ABOUT CONNECT CITY
“When Will The Church Realize That Youth Was Meant For Heroism Not Pleasure.”
– Ernest Becker
We believe God is a missionary God. In the Old Testament God is the “Sent One” reaching out to Israel in their despair and sin. In the New Testament God sends His Son as His “Sent One” to rescue mankind from sin and misery. After the resurrection we see the risen Christ send the Spirit as the “Sent One” to empower his followers who in turn are sent out as “sent ones” to reach the world with the good news of Jesus. It is clear from the testimony of Scripture that we serve a sending God in whom theologians call, “the Missio Dei”, the missionary God.
In light of the “Missio Dei” mandate of God, Connect City exists to extend the kingdom of God by developing a mission movement of Jesus followers who will join together into being unique expressions of church throughout the city to grow in Christ and participate in mission that exhibits the character and priorities of Jesus in our city.
We are serious about sending out communities of Christians to create unique expressions of church throughout our city. These micro – churches are small communities of believers who worship, grow and care for one another while also prioritizing mission wherever they are sent. We achieve this goal by prioritizing the following:
Jesus prioritized mission to the poor and oppressed through his words (preaching and teaching) as well as through his actions (healing, feeding and freeing). In light of this reality Connect City is called to serve vulnerable people groups. It is our commitment to be unique expressions of church that live like Jesus through our words and deeds among the poor and oppressed.
There is an increasing desire among young followers of Jesus to be involved in mission and specifically ministry to the poor and oppressed. Connect City desires to come alongside emerging leaders to encourage, equip and empower them to form unique expressions of church that do mission their way with their gifts and talents. Our prayer is that Connect City will be involved in a movement of young adults who are sent to serve Jesus among the poor and oppressed locally, nationally and globally. Though we work with young adults involved in business, careers, university and college we also devote time developing Interns develop their leadership abilities while creating mission through urban churches or church planting.
We believe discipleship and mission is best accomplished through community. Jesus built community with his disciples so they could grow holistically while living out mission. The early church was also a tight knitted community on mission with God and unified under the Lordship of Christ. No man, woman or missionary for that matter is an island! Life must be lived in community. Connect City is committed to gathering Christians together into forming communities that we call unique expressions of church to be sent out into neighbourhoods through local churches or church plants. By volunteering in local community services, assisting in public schools and shelters, visiting prisoners or creating new ministries to meet the needs of the neighbourhood, we pray that our unique expressions of church will make a difference.
Though we train people of all ages we have a special heart for young adults. Working with young leaders is a priority in what we do at Connect City. We believe that young adults are created by God to be world changers and it is our task to free them to be all that God intended for them to be. Our training consists of embracing, encouraging and empowering young adults to lead their way with the gifts and abilities God gave them. We don’t want to train up clones but we do seek to work with God in raising up Spirit filled young adults who impact their world by being who they were created to be.
There is nothing sadder to us then a church that has a “For Sale” sign on its front lawn! Connect believes in the mission of the Church as God’s instrument of modeling the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. This is why we desire to send groups of mission minded young adults to become members of struggling, urban churches or to plant unique expressions of church in vulnerable communities where there is no church presence. We desire to work with the church and, as part of the church, we intend to devise ways we can serve the community, share the Gospel and disciple believers. While this happens we also offer ministry training and coaching to urban pastors while we partner with them in creating and doing mission to reach the community their church is located in. Our goal is to see churches truly be the “Body of Christ”, a community of the kingdom, among the poor and oppressed of our world.
We desire to create unique expressions of church locally, nationally and globally by supporting called and gifted young nationals who will replicate the above model of revitalizing or planting churches in their countries, their way, to serve the poor and oppressed. We desire to share our experience and resources. We are also waiting on God to open more doors where we can give away our training resources to young national leaders.
Last but definitely not least – we believe Jesus is Lord and that salvation comes from Christ. Therefore, we prioritize Jesus in all we do. We are a Jesus centred socially holistic ministry that cares for the whole person. At the same time we recognize our fallen state and need for regeneration through the cross alone both for initial salvation as well as for our ongoing sanctification. Grace abounds! For this reason we preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and live out this Gospel in dependence on Christ in all we do.
Connect City exists on a foundation of solid doctrine and proven ministry experience.
In 1998, our founders, Rev. Colin and Judith McCartney, left church ministry to start up a Christian non – profit named UrbanPromise Toronto. The reason behind their decision to birth this new ministry was based on a tragic experience they encountered while working with some “at – risk” youth from the community they were serving in. One of the teens who attended a Drop – In Centre they ran died of a drug overdose. The mother of the deceased asked Rev. McCartney if he could do the funeral for her son. At the funeral Mr. McCartney greeted those attending the funeral (mostly gang members wearing their colours) including the girlfriend of the deceased who was holding his one month old son in her arms. This encounter led the McCartney’s to begin a time of soul searching as they pondered the future of this little baby boy being raised by a teen mom in a gang infiltrated environment. Soon they realized that the best way to serve high risk youth is to be proactive by reaching vulnerable children before they become disenfranchised young people and also reaching the many single mothers of these children and teens. With this revelation in mind Colin and Judith created UrbanPromise Toronto (UPT) as a ministry to vulnerable children, youth and their mothers.
Many lives from some of Toronto’s toughest housing projects have been impacted through the ministry of UPT. However, one of the major accomplishments that Colin and Judith developed at UPT was its effectiveness in training young adults as well as teens to become community leaders. Through a solid Intern Program for young adults and a StreetLeader Program for at – risk teens living in the community, UPT has created a legacy of hope within the neighbourhoods they are involved in.
In 2012 Colin and Judith left UPT to start a new ministry called “Connect Leadership Ministries”. This ministry has been birthed with a realization that the best way to reach vulnerable neighbourhoods is through the church and especially via that part of the Body of Christ that are young, energetic, risk – taking adults. Our passion is to recruit young adults to form Missional Communities who will be sent into vulnerable neighbourhoods to do mission while also being part of a struggling chuch located in the community. We want to see inner – city churches become vibrant, Jesus – filled, mission hubs!
Connect Leadership Ministries became Connect City in 2017
Both Colin and Judith are proven ministry veterans who have learned the art of leadership by working in churches, serving in urban, government housing communities, starting new ministries, leading and motivating ministry teams, building coalitions with churches and other organizations, acting as consultants, working with television and print media, speaking, writing and other various areas of ministry life. With a wealth of ministry experience gained through over 60 years of combined ministry experience Colin and Judith are burdened to share their leadership experience through Connect City.
Judith and Colin believe in the potential of our young adults and welcome their hunger to serve Christ in their own unique and powerful ways. Connect City desires to come alongside of these young adults to encourage, equip and empower them to serve Jesus with their unique gifts by sending them out to struggling urban churches or to plant churches with the purpose of creating ministries specifically geared towards vulnerable communities. With Colin’s entrepreneurial, visionary and innovative spirit along with Judith’s ability to pull order and direction out of the chaos of ministry, there is a strong confidence that “Connect City” will have the ability to mentor, train and coach emerging leaders, while building up the global church in the valuable work they do.
sTATEMENT OF FAITH
We adhere to the Apostles Creed in all we do:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.