LifeLines Blog

Life Direction

God is always moving, and He expects those who follow Him to be doing the same. When Jesus stated that He would build His church, it was a present tense continuous declaration of not only His intentions but also His determination. Of course, we know that if God says it, He will follow through on it, because He said so!

Lifelines Glad Tidings Church Despite what you might hear in the news or other media about the decline of the church in North America, worldwide statistics paint a positive picture. According to author Philip Jenkins (Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity), in the year 1900, there were approximately 10 million Christians in Africa. By 2000, there were 360 million. By 2025, conservative estimates see that number rising to 633 million. Based on growth trends it is predicted that there will be 460 million Christians in Asia by 2050. Experts also estimate that there will be 3 Billion Christians in the world by that same point in time.

The number of Pentecostal Christians, in particular, are growing rapidly. There were only 63 million Pentecostals in 1970, but the number of Pentecostals worldwide is expected to reach 800 million by 2025. Recently, at a Pentecostal World Fellowship Conference in Malaysia, George Wood said, “There are more Pentecostal churches in the world than McDonald’s, and we serve better food.” The work of the gospel is transforming lives all around the world, and we are part of that. God is still moving, and He expects those who follow Him to be doing the same.

Just as the church around the world is growing, Glad Tidings Church is growing too. You have probably noticed the number of people at our services increasing and perhaps have experienced some challenges when looking for a parking spot on a Sunday. Since the beginning of 2017, we have had an average attendance of 1063, with some Sundays over 1100, a great sign of growth!

Lifelines Glad Tidings Church Because we expect this number to continue to grow, we are excited to be adding a third service at our Guelph Line location in September! We know that this change will stretch us and comes with some challenges. Change implicitly results in challenges. However, we believe that, with this change, we can create more opportunities for more people to experience the love of Jesus in the context of our healthy church family.

Lifelines Glad Tidings Church It is true, we can’t make God move, but we can make room for Him to move. I want to give a huge “Thank You!” to all who are already serving so faithfully to help the gospel move forward here and a “Thank You in Advance!” to all of you who are stepping in and stepping up in new ways to serve. Thank you for helping us be as determined as God would have us be and to continue moving forward!

Life Outreach

Are you a “people person”? Whether you are or not, I’m sure we can all think of those outgoing, warm, and friendly individuals in our lives we’d call, “a people person.” We’d say a “people person” is someone who just seems to have that natural knack for engaging people, while others of us might gravitate more towards privacy and solitude. But as Christ followers, we are each called to be a “people person.” Not because we naturally thrive on social interaction, but because we love people and want to see them discover Jesus for themselves.

Our Core Value of Engaging Compassion speaks to this priority; “Intentionally becoming part of the culture that we desire to impact through the uncompromising principles of the love of Jesus.” As a church, we want to engage and influence our community with the love of Jesus. To do that effectively requires some intentionality.

Recently, we did this through an Easter Egg Hunt on Easter weekend at Lasalle Park. Thanks to the incredible organization and leadership of the LeadWell students and their coaches, under the direction of Pastor Holly, we hosted such an amazing day that not even the light rain could dampen spirits. Although we were unsure how many to expect at this inaugural event, over 1,200 people showed up! Lifelines Glad Tidings Church
Families enjoyed a petting zoo, inflatables, face painting and of course, the main at t ract ion – over 50,000 chocolate eggs! Each family was then invited to join us the following day for our Easter Sunday celebration. Thank you to the LeadWell team and all the volunteers who made this event a huge success.

Another way GT has engaged our neighbours in the past has been through the popular Family Fun Day and Aldershot Community Carnival. Lifelines Glad Tidings Church
This year, in celebration of Canada 150, we’ve decided to kick things up a notch. In place of the Fun Day and Carnival, we will partner with the City of Burlington for their Canada Day celebration at Spencer Smith Park on July 1st. GT will sponsor the Family Zone and the Inflatable Zone. We will have a vendor’s booth on site and we plan to make up a significant number of the volunteer force.

This official city-wide event attracts over 60,000 people annually and presents us with a significant opportunity to serve, engage, and influence our city with the love of Jesus. Information about how you can participate is available in the lobby (until June 4).

