"We must use every possible method, in every possible place, at every possible time, to reach every possible person for Christ. Everything we do and everything we are is for that purpose."
The Moncton Wesleyan Church did not have much variation in size for almost 100 years prior to my coming in 1969. I had a deep passion and conviction that this pattern had to be changed. I found myself working almost day and night. I sensed a great lack of believability that it could be different.
I assumed that the people who worked the closest with me must surely feel this as intensely as me. We were working so hard to break the barriers that for sure the inner circle would be as dedicated to our purpose as I was. One day, however, my secretary informed me that she was getting married and would be attending her future husband’s church just outside Moncton.
I was surprised, horrified, disappointed and, frankly, even angry. I didn’t think that anyone knowing the importance of the vision could possibly not want to be a part of what God was doing in our church.
I soon woke up to what the problem was. They didn’t clearly understand the importance of the vision. I had not clearly articulated it well enough. Consequently the Manifesto of the Moncton Wesleyan Church was born. It helped everyone to understand how serious our God inspired purpose really was.
In hindsight, I am very grateful that my secretary’s actions helped me to see the light; She made the right decision by going to her husband's church. In every difficulty there is a great discovery.
What I wrote back in 1976 and became the rallying cry by which our church was guided for the next three decades. During that time period, our attendance grew from 400 to more than 1,800; our income increased by more than $2 million per year, and our giving grew to the point that we were able to give $250,000 per year to missions. Most importantly, we were privileged to baptize hundreds of new believers.
A DEFINITE DIFFERENCE…
The Moncton Wesleyan Church is somewhat unique. The uniqueness stems from our fervency of cause and purpose. The cause is not fuzzy, foggy and clouded, but clear and certain. The church is over 100 years old, making it one of the oldest of the largest churches in the Wesleyan denomination. In spite of having been a very traditional church, the people have adjusted to the change necessary for unprecedented growth in this region.
WHY THE DEFINITE DIFFERENCE…
Churches can easily be caught up in a political merry-go-round of organizational maintenance which eventually occupies most of their energies. Historically, churches in general have had a tendency to be preoccupied with the exultation of other denominational and doctoral identities. But no object, however important can ever be a substitute for God’s basic purpose for his church. To glorify God, to study the Word, and to know and contend for the fundamentals of the faith, are absolutely necessary objectives for our church and for our individual lives. However, if Satan can get our eyes off the real cause and purpose onto some very wholesome, important and worthwhile, but secondary pursuits, he will have subtly, but effectively, won a great battle. It is possible that more people will be in hell because the church has exercised its energies on secondary matters than because of the outside forces that were against the church.
Relatively speaking, evangelical Christianity in Atlantic Canada has been at a standstill, status quo position, compared with what it could and should be accomplishing. God has called us to see this changed. However, that can only come about by having the right goal.
WHAT WILL CAUSE THE DEFINITE DIFFERENCE…
Since a manifesto is a “declaration of intention, purpose and motive”, may it be clearly understood that our goal, cause and purpose is to be in harmony with God’s goal, cause and purpose, which is “to seek and to save those who are lost.”
The problem which exists is best overstated by the fact that many event a list of churches wholeheartedly agree with this emphasis, but the performance and preoccupation with secondary matters often betrays their lack of dedication to such a cause. If at any time leadership is made aware of any part of our church function that conflicts with that purpose, that part will be deleted.
Our emphasis on discipleship, teaching, preaching, study of the Word, prayer, holy living, doctrine, organization, buildings, tithing, music, praise, fellowship, etc., are all so that we might more effectively reach more people for Christ. Nothing must ever divert us from this cause - no individual, no tradition, no denominational emphasis, no criticism, no obstacle of any kind.
This cost was so important to God that it cost him the best he had. Whatever price is required to keep this cause before us must be paid!
THE RIGHTNESS OF THE DEFINITE DIFFERENCE…
The church that truly has God’s goal as its goal, and is not merely paying lip service because it sounds right, but is totally sincere and has proven itself to be so by the directions and decisions of its leadership, as well as an established pattern of results, deserves the unreservedly, dedicated, committed, enthusiastic support of every Christian. If Christianity is ever going to be turned around in this area, the Moncton Wesleyan Church must be an example.
We may have our personal preferences about a big church or a small church, a formal service or informal service, a long service or a short service, gospel music or liturgical music, loud music or soft music, fiery preaching or quiet preaching. However, if those preferences dictate which church we attend and support, then we can never experience God’s greatest blessing, because our motives are selfish.
Consequently, if we identify with a church that truly has as its goal God’s goal and is consistently seeing it fulfilled, then that Church deserves our total support. This will result in our being blessed of God to the fullest, regardless of personal preferences.
Because of the magnitude of our task, this church urgently needs workers, tithers, and soul-winners. Because of a crucial, critical cause, because of battles we must be winning against Satan with ever increasing momentum, God urgently needs an army in which there are no broken ranks and no defections but, to the contrary, a constant addition of solid, steadfast, dependable warriors. As a result, the church will have such a powerful impact in the community that the most disinterested person will not be able to ignore the testimony of the church.
A most obvious and practical approach to seeing this goal realized is through a born again, Spirit-filled people committed to a close walk with God by a consistent spiritual life through prayer, getting into the Word, total obedience, regular church attendance, and availability and involvement and dedicated service.
THE RESULTS OF A DEFINITE DIFFERENCE…
Depending on the degree of commitment and cooperation, the church will be growing spiritually and numerically, with hundreds of happy, enthusiastic, blessed people involved in seeing the goal realized, the cause pursued and the purpose fulfilled to the extent that every person in the greater Moncton area will be touched by the message of the Gospel.