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How We Got Here: Toronto


This is the first of what will be a series of posts on the important role that the city of Toronto plays in our journey of church planting in London. This week I (Thomas) spent a few days in Toronto for training and team-building. Here are a few ways that Toronto has prepared us to plant in London...

Mike

Mike is one of the first people to identify the calling of church planting in us.

Mike Seaman, pastor of Trinity Life Church, has played an absolutely crucial role in our story. I first met Mike six years ago when Providence began supporting him as a church planter to Toronto. Since then Mike has become a friend and mentor. He is a sincere encourager and a prophetic gift-identifier.

It's wild to consider how partnering with Mike as a church planter five years ago would be the way that God planted the desire for church planting in our own hearts. We'll share more about Mike in the months ahead. His friendship, investment, and wisdom have been instrumental in our lives. Now he is taking an active role of coaching us as we prepare to plant in London.

Trinity Life Church

Trinity Life Church is the place we learned about dynamic city-center ministry.

Mike and Daniel Yang co-pastored Trinity Life for the first few years of our partnership. Together, Mike and Daniel were a dynamic duo. The interplay of their gifts was a sight to behold and their influence was considerable in the city of Toronto and across North American church planting culture. Their leadership has taught us a lot about church planting and the importance of team-leadership. God used each of them to call me to the task of church planting.

In this past season Daniel Yang has taken up an important role with Ed Stetzer in leading the Send Institute - a North American think tank focused on evangelism and church planting. In these days God seems to be accomplishing even more through these two brothers as they are leading important discussions about the nature of church planting in North America.

We're excited to continue our training and partnership with Trinity Life in Toronto in the months ahead. In these days Mike is opening up the playbook, so to speak, and teaching us more about his strategy for making disciples in Toronto and we're working together to think about how to best make disciples in London. We will share more about these developments, in the months ahead.

The City

Toronto is the city that taught us to love cities. London is the city we fell most in love with.

Toronto, or as the public theologian Drake calls it: the 6, has been ground zero for barrier busting encounters. It's amazing to look back and think about the role that the actual city of Toronto has played in God preparing our hearts for church planting.

Toronto is the place where God gave us a love for the city. Not a romantic "honeymoon" type of love but an enduring "just as you are" type of affection. God used repeated exposures to this city to create new desires and affections in our hearts. He did this by pushing us past our comfort zones, bringing us into new conversations, and confronting presuppositions about life and ministry with Scripture and experience.

Hear, Trust, Obey

At the heart of what we have learned through our time in Toronto is the processing of recognizing God's address and growing in boldness to respond in obedience. Trinity Life embodies this model of discipleship in everything they do. Our time in this city has led us to sense God's good guidance in our own lives leading us to London to plant a church there.

As we prepare to go, we need your help. Will you partner with us in prayer? We are building a team of friends to pray for our family and the city of London in the years ahead. It's easy to join in, simply click right here and you can join our prayer team. We will send you monthly updates about ministry, family, and what God is doing in our lives. Thank you for participating with us in this!

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.

// John 10:27-30

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