Life Together

Lift Kids Create is our Wednesday night program for children and families. Our first year with this specific format has been an opportunity to invest in children’s spiritual walk and also invest in an area that interests them and propels them into ministry. It has been an incredible year! Some of the highlights for me have been:

Seeing team members invest in children in their area of expertise, be it music, dance, art, or building something with their hands • The faithfulness of over 20 team members investing in children twice a month • Seeing an average of 100 kids come out every week, including many from the community • Watching kids using their talents for the kingdom at Serve Nights, Worship Nights, and Family Sundays • Having every available space in the church occupied with the sound of children • Watching kids bring their friends to Jesus • Leading kids into a relationship with Jesus for the first time • Ministry to children and Ministry with children Lifelines Glad Tidings Church

Life Giving

Our Stewardship Update “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds!” (Hebrews 10:24) This is a timely word to encourage you regarding our shared stewardship responsibility as the GT church family. Below is a picture of our financial position as of April 30, 2017.

Lifelines Glad Tidings Church
Our ‘Total Giving’ is an indication of the generosity of our GT family! Thank you sincerely for your response to various opportunities to give and to share Christ’s love with others. However, you will note that our ‘General Giving’ is about 7% below our target. ‘General’ makes possible the ongoing ministry of the church – ministry to families, pastoral care, outreach to our community, and our support services & building costs. Your participation is valued and needed in order to meet these regular commitments. This is especially important as we plan for the summer months. For information on “Ways To Give” please visit gtburlington.org/give or pick up this information from the Resource Wall in the lobby. Lifelines Glad Tidings Church We have announced that we will welcome an Iraqi family of 4 later in 2017. This builds on the successful settlement of 3 Syrian families in 2016. Our refugee commitment this year is $45,000. We are well on our way to our goal!
Donations received as of May 15, 2017: $12,277
Pledges & recurring gifts scheduled: $11,773
Special contribution: $13,000
TOTAL: $36,950
Additional needed to reach the goal: $8,050
To participate or for more information please contact the church office (905.335.8172 - info@gtburlington.org) Lifelines Glad Tidings Church Through the Easter season we highlighted the crisis need for food and water in the Horn of Africa. The GT family spontaneously contributed $12,300 to assist ERDO (erdo.ca) in its efforts to save lives. When matched 4:1 through a Canadian government incentive, this means that we have provided $61,500 to families in need. Amazing! Thank you! God is pleased! Lifelines Glad Tidings Church

Life Growing

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

As perhaps one of the most recognizable portions of scripture, most of us have encountered, recited, and toiled to make this verse a reality. But have you ever stopped to consider what a disciple is? It is clear that we must go and make disciples, but what requires more thought is how you will know if you are really doing it! What are the key areas in the life of a believer that should show evidence of their salvation?

The leadership at Glad Tidings has struggled through those questions, and has developed what is now known as our 6 core values. In the fall of 2010, Pastor Kevin preached a series based on those core values called, “Living at the Core”. These values highlight the various aspects of a Christian that is pursuing a growing relationship with God as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Since then, we have continued to preach these core values as the fundamental elements of a disciple, and our church has been growing in them, individually and collectively. If you are unfamiliar with our core values, you can find them in our lobby, on the wall just outside the Worship Centre.

The next step in this journey of making disciples is developing a tool that you can use to help others continue to grow in their knowledge and faith in God. It is with that vision that we are currently working on a discipleship curriculum that is based on our 6 core values, which will be coming soon! You will be able to use this curriculum in one on one settings, perhaps with a friend or neighbour who doesn’t come to church. You will also be able to use it in the context of a small group or even a bible study. We believe that, with this tool in the hands of every member of our congregation, we will see more people in Burlington come into a relationship with Jesus Christ and start to grow as disciples.

As we continue in the journey of ‘Living for God and Living for People’, we believe and look forward to when we can deliver this resource into your hands. We trust that God will continue to cultivate these core values in our lives, and even more so with access to this tool.

