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Samuel Kinnin

Canada Report
Canada, our neighbor to the north, I can honestly say I never expected to set foot on
Canadian soil for several reasons. My whole life I had heard about the freezing cold weather
basically like going to the North Pole and not liking the cold very much, I decided from a young
age not to visit Canada. Second, I had heard stereotypes my whole life about the Eh people.
The majority of Canadians seemed to be French and I had often heard they were quite rude and
judgmental of American visitors. As you can see, I had a very limited view of Canada before
starting this course. In fact, when God first led me to this course I was intrigued by the fact it
related to missions. My flesh wanted to turn the trip down from the beginning. My justification
was that I wanted to go to Uganda so badly so why would God want me to go to a place so
unlike where my heart was. After deciding to drop the course, God quickly confirmed the trip to
me and kept placing the topic in my life. I surrendered and said yes to the trip and it was a
wonderful decision. The first day of class, I had no clue what to expect. I knew I would be the
only freshman in the class which made it difficult for me to feel comfortable. However, as time
progressed I found myself enjoying the course and people more and more. Although I loved the
course material, I found myself knowing nothing about the actual trip, it didnt matter the amount
of information I was given about the trip, I had no expectations because I had no idea what to
expect. At first, the trip seemed like a missions trip, but I quickly realized it would be a new
experience unlike any other. In actuality, I really tried not to place any expectations on the trip,
so I could truly let the Holy Spirit move and reveal to me what I was supposed to get out of the
experience. As the trip started to come up, I found myself not feel anxious or excited, but simply
open and ready. Therefore, Saturday morning I woke up like any other day having no idea what
the week would hold, but knowing God fully called me to go to Canada.

Samuel Kinnin

The trip was incredible and God taught me so much through the experience. On Sunday,
we were able to attend Southwinds Church in Calgary where Brett Myers from another church
spoke. Bretts sermon was about unity and he used a grand illustration to show his point. He
discussed being a pitcher by being poured into in order to pour into others which is what God has
called us all to be. However, we have the free will to be a glass not pouring into others and
satisfying our own needs. Overall, the message was an incredible testament of what the body of
Christ should look like. Afterwards, we were able to sit and talk with Brett along with other
church planters during lunch. I had the privilege of sitting with Bo Neal who was the pastor of
Southwinds and a native of Texas. He went to Canadian Baptist Seminary and after graduation
started to plant a church in Calgary. When he started, the church was small but did so much for
the community. One instance is when the church threw a block party for the community;
therefore, following what Brett had discussed on being a pitcher through pouring into others. The
community center witnessed how successful the block party was and decided to host one of their
own and in a sense try to outdo the church. Bo saw what had occurred and instead of becoming
angry, he went up to the director and asked if the church could help the next year. The director
was thrilled at the idea of having more resources and volunteers and agreed. Out of that
discussion sparked a great relationship between the church and community center leading the
community center to rent out a room for the church to host services on Sundays. After hearing
the story of the church being started I was surprised at how Bo was able to stay level headed and
truly minister to the community just as Christ did, by meeting people where they were at. Bo was
truly passionate about his plant and the people of Calgary which made me hope that wherever I
go in missions I will be as passionate as he is. We had the opportunity to meet many more church
planters throughout the week and two more that stuck out to me were DK Hale and Paul Bagley.

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DK Hale is the Area Missions Director and has served in Canada all his life. His parents traveled
to Canada from the United States after his father sensed a call to begin a church. His family
seemed to struggle as they lived in a home without any amenities or accommodations. His father
would go on to serve 44 years with no salary and hardly any appreciation which showed his
dedication to Gods call. DK faced great distress when his house suddenly burnt to the ground
and with nothing left the community came together and took care of the family. He got his
education in Florida and had the opportunity to go on to minister at 23 churches in the US, but
God gripped his heart to go back to Canada. He followed the call and has served as a church
planting catalyst, pastor, Executive Director for the Baptist Convention, and now Area Missions
Director. It was insightful to hear about his experiences and the rich life he has lived through
following Gods calling. Paul Bagley also made a huge impact on me during my time in Calgary.
He is the pastor of Lifespring Church in East Village. The community wanted no church in the
area because many of their hearts were hardened at the idea of Christ. Pauls church went into the
area and he served the people where they were at by offering meals and many services for the
people. One of their greatest ministries was them giving out coffee and doughnuts every Sunday
and inviting people to stay for service, but not pressuring them in any way. Paul began praying
for partners and God provided through a collective group of nine churches from Canada and the
US giving to them. I enjoyed hearing Paul speak because he truly wanted to follow the motto
love God, love people. His church is based on love and serving their community which is what
church should be about. Many times in the United States, we seem to be focused on our number
of members and getting into a weekly routine of church rather than what the church should truly
be about- reaching out. Overall, all the planters I met taught me many things which will help me
as I go into missions.

