City Gospel Movement

As some might know, I give leadership to an organization called One Way Ministries.  Last October I had a chance to attend a conference called Movement Day in New York City.   The conference brings together leaders from around the world who have a passion and vision to reach their cities.  City Reaching (as we’ve called it in the past) has been our passion.  I’ve noticed that people are begining to use a new name, “City Gospel Movement”.

Tim Keller (Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church) has long been involved in City Gospel Movements and his church and ministry are the organizers of Movement Day.  Tim Keller’s definition of a City Gospel Movement is, “Christians and Churches coming together across racial and denominational lines in a city unified by (a) the gospel and (b) a vision to reach that city.  Which means to see the urban body of Christ grow in quality and quantity faster than the population.  That the salt and light of Christian love and truth will influence the life of that city, renewing it, improving it socially, influencing it culturally and lifting Jesus’s name so that it’s increasingly respected and honoured in that city.”

So much can be unpacked from this, but one of the things I’ve been thinking about and praying into for years is the idea of knowing the condition of the body of Christ in Ottawa.  People often ask me, “How is the church in Ottawa doing?”  My answer is, “I don’t know.”  I might be able to tell you how some individual churches are growing or seem more healthy, but overall I don’t know.

At this conference, it was reported that the evangelical churches of NYC had grown by 500% over the last 25 years.  This statistic is amazing and encouraging given all we hear about how the church is declining in North America – including Canada.  But what’s got me thinking is that someone must have collected that data in order to report how the church is doing more broadly in NYC.

So how is the church doing in Ottawa?  My prayer and desire is to see us find a way to gather that data.  We need this.  What is the level of spirituality in our city?  Are our churches growing or declining?  Are we losing our youth?  Are we planting more churches than are closing that are sustaining and reaching people for Christ?

Would you pray with me for a team who would catch this and the funding to make it happen?

Goals and Planning

One of the reasons I love this time of year is that I take some time to reflect on what I would like to achieve in the upcoming year.  It’s like standing at the tee of a new hole on a golf course, full of potential and as of yet, you’ve made no mistakes.   I admit it – I love plans and goals.

Here’s my process.  I work on a year end family newsletter.  Working on this allows me to look back and think about all that happened around me in the last year.  In doing this I’m often looking for a pic or two to add to the letter.  So I review all my pictures from the last year.  I’m amazed at how looking back on them gives me a sense of gratitude for all I was privileged to be part of and quite honestly, reminds me of a number of things I’ve forgotten already.  It’s an emotional experience.

Next, I work on a new family budget.  I review how our spending was last year, and start draft-budget for this year.  Full disclosure, I only tracked our family expenses until April in 2016.  So naturally, one of my goals this year – is to track family finances beyond April 2017.  Now I say draft budget because until Tracy has seen it and we’ve agreed together as to what our giving/spending plan is for 2017, is it’s not finalized.  In the process of budget setting, we also look at our retirement savings and see if we are tracking to some sort of plan year to year.

Next I start drafting possible goals in my journal.  More recently, I try and actually lay them open before the Lord as I sit in silence and ask him to confirm, redirect or lay other goals on my heart.

Some interesting facts about goals*:

  • People with written goals are 50% more likely to achieve than people without goals
  • The act of writing down a goal down in is a very powerful motivator
  • Writing down goals forces us to be avoid being vague
  • All motivational ‘gurus’ agree that goals should be written down
  • 92% of New Years goals fail by January 15th
  • Only 3 out of every 100 adults write down their goals down on paper
  • Sharing your goals with a close ‘confide’ is proven to increase the chances of you achieving your goal
  • Specific goals which are time-bound and measurable work best
  • In the process of achieving your goal you will be sacrificing something else

Over the last couple of years I’ve used Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever material to create my goals and track them in Evernote.  It’s very thorough.  But you don’t need all of that to create your own.  Here’s my suggestion.  Take the different parts of your life say, spiritual, financial, professional, health and intellectual.  Decide if you’re having problems, just not happy with any of them or you want to see improvement in that area.  For instance, you want to lose 10lbs.  Set a goal to lose 10lbs by a certain date.  That’s your goal.  But here is where the power is.  What changes are you going to have to implement now to achieve that.  Perhaps it’s tracking your eating every other month on something like Lose It.  Perhaps it means you’re going to have to be active 3 times a week.  Add those points to your goal.  Do this for all your goals.  Then finally share them.  And if you’re really brave, ask someone to remind you about them periodically over the year.

