Imagine 80 diverse young adults from across Canada, coming together in Montreal for a one-week leadership gathering, all wondering the same thing: “How can God use me for His Kingdom? How can I be on mission for Him?” The annual Envision Summit is a unique space that provides leadership development for young influencers from across the nation, focused on skill and soul.
This year, we introduced the Creative Challenge, a 24-hour, intensive, collaborative event where young adults work in teams, tackling real-case issues. 11 teams were tasked with presenting solutions to an expert panel regarding some of the most pressing issues facing Alliance missions today. Some of the resulting ideas would serve the Rohingyan refugees displaced in Malaysia, or engage the T-people living in Parkdale, Toronto, or spur initiatives for reaching a creative access country discerned by our General Assembly as a strategic opportunity for gospel witness once again.
What was incredible to see and hear from our leaders, was that some of them saw—for the first time—how their education, giftings, and skills could contribute meaningfully toward effective, missional impact.
“The Creative Challenge was a great activity for me to engage my faith practically in a real life crisis. […] It was great to see the church work together. And coming in intimacy and sincerity, seeking God together.” (Ran Xiao – Young leader from Chinese Church in Montreal)
“Through the Creative Challenge, my eyes were really opened to how narrow a view I previously had of missions and what I considered possible. Envision Summit has helped me dream again.” (Adelle Ngo – CMD Young Leader)
This was an opportunity for these young people to use their voices to speak into these challenges and be awakened to the depth and complexity of the issues that Alliance leaders wrestle and discern through regularly.
Following the Creative Challenge, Kathryn Klassen spent time powerfully teaching on the Father Heart of God, Forgiveness, and Footholds. In small groups, participants vulnerably shared their stories about their areas of struggle. They received prayer and encouragement from one another. One participant described it perfectly by referring to 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” and hearts were primed for what was to come.
Our evening service was led by the President of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, David Hearn, who challenged our leaders to not live as “wimps” or “whiners” but to recognize their identity as “warriors” for Jesus. He challenged them to go out into the world with all the authority given unto us by Jesus. Chains were broken, and walls crumbled down, as leaders stepped forward to surrender their lives and their calling to Jesus.
The tagline this year was, “create space and be expectant.” As the first ever all-Canadian Envision Summit, we wanted to create space for God, for one another, and expect for Him to move among us in ways beyond our wildest imaginations. Each and every day, participants were stirred deeply in their hearts, challenged to take risks for His Kingdom, and learn again and again how to surrender to Jesus. Envision Summit 2019 marked a turning point for us as the Envision Canada team. Not only did we encounter the power of Jesus personally for ourselves, but our eyes and hearts were opened to the great potential of the coming generation within the C&MA in Canada.
As a team, it is our honour and joy to organize, facilitate, and mentor young leaders on what Global Missions can look like in our lives. We see ourselves as a team that comes alongside young leaders in helping them discern God’s calling in their lives. It is our prayer to continue to create space for this generation to exercise their radical faith, skills, and passions in a creative environment for fresh expressions of Global Missions. Please join us in prayer for these leaders as they navigate what’s next and ask God to reveal to them how He wants to use them, for His kingdom and His glory. Their best is yet to come!