Axe21 Urban Church
We are now almost one year in, here at the Axe21 Urban Church plant in downtown Sherbrooke, Quebec. Our first four months had been a time to build the core team and get everyone on board with the vision. The last eight months have proven to be quite an exciting ride!
We had the blessing of starting off with a huge team thanks to our sending church (Église Baptiste Évangélique de Sherbrooke). They have been so generous with us. Close to 100 people from our sending church formed the launch team and this enabled us to prepare to welcome as many newcomers as possible to come discover or rediscover the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!
More than 500 people showed up on our first public Sunday service! It was huge, and we rejoiced to see so many non-believing Quebecers come through the doors and have an authentic chance to hear the message that God has for them.
At Axe21, we want our Sunday gatherings to be a place where Christians feast over the Word, the blessings and the love of being in relationship with God and with one another. We want those blessings and that love to overflow to newcomers, that they may see the presence of God and give him the glory as they see and hear the Gospel and are confronted by its graceful truth!
We want to offer Quebecers a place to culturally fit in, where the only thing that takes them off guard is the presence of the Gospel as they see and hear it. That means we’ve tried to eliminate in our Sunday Service any church culture that can end up being a distraction to the cross. The message of the cross is too important to let our church culture get in the way of the people of Quebec getting a clear view of what it’s really all about.
We’re having fun as we do this, as we participate in the lives of our neighbours and our city so that we learn what they think, what they’re running after, what they worry about, what their soul is longing for. It has been very enriching for our own understanding of the depths of the Gospel as we strive to show how Jesus is a better Saviour, a better refuge and a better master than anything else that lives are built upon.
The reality is that it is a true miracle when someone does finally grasp the awesomeness of Jesus and their need for such a Saviour. It’s on the lifetime journey with God and listening to his Spirit that we truly start to understand the beauty of finding our identity in Christ. But how amazing it is to see someone be brought from death to life, from darkness to light !
Since our launch, our Sunday attendance has been around 280, with at least 80-100 being people who are totally new to any church experience. This has been a blessing as we see so many people asking questions and advancing in their journey toward Jesus.
In one Bible class we had this spring, we saw at least 4 people coming to saving faith in Christ, and it’s beautiful to see them grow. At around Easter time we had our first baptisms with 7 people getting baptised.
Our true challenge now is to know how to guide all these people well. Our community groups were overflowing this spring and will certainly be overflowing even more this coming fall. Much of my time as a pastor is spent training new leaders.
Please pray that God would help us spot the right leaders and that we would have wisdom in preparing and equipping them. Please pray for God’s Spirit to continue to work powerfully in the city of Sherbrooke and province of Quebec!
With our growing reality, we’re praying that finances would not be what is slowing us down, so please consider being generous toward us. You can give directly online on our website www.axe21.org.
We have been very much blessed financially through Operation: Kick Start and by being part of the Fellowship as a whole. Thank you for being our family!
We love you!