Samuel Kinnin

The first thing I learned about church planting is that it is about meeting peoples needs
not our own. Every planter we talked to was truly dedicated to the people in their area. In
Canada, the community centers play a vital role in the community and therefore churches can
serve with the centers to reach out to people. Bo was able to recognize the role of the centers and
he decided to meet the peoples needs through helping the center, hosting events, and holding
sports camps to draw families closer together. Each plant is also geared towards a different type
of people group. For example, Pauls church is geared towards the homeless and broken in the
East Village. He therefore serves the needs of the people through serving meals to anyone who is
hungry. The primary role of the church is to be the hands and feet of Christ through serving
others. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:19 and 9:22, Though I am free and belong to no one, I have
made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible I have become all things to all
people so that by all possible means I might save some. Church planters must follow Christ and
Pauls example to truly serve the people and meet their needs. Overall, the planters primary
goals in their positions were to ensure their members and community members needs were met
rather than concentrating on personal concerns. They all possessed the primary characteristic of
any minister- a heart of service. The second thing I learned about church planting was that there
is no specific church model to follow because each area is different. There are so many models
for church planters to follow. Church models differ from Canada and the United States as well
since the people are different in the two areas. Even two communities within the same city have
many differences and therefore different approaches must be taken to ensure success for the
church. They really need to understand what their area is made up of and who their people
groups are to reach them effectively. For example, a purpose- driven church might work in a
large city since it is very organized and precise, but not be effective in a rural area since the

Samuel Kinnin

demographics are different. The rural area might need to have a cowboy church in their area to
serve as a less formal place of worship without being as high-tech. Therefore, the best place to
start is by just observing the area before you establish a church. You can also start out with a
model and change it later on if needed. Paul Bagley was worship leader at a church that followed
the Bill Hyball model which used fine arts and entertainment to share the Gospel with others.
The model did not work for the East Village and therefore he had to make adjustments to the area
he was in. Paul had the influence of that specific church model, but he was able to establish a
unique plant through viewing the people in his area and seeing what they respond to. The third
thing I learned about church planting is that it is not always the best option to have a building for
your church. When you think of a church you picture a large building with a steeple and cross,
but that image is not always the case nor should it be. The trip showed me a building is not
always an option for churches. Bo Neal discussed the fact that an acre of land in Calgary cost $5
million and then you add even more with the cost of building. For his plant, it is best to rent out a
space for a lot less money and use the funds in other ways. In fact, many churches in Calgary
seemed to rent out space for themselves. I thought about it to myself and also believe it is a good
option to not have a building because many people will be more comfortable in an everyday
space like a community center. In some areas, churches have had a negative connotation and
therefore those who have been hurt by a church would not want to go into a traditional church
building. Churches also are forced to meet in homes since there is no building which creates a
more intimate time of studying the Word and getting to know one another. It is more casual and
less formal to meet in someones home. Although owning a building has its benefits there are
many options for churches that do not have that opportunity. Therefore I believe both options are
great- it just depends on the availability and your target group.

Samuel Kinnin

One of the planters that discussed the resources they used was Dwight Huffman. The first
resource he used was a yearly budget. His staff and he would map out a budget for the next year
setting aside funds for specific things such as giving 5% of their funds to help church plants. This
resource helped keep him organized and the church from being in debt. Dwight also would send
a representative to meet with each church plant on a weekly basis to make sure the pastor was
doing well spiritually and that the church was running smoothly. One of the main resources
Dwight used was talking weekly with a group of pastors and them asking each other three
specific questions. The first question was what has God shown you this week? the pastors
would be able to discuss this and really think about what God had revealed to them that week.
The next question was what are you going to do to act on that? This question challenged the
fellow pastors to think about how they would respond to the specific thing God taught them and
therefore be more likely to act on it rather than simply forgetting about it. They would also be
able to give ideas and discuss their ideas with each other. The last question was what ministry
challenges have you faced this week? The pastors could help each other with the various
challenges they faced through sharing their personal experiences and lessons learned. Overall, I
believe it is important to have fellowship with other pastors. A pastor needs to have their alone
time with God to grow spiritually, but he also should be challenged and poured into by a group
of peers. After the trip, God revealed to me that this is something I lack and really need in my
life. A Paul-Timothy-Barnabas relationship is important to every minister and Christian. A Paul is
someone who pours into you, Timothy is someone you pour into, and a Barnabas is a friend and
encourager. Dwight had all three individuals which allowed him to succeed as a pastor. The last
resource he discussed was people. People from various churches can help another church with
something they need. Dwight mentioned taking the youth group to a church plant and helping in

Samuel Kinnin

any way they could. In conclusion it is important to identify and use all resources given to you in
order to make sure your church is successful.
In conclusion, this trip was one I will never forget. Church planting is an important
subject when it comes to missions and ministering to others. I never had knowledge about church
planting and everything that went into it, but now I know how hard yet rewarding it can be. I am
not sure if I will ever plant a church, but I am now open to the idea if it is in Gods plan for my
life. Canada was a place I never expected to go and it quickly turned into a place I never wanted
to leave. The knowledge I gained in Canada will serve me well for the rest of my life especially
as I go into ministry. I hope to take the knowledge I gained from this trip and apply it here in Bell
County. Every church started out as a church plant and therefore it is important to know how
churches start and understand the hard work and dedication that went into the church you attend.
I was not only able to gain knowledge about church planting while in Canada, God also taught
me several things. First, I had been forcing doors to open in my life and then asking God if they
were his will. I learned that I needed to seek His will first before making plans myself. Second,
my time of prayer had been rough and I could not get to the bottom of it, but I realized I was not
listening to God respond to my prayers. I was having a one-sided conversation and doing all the
talking when at times I needed to stop and listen to Him. The last lesson I learned was to be
patient and enjoy this time of preparation. College is a time of preparation for Gods calling in
your life. It can be frustrating to be in this transitional state because all you want to do is follow
Gods calling. For me, I wanted to be in Uganda ministering to others instead of sitting in a
classroom. I realized that college and my education are important because they are preparing me
for my call so I can best serve Him. Therefore it is best to enjoy my time and be like a sponge
soaking up all the knowledge and experiences I can have. Overall, I am thankful to God for

Samuel Kinnin

putting this trip in my life and I cannot wait to see all the wonderful things he has in store for the
churches in Calgary and how this trip will affect my life even more.