Life Serving

Summer Camp 2016 was full to capacity almost three weeks before the deadline! Parents were asking many months in advance for the camp dates so their kids would not miss out on the fun and excitement. Some kids even asked their parents to move their vacation week so that they could attend. Not only did we have parents inquiring, but we had our own GT team members asking in order to book their vacation days to spend with their group of kids.

I know it shouldn’t surprise or overwhelm us (in a good way) that God works in peoples’ hearts like this, but we are always amazed!

Pastor Cheryl


We are proud to show off our 60+ team members from EVEREST SUMMER CAMP 2016! They truly showed “how wide, how long, how high and how deep” God’s love really is!

Because of the love and care they have been shown at camp, we are beginning to build enough trust and relationships with community parents that some of them have asked if they could make Glad Tidings their home church, and have enrolled their children in other programs that we offer.

So…thank you so much for taking the time to serve – it has made a difference in the lives of many children and their families!

See ya’ next year! Save the date for camp next year: August 14-18th Feeling blessed,

Life Direction

I have come to realize that God’s favour is so much more than something we hope He will give us or something that He must give us out of obligation. Instead, God’s favour is something that He gives to us because of His love and grace. At the risk of telling you something you already know, I’m going to tell you anyway that God loves you and He wants the best for you! 

One of the greatest favours that God gives us is the opportunity to serve Him and others. Paul says in Acts 17:25 about God that, "human hands can’t serve His needs—for He has no needs.” If we can’t fulfill any needs for God then why does He have us serve Him? Well, He is doing us a favour! He does not need us to serve Him, serve others or serve the church. God is fully self sufficient on His own. Instead, He gives us the privilege and the blessing of serving Him, serving others and serving the church. If you are not involved as a volunteer at Glad Tidings yet, I encourage you to do yourself a favour and get involved with what God is doing this fall. It is one of the greatest favours that God can bless you with next to His wonderful saving grace!

I’m so thankful for what the Lord has been doing among us and for so many who have given their time and energy to serve Jesus in various ways at Glad. I want to thank all of you ahead of time for all the prayers, effort, compassion, love, grace, patience, forgiveness, time, faithfulness, encouragement, joy, input, partnership, mercy and passion that you will give this season. 

I love you all very much, and I’m humbled to be your pastor, 
Kevin Shepherd

Life Direction

God has blessed Glad Tidings with a great start to the year. Our church has experienced growth in many areas including ministry opportunities and attendance, which is up by 21% since last year at this time. 

We are so thankful for how this represents real change in real people’s lives. We are so thrilled to see how God is using this body to further His kingdom. Our hearts are full of excitement as we walk towards what God has in store for the rest of 2016!

We trust that you are encouraged as you read some of these stories in this edition of LifeLines!

Be Blessed, Kevin Shepherd


Life Journey

A team of 24 went to Guatemala City for 11 days. Much of the team was comprised of family units, including mother and daughter couples. They served with Hector and Ruth Aragon, longstanding PAOC missionaries to Guatemala. The team had two primary tasks and was divided into a construction team and a ministry team. The construction team focused on working on a pastor’s home (Pastor Mario). He, along with his wife and five children, have stepped out in faith to pioneer a church in a needy area. They had no running water or stove, mud floors and borrowed beds. When the team left, the floors had been finished with concrete. The team also built walls, installed an extended roof, ran water lines, installed a flushable toilet, sink and stove, and bought bunk beds for the children. What a huge life change for this family! The ministry team went to various schools, homes, and community centres, and did street ministry. They were the first team allowed to bring the Gospel into two of the schools they visited. The team sang several songs in Spanish, shared testimonies (with the help of a translator), and performed dramas. In all, they travelled 1,200+ kilometers, ministered to 1,100+ people, and saw a great openness and response to the Gospel! People were hungry for God everywhere! Over 70 people accepted Jesus as their Saviour as a result.