In my family, we go out for Dim Sum lunch in early January and we share with one another what our goals are.  I asked the kids to think about last year – share what were their highlights, how they did on their goals and what their goals are for 2017.  This year I plan to ask each of the kids to bring them in written form.  I’m not sure they are big fans of goals setting, but they love the lunch.  We also talk about vacation plans and what big rocks as a family we want to drop into our schedule before they fill up too quickly.  I try and ask them about their goal progress periodically during the year.

My goals this year?  Well they’ll include reading a certain amount of books, losing some weight, running a couple of races, weekend get aways with Tracy, speaking publicly more about One Way Ministries and writing a blog once a week.

What are your goals?

* source:  http://www.goalband.co.uk/goal-achievement-facts.html

2016 Family Review

As has been our tradition over the last few years, we wanted to provide you an update to some of the happenings around the Peterkins homestead in 2016.

Let’s start with the kids.

Maggie now in grade 10 and having just turned 16, went out on her birthday and acquired her G1.  Now Dad gets to start her off driving in the same neighbourhood as her brothers did.

Maggie has been attending Carleton Place High School.  Unfortunately for Mom and Dad, that happens to be outside of our school zone, so that means driving her each morning to her bus stop a few minutes away and then planning for something similar at the end of each day.  Perhaps we just as excited that she might be able to start driving to school soon!!

At school, Maggie has enjoyed her studies and playing basketball and volleyball for the junior school teams.  She was voted MVP for her basketball team.  Dad and Maggie have also been playing in a family volleyball league on Tuesday nights.  Dad’s trying not to embarrass her too much!!

Maggie continues to enjoy Echo Camp hitting all the dates that she can – spring, fall and summer.  She’s made a good group of friends from there.  We are thankful for the great ministry there.

Also, Maggie was part of a youth missions team to Belize from our local church – without her parents.  She was able to go back to the same village that Stephen and Ben had been at a few years ago.  She loved the experience and cannot wait to go back.

Benjamin completed his grade 12 at Sacred Heart High School.  As of this Christmas, he has just completed his first term at Trent University.  His studies are business/computer science – we think
he’ll decide as he moves along.   Ben spent last summer working two jobs, one at Menchies serving some great tasting “froyo” and second on Saturday morning selling eggs at a local farmers market.  Ben also enjoys helping out on the soundboard at Chapel Ridge our local church.

Stephen finished off his third year’s studies at Queen’s University.  He spent his summer working with an engineering firm in Kingston called Transformix.  Maggie likes to remind him that it was through a contact from her basketball team that he was able to apply for the job.  Stephen has just finished a work term and spent the fall working in Ottawa with Shopify – a job he landed without Maggie’s help!!  The company conveniently provided a subsidized apartment downtown.  He really enjoyed the experience and it was nice for us to have him close by.   Also, our family has enjoyed getting to know Stephen’s girlfriend – Mackenzie who is fortunately also studying at Queens.

This year we celebrated a number of significant birthdays and anniversaries.  Birthdays – Maggie – 16, Ben -18, Stephen – 21, Tracy 50.  Anniversary – Mark and Tracy – 25 years.

As we think about 2016 we realize we were fortunate to be able to travel to a number of different locations this year – mostly for work.  We traveled in March to New Orleans for a training conference on marriage, to Chicago for a leadership conference in August, a couple of times just out of town with a group we lead with One Way.  In addition, Tracy traveled to Guatemala with Vicki (our sister-in-law) to help out at an orphanage.  While Mark had a trip to Florida in February for some facilitator training (conveniently absent during the biggest snow storm of the year!!) and a trip to New York City with a work team.  As a family we had trips to Philadelphia, Florida and Canada’s Wonderland.

This year has been a challenge for Tracy in that she has been nursing a nagging rotator cuff injury.  It seems to be improving slowly.  Along with her half time with One Way, Tracy also took on some part-time work working for a friend who runs an online auction website called Auctria.

We really do enjoy our cottage on the Rideau.  We find it a wonderful spot to connect with and enjoy our family and friends.  Also, we continue to enjoy the traditions of our families – Greek Easter (complete with a whole lamb roasted on a spit), cousins long weekend on the Rideau (always with fireworks) , Labour Day weekend softball tourney (including campfires and karaoke).

On Mark’s front, he continues to give leadership to One Way Ministries.  He’s been spending more of that time in an area that’s newer to him – that being fund raising.  It’s a wonderful team that we get to work with there.  Mark is still enjoying playing hockey weekly, running and working out at the gym and a bit of golf.  A highlight was again spending a couple of days with brothers John and Thanos in Watertown playing a round of golf in mid October.  This year as in last, we were the only ones on the course so we got to take our time and hunt for golf balls without any pressure – mostly ours that were lost.

Blessings to your family from ours for 2017.