culture & history
culture & history
Historically, CMA has been dedicated to providing a place for ministers and leaders who wish to function within the framework of a national ministerial fellowship rather than a traditional denominational organization of churches. CMA is an association whose leaders are members rather than their churches or ministries. It is our desire here at CMA that you become established and encouraged in your personal ministry to Christ and His Glorious Church. You can find the practical service we offer ministers on our membership page. If we are able to serve you, we would be truly honoured.
With everything we say and do here at CMA, nothing is more important than for you to hear the sound of our heart in why we do what we do. Our early fathers, men of great faith and heritage, encountered an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a way that forever changed their lives and ministries. The desire to walk in what God was doing among them, created many challenges. Many denominations they were part of did not embrace the current outpouring of the Spirit the same way they had. This led our fathers to make a difficult choice to embark on a journey into the unknown future. Their heart was to walk in a unity without division, so they began to meet together as like minded ministers for mutual encouragement. As a result, what we do today and why we do it, flow from a few simple concepts our fathers modelled.
Posture is more important than Position
How we administer the Grace of God among us does not come from holding a title or position. Great leaders are recognized by those they live and walk with in real life when they have no title. Great leaders are known first by their posture of humility and Christlike example. As we posture ourselves before the Father we find that He often calls us to lead others in experiencing a more victorious lifestyle. We never hold our ordination as more important than our heart for the Father and His bride.
Presence is more important than Papers
We witness in scripture that the very nature and process of Jesus selecting his disciples was not based on their education or experience but rather His purpose or design for them. Mark 3:14 says that Jesus appointed the twelve " that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach. Spending time in his presence came before being sent out. Although both education and experience contribute greatly to leading others, they are not the qualifier for ministry. We do encourage you in the words of Paul to Timothy to study through spending time in personal worship and pursuing education, but always remember to value His presence as your greatest pursuit in life. In this you will discover your life purpose and calling, which might lead you to pursue some papers.
Leaders are more important than Laws
Laws are designed to help govern a society externally where they are powerless to govern themselves inwardly.
When Jesus came proclaiming the Kingdom, He spoke about the Kingdom being within us. By this he meant that there was now the ability to be governed by his voice inwardly rather than by an outward law. Laws help when we don't know the way. Jesus said that He is the Way, Truth and Life. Great leaders continually point us to the inner voice of the Father to recognize our inner DNA as sons and daughters. CMA does have written by-laws which are very important, however they were never written to control you or constrict your ability to pursue your call or ministry to the world.
Hoisting your sail is more important than hoisting a flag
At CMA our early fathers strongly held to the empowering freedom of being part of a minister's association rather than a traditional denomination. It's because of this that the heart of CMA has always been to help you hoist the sails of your ship and see you move out freely into the call of God. Your identity comes from being sons and daughters not from membership. We never ask that you hoist a CMA flag. Many have never heard of our association simply based on that reality. We do not promote or advertise ourselves as a CMA branded group of churches or ministries, nor do we ask that members represent us. We are here for you. The honour of walking together in this manner helps us all stay true to the call of God on our lives.
These few concepts form a basic culture among us. Sometimes you just need a little help from some friends. These simple concepts often help us stay focused on the value and context for walking together as sons and daughters in the family of God.
The last words of our statement of faith read We believe in the sovereign autonomous government of the local Church . True in the day of our founding fathers and still true today, although independent, we deeply need to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Becoming part of a larger fellowship of those who hold to the truths we care deeply about, we are independent yet connected. Being valued, accepted and equipped for ministry is why many have found their home in the CMA.
1 Corinthians 1: 26-31
1 Corinthians 2: 1-5
A Brief History
Like many Pentecostal denominations, the CMA originates from the exponential growth of the modern Pentecostal movement of the early 20th century.
As the early Pentecostal movement rapidly expanded, many Pentecostal denominations sprung up in Canada to further this move of God. Many of our fathers made difficult choices, leaving their traditional church denominations because of this New Thing called the Baptism of the Spirit to venture out on a new path.
Our story began in early 1927.
The Full Gospel Mission was established in Saskatchewan, Western Canada by our early fathers. As the association grew, we founded a Bible school, planted churches and trained and sent missionaries to other countries.
So much growth took place in the first decade that the provincial charter had to be expanded to other Canadian provinces. Because of the inter-provincial growth, Full Gospel Mission sought a Dominion Charter in 1944 and incorporated under the Canadian private act for Religious and Charitable Organizations in 1946 with the new title, the ECOP, Evangelical Churches of Pentecost.