“One of the most effective tools we used was a ‘witnessing bracelet’, which had different colored beads to portray the Gospel message. We made bracelet kits for each child and distributed them. It was an effective tool to help them remember the gospel message. These bracelets weren’t just for children, but also adults—even the biker guys on the street all wanted them and sported them around like they were so proud to have one! It was amazing how several times we would arrive without enough bracelets to distribute but we would pray for multiplication and always ended up having enough! We saw 25 children give their hearts to Christ! Some were even weeping, so hungry for God; it really was incredible. What a lesson in faith our daughters were learning that day!”

A pivotal moment for us was going to a ChildCARE Plus school in Guatemala City, where the principal’s daughter, who was just finishing Grade 6, sang for our team in English, and prayed over us.... Wow, the anointing on her was incredible! My daughter connected instantly with this girl, as they are both musical and have a calling on their lives. And when we found out that her funding was running out that very week when she finished Grade 6 (and her family couldn’t afford to continue her education), it gave us the most exciting opportunity to sponsor her through ChildCARE Plus! In fact, one of our team members will now sponsor her. It’s her first sponsor child and shes is only 4 years older that this girl!

It is important to engage our children in missions opportunities.

Pastor Steve


“Not only is the experience transformational, but it is deeply impactful long-term. They see how other people live, and they experience another culture. It helps them to understand the world around them better, not just in their own limited experience, but it broadens their world-view. They are far richer for it! It gave us the opportunity to engage with other children from other cultures with love and compassion, and to appreciate their own home and family more as a result.”

Life Giving

Thank you for your response to a critical need to assist with the resettlement to Canada of Syrian families who have had to flee the violence and turmoil of their homeland.  During January and February Glad Tidings has had the privilege of welcoming 3 families to our community.  This has involved arranging appropriate rental accommodations, helping them to outfit their households and begin the process of English language studies and integration into the Burlington community. In addition to the donation of needed household items, we have seen a most generous financial response.  With your help we are well on our way to our project goal of $120,000. Thank you for your support of the vital ministries of Glad Tidings Church.

“The one who sows generously will reap a generous harvest.”  

2 Corinthians 9:6


Donations forward from 2015: $30,230
Donations January - March 2016: $55,733
Pledges for the next 10 months: $32,335
TOTAL Project Donations $121,580

Life Service

Matheson, ON
Dates: June 30 – July 9
Team: Comprised of 24 youth and young adults led by Pastor Rick

For the last three years we have partnered with Pastor Keith Neal and his church Evangel Tabernacle in Matheson, ON to reach out to this small, remote community. Each year, our relationships in Matheson grow deeper through the week long sports camp we run for kids and the Family Fun Day carnival we put on for everyone! This year, we are excited to be hosting the Family Fun Day on Canada Day in downtown Matheson. We have also witnessed God’s incredible favour with the municipal town council, who have given us use of the Community Recreation Centre for FREE to host our sports camp!!


Nipigon, ON
Dates: July 10 – 17
Team: Comprised of men (maximum of 6 team members)

We have the opportunity to assist in completing the construction of a new church building for the Nipigon Pentecostal Assembly. The church has been saving and fundraising for quite a few years for this project. Our Regional Director, Blake Davidson, is now recruiting ten churches to help get the building completed over the summer. Just over three years ago, Glad Tidings gave $25,000 towards the fundraising efforts and now has the opportunity to be a part of finishing the build!

Lima, Peru
Dates: August 17 – 26
Team: Comprised of intergenerational volunteers
(maximum of 12 team members)

As you may know Glad Tidings has been building a relationship with Pastor Saul and his church Emmanuel Iglesia Biblica in Lima. We have now been invited to partner with them in doing some outreach to children and youth this summer and are excited to see what God will do!

Guatemala
Dates: September 29 – October 9
Team: Comprised of intergenerational volunteers
(maximum 14 team members)

We are excited and blessed to be returning to Guatemala to join with our Global workers Hector and Ruth Aragon. Last year, we had such an amazing time working with Pastor Mario and his church, Mount Sinai. We were able to do some construction at the church, and some of our team went with Pastor Mario into the community and did some outreach! It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! We are excited to see what doors of opportunity God is going to open for us this year! This trip will be a mix of building and ministry.




Abby & Tori coming to Jesus

Tori shares about her friendship with Abby and how coming to church @GTBurlington has impacted her life.