Here are answers some of the questions we are frequently asked at New Ventures.
*Please note, all of these answers pertain to our New Ventures environment across Canada outside of Alberta. If you are interested in ministry in Alberta, please get in contact with Doug Balzer if you have any questions and to discern next steps.
What is “New Ventures”?
When the Christian & Missionary Alliance started in Canada, it began by sending people around the world as missionaries. Now, the world has come to Canada through global migration. Canada is a mission field that needs new expressions of church, and New Ventures is a response to this need.
We are resource within the C&MA in Canada that supports the development of leaders and new expressions of the church in Canada. We create the pathways and environment in which these new leaders and churches can develop. Our desire is to support New Ventures taking root across Canada. In other words, to see new leaders in new places, leading new churches across Canada, reaching new people with the gospel of Jesus.
What is a New Venture?
A New Venture is a group of people who have the permission and potential to become a church of the Christian & Missionary Alliance.
How do you assess whether a group qualifies to become a New Venture?
We meet with potential leaders to discern whether New Ventures is the right fit as a supportive environment in which they can grow.
We ask questions, particularly around these three elements:
Vision - The who, where, why and what you feel God is calling you to
Leadership - The competency, character, and chemistry of yourself as a leader
Partnerships - The churches, organizations, and individuals who are currently supportive of you as leader and the vision
If there is clarity and alignment in these elements, writing a New Venture Agreement is the next right step.
What is a New Venture Agreement?
A New Venture Agreement outlines the trajectory through which a New Venture has the permission and potential to become a recognized church within the C&MA in Canada. We find that these documents help bring clarity to questions about what the New Venture is, who is involved and where it is going. Key components of the Agreement include information related to leadership and governance, finances, partners, gatherings and communications. New Venture Agreement are generally for multiple years, based on the how the New Venture grows and develops.
Do you provide funding for each New Venture?
We support each New Venture differently. The support we provide is outlined in the New Venture Agreement. To create an Agreement, a prospective New Venture leader needs to have clarified their vision, leadership and partners. If these are not ready, we may delay the creation of an agreement, or recommend that a leader become an Apprentice.
Why not call a New Venture a church plant?
We like the designation “New Ventures” because it reminds us that not all churches will look the same. We want to be open to the new things God is doing, and we want to focus on the individual. While all New Ventures have the permission and potential to become a church, those involved are given the space to determine whether that is the best way forward. Some groups may not actually become a church, but develop into a ministry or a separate group, and we want to be open-handed about that process.
As a potential New Venture leader, would I need to become licensed with the C&MA?
The approval for licensing process (form, reference & background check and interview) is an important part of the discernment process as to whether New Ventures is a good fit for you and for the denomination, so all leaders must complete this process prior to beginning their New Ventures Agreement.
Do all New Ventures become C&MA churches?
No, sometimes, over the course of an Agreement, a New Venture may decide that they fit better with a different organizational status (e.g. a ministry of an existing church), their season of ministry has concluded, or they may seek to fit within another denomination. In every case, we seek the best for that New Venture and conclude the Agreement with the hopes of maintaining a strong relationship.