By John P. Brown
Two decades ago, a leading missionary statesman in North America remarked: “At the seminary where I graduated, the only connection between the Theology Department and the World Missions Department is the plumbing!”
Great Disconnect If that was true in the early 2000s, it is unfortunately even more true in Canada in the 2020s. A great disconnect has developed between the Bible School classroom and the needs of the lost.
In the last 50 years, the core emphasis of many Bible schools has evolved from World Missions to Personal Counselling to Social Justice. We know that students pursue careers that relate to their training. Naturally, then, fewer and fewer Bible College and Seminary graduates embrace missions.
Since Bible schools and seminaries have not instilled a missionary heart in their graduates, new pastors have not challenged their young people to see the whole world through God’s eyes. So, most Canadian Christians are either oblivious to or careless about God’s plan for the nations.
The Canadian Church needs revival. Only God can move it back to a place of life and vitality. Revival is what happens when the Spirit of God infuses His power into sluggish believers who lack God’s holiness and vision. But praise God change is happening. In Canada, the Holy Spirit is moving.
Although Christianity is attacked on our intensely secular campuses, a growing number of university students realize that life without God lacks meaning. Many are turning to Christ and rededicating their lives to Him. Their faith is nurtured by mission-minded campus clubs like InterVarsity/Groupes Bibliques Universitaires, Power to Change/Campus Crusade, and the Asian Christian Fellowships.
Canada has become one of the world’s top destinations for international students. In fact, in 2018, the year before the Covid pandemic, Canadian universities hosted 690,000 international students—more than any other country. Spirit-filled Christian students—whether Canadian- born or foreign—look around and realize their friends from China, India, North Africa, Nigeria and Iran need to know their Saviour.
The world has not just come to our universities. Canada has the highest level of immigration of any Western country. Fifty-five percent of the residents of Toronto, Canada’s largest city, were born overseas. Each year 400,000 people—an equivalent to the population of Lekki, Nigeria—make Canada home.
Some of our New Canadians arrive with a passion for missions and evangelism. In the power of God’s Spirit, they are reaching out to legacy (white) Canadians and immigrants alike. New churches and established churches are realizing that if they are going to thrive in coming years, they must proclaim Christ “to the world next door”. And they must once again hear God’s call to reach the ends of the earth.
This is the land where God has placed CAPRO Canada. We are thrilled to be part of God’s plan for Revival in this nation.