As ministries began to change and diversify, our fathers decided it was time to adopt a name that was more contemporary and reflective of the nature of the association. In 1977 the official name became the Christian Ministers Association of Canada.
Serving ministers who may not walk in a traditional denominational pattern, CMA has, through the years of change and renewal, continued to strengthen its call as a welcoming home for fellowship and credentialing in the nation of Canada. Over the years, we have had the honour of serving leaders from many Spirit led communities and expressions including a wide variety of Charismatic, Reformed and Sacramental groups. We have chosen over the years to embrace unity over conformity and fellowship over structure. It is our unique joy to also serve those in Denominations who may need assistance with Credentialing in order to facilitate their current ministry status.
The CMA is privileged to walk with a broad base of ministers and ministries whether they are pastoring large churches or home churches, mission’s centres, church plants, Bible schools, itinerant ministries or private schools. Different apostolic and mission organizations or associations have also been members. We welcome a group within a group reality. The desire in this type of relationship is facilitation never dictation and fellowship over denomination.
The Core DNA of CMA has its roots in the statement:
To know the Scriptures and the Power of God.
This statement reveals the desire of this fellowship to pursue and embrace the Biblical inerrancy and grounding of the scriptures as well as experience all that God has for his children in the the gifts of the Spirit. Walking in these two key areas is considered essential to our expression as a fellowship.
The method of membership in the CMA has been established over the years as a relational networking of friends and colleagues. Our desire is to develop relationally and maintain those relationships by the grace of God. Membership is not an exclusive club or a stamp of approval of the call of God on ones life or ministry. Rather it is a simple means of connecting and facilitating as well as providing all the governmental requirements for ministers in the nation of Canada.
The following is a statement of faith that closely resembles the one our early CMA fathers drafted.
We hold these as our foundation in Scripture and life together here in the CMA.
At times there will be occasion to test these statements through the process of discernment of the
heart and discussion among ourselves regarding its wording, structure and application.
We appreciate both the value and tension of coming to a collective sound among us that is not
limited to the written words of men outside of scripture.
While we appreciate that no doctrine of Scripture should be supported by anything less than all that
scripture has to say concerning that doctrine, we nevertheless feel that it is of value to append each
of the following statements with two or more of the Scriptures supporting them.
You are welcome to reproduce this statement of faith on your ministry materials and media.
Statement of Faith
The verbal inspiration of the accepted canon
of the sacred scriptures as originally given.
2 Tim 3:16 1 Cor 2:13
The tri-unity of the Godhead.
Matt 28:19 Gal 3:20
The creation, test and fall of man,
as recorded by Genesis, his total depravity
and inability to Divine Righteousness.
The Saviour of men, the Lord Jesus Christ, conceived of
the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, very God and very Man.
Lk 1:30-35 Jn 1:18 Isa 9:6
The Gospel of the grace of God, how that Christ died for our sins,
was buried, and rose again on the third day for our justification.
1 Cor 15:1-4 Rom 4:25
The Salvation of sinners by grace alone,
through faith in the perfect and finished work of the Cross of Calvary,
by which we secure remission of sins and eternal life.
Eph 2:8-9 Heb 9:12,22 Rom 5:11
The bodily ascension of Jesus to Heaven, His enthronement,
His personal coming for His Church, at which time there
will be a general Ressurection and final judgment.
Lk 24;51 Eph 1:20 4:8-10 Heb 1:3 1 Thess 4:13-18
The water baptism of believers by immersion
in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 19:5 8: 37-38 10:47-48
The baptism with the Holy Spirit as an experience
subsequent to salvation, available to all believers.
Acts 2:1-4 8:14-17 10:44-47 Gal 3:14
The Gifts of the Spirit as enumerated in 1 Cor 12-14
being exercised and practiced as manifest in the early Church.
1 Cor 12-14
The Spirit filled life, a life of separation from the world,
and the perfecting of holiness in the fear of God
as an expression of Christian faith.
Eph 5:18 2 Cor 6:14 , 7:1
The healing of the body by Divine power, or Divine healing
in its many aspects as practiced by the early Church.
Acts 4:30 Rom 8:11 1 Cor 12:9 James 5:14
The Lord's memorial, commonly called Supper for believers.
The eternal life of the believer ( John 5:24 ,10:28 )
and the eternal punishment of the unbeliever.
Mk 9:43-48 2 Thess 1:9 Rev 20:10-15
The reality and personality of Satan.
Job 1:7 2 Cor 11:14
The sovereign autonomous government of the local Church.
Matt 18:17 Acts 15:22 1 Cor 16:12