Will YOU help scatter seed to grow God’s Kingdom?

“The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens.” Mark 4:26-27 (NLT).

I love our Canadian prairies. This summer, I got to spend some time connecting with my heritage in Italy – arguably one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There, I was captivated by Italy’s grandiose architecture, its varied and picturesque countryside, and – certo! – its unconquerable cuisine (ok, I’m biased ☺!). But when I returned to Canada, I found myself equally awestruck at the beauty of our Canadian prairies during harvest. I was particularly amazed by how our auburn fields showcase a balance of natural processes and human ingenuity. And that left me also marvelling at our farmers.

Every year, our farmers work their fields diligently with very little control over the environment required to produce a harvest. They do all they can, blending generations of knowledge about seeds and soils and seasons with sophisticated science and massive, state-of-the-art machinery. Farmers do everything they reasonably can do, but every year they make a practical proclamation of faith: they work at their jobs fully and faithfully but ultimately depend for a harvest on things largely out of their control.

Right now, the Canadian church seems to be in a world largely out of its control. In recent years, Canada has gone through rapid changes to its social, spiritual, and moral climate that increasingly conflict with traditional Christian beliefs and values. The Canadian church itself is struggling to express its identity, displaying heated divisions over public policies, facing challenges to attract and retain both leaders and young adults and, too often, exchanging its historic beliefs and values for ones from secular culture as it attempts to maintain a sense of social relevance. For many, the situation feels hopeless – a sentiment corroborated by a recent PEW study that declared the slide away from Christianity as “inexorable” (see “Christian Decline Inexorable” in Christianity Today [September 2022]). What are we to do?

What are we to do?

Without disparaging the statisticians, what we do is look to Jesus. Jesus initiated a global movement among the most unlikely, rural initiates. Looking to his farming contemporaries for an illustration, Jesus described his Kingdom as something that requires us to do the diligent work of sowing seeds and harvesting crops while leaving the actual process of growth to him (Mark 4:26-29). The same goes for the Canadian church today. It’s our job to sow and harvest and to depend on God for the growth, whatever our environment. That said, farmers in both Jesus’ day and ours have adapted different techniques for how to sow and harvest in response to different environments, and that’s something for the church to consider, too. Our essential job remains the same; how we do it may need to adapt.

In the Kingdom-Building Business

At Horizon, we’re in the Kingdom-building business of sowing competent leaders for stronger churches and a healthier Canada. But how we do that has changed. Just before COVID hit, Horizon initiated a vision to relocate to a custom-built hub that brings together key prairie denominations and state-of-the-art technology to train competent Christian leaders anywhere – from rural churches to around the world. We are so pleased to announce that (after many COVID-related delays) our hub is complete! You can watch this brief video ↓ to get a taste of what we’re up to, but we hope you will plan to join us in person or online for our (finally!) Grand Opening event, October 27 to hear more! (With apologies to those who noted Oct 20 as previously announced, unforeseen circumstances have pushed the date by one week!)

Grand Opening Event
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With our multi-use and high-tech spaces in place, Horizon is poised to level-up our high-quality, competent Christian leadership training anywhere. But there’s still much more to do as we expand our reach to train more leaders. We need your help!

Ways to Help

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Dr. Jeromey Martini, President, Horizon College & Seminary and Professor of New Testament Studies

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