Reimagining Ministry to Multiply the Message
What could happen if two churches in one small town chose to close their doors in order to better serve the people and impact the Kingdom in a stronger way?
In 2012 Cobblestone began as a church plant in Paris, ON, discipling people in the everyday moments of life. Maranatha was an older church, established in Paris in the 1980s, whose attendance had been declining in recent years.
In June 2018, these two churches began to have a conversation about how they could reimagine their ministry and multiply the gospel impact on their community. Not a church merge or an amalgamation, but starting from the beginning with a new church that would be on mission to serve Paris in a fresh and vibrant way.
After much conversation and prayer, Cobblestone and Maranatha came together for joint services in December 2018, and they began their journey as Sojourn Church.
Why Sojourn? First, their birth as a church had been a journey, leaving the old behind and emerging with a new vision for their community. But also, as “Sojourners and exiles” (1 Pet 2:10-12) in this world, Sojourn feels that they should be a blessing to the community and inviting them into fellowship for as long as God would give them footing in Paris.
As the two churches became one, Pastor Jay Grimes says that engaging people in serving others as one church was invaluable. It wasn't Cobblestonepeople serving, or a Maranatha ministry, but instead it was Sojourn – one body of people loving and serving one another out of the overflow of all that God had blessed them with.
Jay believes that at the root of this journey is the humility to accept that the universal church of Jesus Christ is eternal, not the local church. Cobblestone and Maranatha had to die in order for Sojourn to live, and it took humility on the part of the congregations to see that God was writing a new story for them.
Let’s be praying for Sojourn and for the people of Paris, ON. To learn more about Sojourn’s story, or to let him know you’re praying for him contact Pastor Jay Grimes.