I am the pastor of New Life Church on the South Shore of Montreal in Canada. We began our church with a handful of people in a tiny room in a building we rented from a school board. Today, over 3500 people come to church every week, something that has never happened in Quebec. Less than two percent of the population is evangelical. The typical evangelical church in our nation has been in existence for over fifty years, with an average attendance of less than eighty people.
How can we explain this unusual harvest? Why have we been blessed with over twenty consecutive years of growth in one of the most hostile and secular environments in North America? We don’t hold evangelistic outreaches and we don’t try the latest “cutting edge” methods and strategies of the modern church growth gurus. We have been through one building program after the other; we hold multiple services on Sunday; and we grow more and more exponentially year after year. Why? Simply because men and women of all ages and from every possible ethnic and social background are experiencing the transforming power of faith with a resolution. Hundreds are baptized every year as they stand and tell stories of grace, courage and redemption—miraculous, beautiful stories that are totally inexplicable apart from “an act of God!” They invite their friends, neighbors, family, colleagues from the workplace or college friends to “taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him” (Psalm 34:8). And God multiplies the church.
In modern, secular, and cynical French Quebec, as all around the world, faith with a resolution is lighting fires of revival and changing lives. Thousands of “Daniels” are experiencing breakthroughs and deliverances that are irrefutable. There is no “star system,” no weird mysteries, polished professionalism, nor any gimmicks. There are only modern “Daniels,” men and women who live every day in the light and liberty, power and possibilities of faith with a resolution. They understand that desire determines destiny and although this is impossible for men, with God all things are possible.
Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.