea that having a large church is not the same thing as a healthy or effective church. What we want is to see new people being saved, living radically changed lives, and growing to new heights in their faith. We believe that planting churches is the best way to do this.

A church of all the nations


He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.
Colossians 1:13 CSB

In the New Testament the Kingdom of God is depicted as something that is both future and present. Jesus’ miracles were experiences of the Kingdom of God. Living by the Holy Spirit is an experience of the Kingdom of God. As a church we are supposed to express the Kingdom of God in everything we do.

The Kingdom of God implies a domain in which God’s will is ultimately obeyed. While all Christians and churches struggle with this, it is our unending endeavour to be as faithful to God as possible. And so, we look to glorify and honour God in our church as best as we can.

One aspect of God’s Kingdom that resonates with us is that His people will be made up from all the nations. Yes, Jesus death on the cross for sin meant that all peoples could enter into fellowship and covenant with God. He made one people out of many. We believe our church needs to reflect this reality.

Another desire of Voyage Church is to help and support our local community as an expression of God’s love for the world. Côte-des-Neiges is one of the most ethnically diverse neighbourhoods in the country! We believe that for us to support our community we need to be of our community.

Two distinct desires brought us to the realization that Voyage Church had to be a church “of the nations.” It had to be a church that welcomed all people and their unique cultural expressions of faith and love. Thankfully God had prepared this before we realized it; early on as we looked at each other our small launch team was composed of people from all parts of the world.

We hold that humanity is corrupt and vile, in need to God’s salvation and new life. Diversity and differences often lead to judgement and oppression, but it is in Jesus Christ where humanity can true unity and love. We seek to be a church where we can embrace our differences and use them to enrich our focus and appreciation of what unites us – our faith in Jesus Christ. Indeed our identity in Christ is paramount to everything else. As a church may we be an example of all the nations of the world declaring Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Being Intentional: Prayer, Discipleship, Community


Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish for us the work of our hands— establish the work of our hands!
Psalm 90:17 CSB

Every church is unique, even if they don’t intend to be. The mix of people, the strengths and interests of leadership, available resources, etc. all factor in to make some churches excel at some things or focus on others. We all know the church that has great preaching, the other with awesome worship, and the other with a program for every demographic. Its shame though that many churches become this way by accident. God has given us so much and we will all have to give Him an account of how we used His blessings. For us, that means we need to be intentional and responsible with our resources and activities. That means that we need to be intentional about our church and our emphases. As we came together as a leadership team through prayer and much discussion we felt that Voyage Church needed to focus on Prayer, Discipleship, and Community. That doesn’t mean we let everything else fall apart, we want to excel at everything we do for the glory of God, but that we intentionally put extra focus on these three things.

Prayer

Prayer is such a magnificent privilege. It is astounding that we can come before the All-Mighty Creator of All Existence and speak with Him! God has brought us into His family and given us an unending relationship with Him, and it is through prayer that we are able to exercise this relationship and experience Him.

Prayer is also vital to a healthy Christian life. It helps us as believers in our spiritual battles against evil and sin as we align our desires and wills to God’s. God also works through prayers, as when we make requests on behalf of others, thus He incorporates us into His work of redeeming creation. Again, what a privilege!

Prayer can also be difficult for many believers and even churches as a whole. Since it is such a powerful gift and an essential part of Christian life we want to be a solidly prayerful church. That means we want to show through our services and leadership on through our groups and discipleship the effective and glorious truth about prayer.

Discipleship

As we said before, Jesus has already made it clear that spreading the Good News is to be done through making disciples. People need to be taught about the Gospel, not merely told. That means walking along someone over time, and it means getting involved in their lives.

For us at Voyage Church our measure of being successful as a church is how much our people’s lives are transformed by the Gospel. How much people change to become more like Christ. The only way we can do this is by, as much as possible, making sure that every individual gets the attention and care that they need. Too often people fall through the cracks and get forgotten. Too often a person’s concerns or questions go unanswered and they begin stumbling in their faith. Too often people are left unchallenged in their lives and they stop growing spiritually. God has purchased each one of us individually from death and we need to honour that with proper shepherding and care.

Community

Community encompasses two emphases for us. The first is that of our church community, and it ties in with our focus on discipleship. The Church is a family and that means we need to love and care for one another as we walk through life, sharing in each other’s’ joys and sorrows, and carrying one another’s burdens. Our intention is to foster a community that is open, loving, and respectful. A community of sinners who have been saved by grace through Jesus Christ, and now have been thrust into a new life learning to fight sin and follow Jesus’ example.

The second emphasis on community is our concern and focus on our neighbourhood: Côte-des-Neiges and The Triangle. We want to take example from Jesus in that much of His ministry was caring for physical needs of people. The disciples and early church did the same. And we believe that following God means helping those in need. We want to show our neighbourhood God’s love. Jesus gave people an experience of the Kingdom of God when something wrong was made right, whether that be healing a sickness or exercising a demon. We can also allow others to have a glimpse of the Kingdom of God when we do good things to others. Why would the church not do that for others in their neighbourhood? We see no reason why not to! Sadly, we feel the Church has fallen short in this duty and we want our neighbours to know, whether they are inside or outside our walls what God’s love is.

We hold that humanity is corrupt and vile, in need to God’s salvation and new life. Diversity and differences often lead to judgement and oppression, but it is in Jesus Christ where humanity can true unity and love. We seek to be a church where we can embrace our differences and use them to enrich our focus and appreciation of what unites us – our faith in Jesus Christ. Indeed our identity in Christ is paramount to everything else. As a church may we be an example of all the nations of the world declaring Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.