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Beyond trying harder and before giving up : the story of a missional church in Canada

Full Title
Beyond trying harder and before giving up : the story of a missional church in Canada
Carson W. Culp
Somewhere beyond trying harder, and just before giving up, there is a sacred place of grace to be discovered, personally and corporately. God called me homeward, near to the place of my birth and upbringing, to find it. Located among the marginalized of society on the southeast side of the city of Welland, Ontario, Canada, is 36-year-old Christ Community Church. In the aftermath of successive short-term pastorates which ended badly and included an exodus of members in 2005, amid the further economic decline of a once prosperous manufacturing city of 50,000 people, the ministry then 26-years-old was in crisis. With the support of Classis Ontario a specialized Interim Minister was hired for the purpose of discerning whether the church could be revitalized. I accepted the “Call” to serve as its Pastor in June of 2006. It was then that a journey of transformation began. This is a story of dependency on the grace of God. The Apostle Paul describes it in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he (the Lord) said to me ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”1 It is a story that affirms and challenges traditional ecclesiology. It affirms the importance of learning from others in our family of churches through documents such as Transformed and Transforming. 2 Yet, this story challenges traditional ecclesiology with regard to the expectation of self-sufficiency and self-sustainability. It is a story of a small Canadian Church in a hurting place that is being transformed by and with the marginalized people in its context, all the while being dependent upon the grace of God and all of the partners God provides for its own existence.
Degree Granting Institution
United States
Degree Granted
Doctor of Ministry
Type of Work
D.Min. Project
James Brownson Ph.D.
Number of Pages
Copyright Statement
Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)
Link to Copyright License