The Top 5 Canadian Church Myths It’s Time to Bust

Carey Nieuwhof is a leader you need to follow and I count him as a friend. He is kicking off a brand new podcast, The Canadian Church Leader’s Podcast, and I’m honored to have him guest post here today at unSeminary.

cclp_showart-copyThe Top 5 Canadian Church Myths It’s Time to Bust

by Carey Nieuwhof

You’ve probably heard them. And you may even believe them and have said them.

I know, because, frankly, at one point I’ve fallen or almost fallen for all of them.

I’ve been a Canadian my entire life, and although I spend a lot of time working with US church leaders, my home and native land is where I’ve always done ministry.

Tell me if you haven’t said/heard believed one of these 5 things many Canadian church leaders say:

  1. What works in the US won’t work in Canada.
  2. My context is different than yours.
  3. If you build it they will come.
  4. People don’t give.
  5. People don’t like big churches

Today, I’m launching Episode 1 of The Canadian Church Leader’s Podcast, a Podcast designed to help Canadian Church leaders reach people.

You can subscribe for free on iTunes and Google Play.

Jeff Brodie is my first guest, and Jeff and I they tackle each of those 5 myths. I hope you listen in. I think we’ve busted all five myths…but you can decide. At least what we’ve found at Connexus Church, where I serve, those myths have proven not to be true. (Like for example, they will come, but not because you built it. And yes, we’ve discovered that Canadians will give money to the local church.)

The podcast is the launch of what I hope will become a rallying point for Canadian church leaders from coast to coast. In my experience anyway, I find many Canadian church leaders don’t connect well with each other. We’re actually better at connecting with US leaders than with each other (I come by this honestly, because Connexus is a North Point strategic partner and an Orange church).  Let’s change that! Let’s connect…for real.

The podcast will be a monthly deal, with a fresh episode arriving on your device the first Monday of every month. The best way to never miss an episode is to subscribe.

Why am I so passionate about busting myths?

Because underneath each myth is an excuse.

We all make excuses from time to time. But I believe as Canadian church leaders we should banish them from our vocabulary forever.

And here’s why I believe that’s so critical: You can make excuses, or you can make progress, but you can’t make both.

Most of us want to make progress, but instead we make excuses.

A few years ago when he was in high school, my son Sam and I drove to his track meet. He and his team have qualified as provincial finalists in the 4×100 meter high school relay. Sam and I were talking about training and which school have the best facilities.

My son’s school has a gravel track. It has no marked lanes. It’s not great for training.

They have to estimate hand-offs on the relay and practice their steps with best guesses because their track isn’t marked for any of that.

And yet his team has advanced to the provincial finals.

Meanwhile, the team with the best track in the county (a multi-million dollar top rate install) has been eliminated.

I said I was surprised… Sam was too. He said as a rule the team with the great facility rarely does well, and yet his school always places first or second, even with the inferior training facility.

The conversation reminded me of the power of excuses.

It would be so easy for Sam and his team mates to try less hard and convince themselves that they’ll never make it to the finals unless they got a track like other schools.

But they didn’t. They trained like crazy anyway, and went all the way to the finals.

The conversation convicted me again: you and I absolutely have to stop making excuses now.

Question: Ever notice that ministry leaders often have a whole list of well-rehearsed excuses as to why their ministry isn’t more effective than it is?

Tell me if this isn’t true:

The leaders who make the most excuses make the least progress.

The leaders who make the most progress make the fewest excuses.

So in the name of getting on with our mission, let’s start the dialogue.

Finally, if you listen in to Episode 1, you’ll also hear something else super-exciting.

Next year, Connexus is launching The Canadian Church Leader’s Conference, hosted at Connexus by Connexus.

We’re going to invite leaders from across Canada to join us for three days—June 8th-10th—to help Canadian church leaders reach people (like your friends who live in other cities).  Registration opens in early 2017…so in the meantime, save the date.

Episode 1 is waiting for you now. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Are these myths or not?

carey_nieuwhof_podcastAbout Carey // Carey Nieuwhof is founding pastor of Connexus Church and is author of several books, including his latest best-selling work, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow.

Carey speaks to church leaders around the world about leadership, change and personal growth. He writes one of today’s most widely read church leadership blogs at and hosts the top-rated Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast where he interviews some of today’s best leaders, and The Canadian Church Leader’s Podcast, where he helps Canadian church leaders reach people.


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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.