Acts29 Welcomes the Berniers

Below is a post from Acts 29 welcoming the Berniers into the A29 church planting Network. Lots to thank Jesus for!DwightBernier_Banner

Briefly describe your story of your call to plant a church

After I was saved, I went to a Bible school where I heard about the dire need in Montreal. When I heard that, it soon became apparent that I was headed there. But I did not know in what capacity. It was at that point I started listening to some of Mark Driscoll’s sermons and heard about one talk he gave called “The Ox”. It was through that message that I really sensed God calling me to plant a church in Montreal.

Through my support raising, God made it more clear about how I should be planting churches in Montreal. Missional communities really became the most logical & missiological means to plant in Montreal in order to hold together good community on mission as well as good theology. After raising our support, we got our necessary papers to be able to come to Canada and work in a full-time job which allows us to be here to plant.

What were the biggest challenges you faced in planting your church (and/or currently facing)?

Myself. It seems that I keep bringing my agenda, pride, and ideas to the table. It is so hard sometimes to see that we are the problem.

Churched. People who come with a church background have an idea of what they think the church should be, when in reality, we are moving a different way. It is a calling to challenge worldviews in the church just as much as those outside the church.

How did you become involved with Acts 29? What have been the biggest benefits of being in the network?

I became familiar through a church in Portland, Maine (Missio Dei) and the pastor, Angel Silva. He helped me in the early phases of my questions about church planting.

The biggest benefits have been the network and the recognition that comes from Acts 29. The network has been great in answering questions, encouraging and really being a true brotherhood. In terms of recognition, there have been many people who started coming to Initiative 22 because of the connection with Acts 29 and Mars Hill. It shows what a great impact God has used A29 and Mars Hill for when people are walking in because they trust what they have heard and seen from the other side of the continent.

What advice do you have for men who are wrestling with the decision to plant?

Make sure that you are partnering with what Jesus is doing and calling you to do AND be. Don’t go with a plan and trust Jesus to just work it all out. See that Jesus is working and plan things around how He is working. Don’t plant unless you are really confident in God’s calling on your life to do so.

What’s the most important thing you’d want to share with a new church planter?

Satan’s attacks are real; your flesh will doubt; some days are extremely frustrating; no one around you will understand you – but Jesus is building His Church, for His glory, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against His work!

How do you pastor your family?

We talk a lot together about how we are doing; we Sabbath together; we pray together; and I am seeking to humbly serve and lead them toward Jesus every day.

Outside of the Bible, what is the most helpful book you have read for church planting?

Total Church [by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester]

Initiative22

Church Profile: Initiative 22
Launch Date: September 2011
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada

Mission, Vision, Values of Church

To make disciples throughout Montreal by planting churches and missional communities that are fixed on Jesus, His gospel, His community and His mission.

What are some examples of God’s grace that you have seen in your life and/or the life of your church?

People – the fact that people in Montreal are wanting to be in community and follow Jesus is evidence of grace. The stories of grace in how people have been called to be involved in Initiative 22 is staggering.

Building – we got our current building for almost nothing in rent and it is in downtown Montreal. I had to suggest a price ($50/week).

Leaders – God has sent us some dudes that have good character and are being molded into leaders.

Wife – She loves change and moves with it so well.

Healthy Kids – Our son is doing so well and our son (in the womb) is developing normally.

French – My french is decent and continuing to get better

Finances – God is so faithful in providing during one of the harder times financially.

How can we pray for you?

That the life of myself, my family and Initiative 22 would be for Jesus, His gospel, His community, His mission and for this city.

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