One of the first questions that potential members
ask is: "What are the benefits of membership?" Given the fact that
our lives are busy and that we're often asked to join various organizations and
clubs, that seems like a legitimate question.
It was also a question that was asked at a recent meeting of the board of
directors of the Canadian Christian Business Federation. (They are as much a
sounding board as they are a governance board)
What is our organization's strength? It is our local chapters. This is where
Christian men and women involved in business connect with each other. But
here's the rub: about one half of our members actually attend the monthly
breakfast meetings, and many regular participants in the breakfast meetings
I want to define a chapter as a geographic group of businesses: some attend
breakfast meetings, many don't. Some just aren't into meetings. For some, 7
a.m. is way too early; for some, they've already been at work for an hour or
At the CCBF board meeting we focused on strengthening the local chapters;
making them more autonomous, developing local ownership through local
leadership, encouraging the chapters to take on special projects.
Our chapters are already unique. Some of them operate as small groups, providing
pastoral care for each other. Some of them want to impact the community in
which they live by funding construction of a Habitat for Humanity house or
supporting a special local Christian ministry. Some adopt a street within their
town where they provide a targeted ministry.
By strengthening a local chapter and making the activities more meaningful, it
is bound to attract more membership, more commitment and more enthusiasm.
Perhaps the day will come -- and it shouldn't take much -- where one-half of
the membership fees go back into the local chapter to support local activities.
Several of our newly formed chapters are already led by a team of two or more
people, one of them being the administrator or point person while the other is
the discussion facilitator. By adding a membership director to each chapter,
that will build upon local involvement.
To use a literary analogy, we want to turn a
chapter into a book. We want to add more activities and ministry opportunities
to the local chapter ... if for no other reason than to provide value to those
members who faithfully renew their annual membership but who just don't come
out to the breakfast meetings.
Whenever I am privileged to attend the launch of a new chapter -- as I did on
May 31 in Fort Erie ON -- I leave them with one clear message: "This is
your chapter. The chapter's success or failure depends upon your participation.
Your personal involvement and your impact upon the local community is up to
A couple of chapters have already agreed to adopt our new model. Out of that
experience we will create a handy template to help other chapters to become
more effective within their local communities.
One of the benefits of membership? We are strengthening our local chapters so
that, collectively, you and the other local business leaders will be able to
impact your community more effectively.
Canadian Christian Business Federation
MONTHLY MEETING SCHEDULE
(Listed alphabetically by city)
ANCASTER, Tuesday, June 11 – Breakfast 7 a.m., The Egg and I, Duff’s Corners,
ABBOTSFORD, Wednesday, June 26 – Breakfast 7 a.m., ABC
Restaurant, Best Western Regency Inn, Abbotsford; Guy Wilton, facilitator.
BEAMSVILLE, Thursday June 6 – Breakfast 7 a.m.,
Beamsville Relay Restaurant, 4673 Ontario St., (south of QEW), Beamsville.
BRANTFORD, Wednesday June 19
– Breakfast 7 a.m., Sherwood Restaurant, Colborne Street E., , Brantford.
BURLINGTON, Wednesday June 5 – Breakfast 7 a.m., Skyway Diner, 645 Plains
Road East, Burlington.
CAMBRIDGE, Thursday June 13 – Breakfast 7 a.m.,
Galtview Restaurant, 693 Coronation Blvd (Hwy 8), Cambridge.
CHATHAM, Tuesday June 11 – Breakfast 7 a.m.,
Hungryman Restaurant, Keil Drive, Chatham; Will Carey, facilitator
CHILLIWACK, Tuesday, July 2– Breakfast 7:30 a.m., Ricky's All-Day Grill, Luckakuck Way, Chilliwack; Kevin Slingerland, facilitator.
EDMONTON, Friday June 14 --
Breakfast 7:15 a.m., ABC Restaurant, Greenwood Inn, 4485 Gateway, Edmonton;
Elden Wiebe, facilitator.
ELMIRA, Friday, June 28–
Breakfast 7:30 a.m., At The Crossroads Restaurant,
384 Arthur St.S., Elmira.
FONTHILL, Thursday June 20 – Breakfast 7:30 a.m.,
Bailey’s Restaurant, 124 Hwy. 20, Fonthill; Phil Mitterhauser, facilitator.
FORT ERIE, Friday, June 28 – Breakfast 7 a.m., Artemis Restaurant, 199 Garrison Road, Fort
Erie; Nile Jenkins and Jason Krtek, co-facilitators.
GUELPH, Tuesday, June 18
– Breakfast 7:30 a.m. Symposium Cafe, Stone Road West, Guelph.
KITCHENER, Friday June 21 – Breakfast 7:30 a.m.,
Country Boy Restaurant, 5 Manitou off Courtland, Kitchener.
LANGLEY, Thursday, June 20 – Breakfast 7:30 a.m.,
Denny’s, Sandman Inn, Langley; Len Goossen, facilitator.
LONDON, Wednesday, June 26 – Breakfast 7:30 a.m., Fireside Family Restaurant,
1166 Commissioners Rd. E., London.
MISSISSAUGA, Thursday June 20 – Breakfast 7 a.m.,
Strate’s Restaurant, 120 Traders Blvd E., Mississauga; Diana Budway,
NORTH YORK, Friday, June 28 – Breakfast 7:30 a.m., Artisani Bakery, 865
York Mills Road, North York; Baldwin Verstraete, facilitator.
OAKVILLE, Tuesday June 18 -- 7 a.m., Mo’s Family
Restaurant, 467 Speers Road, Oakville; Yong Kim, facilitator.
OTTAWA, Tuesday, June 25 – Breakfast 7 a.m., Best Western Macies Hotel, 1274
Carling Avenue, Ottawa; Lorne Wiebe, facilitator.
SARNIA, Friday June 27 – 7 a.m., John’s Restaurant, 1643 London Line,
Sarnia; Geoff Greening, administrator
ST. CATHARINES, Wednesday June 12 – Breakfast 7:15 a.m., Angel’s
Diner, 395 Ontario St., St. Catharines; William Leighton, facilitator.
VANCOUVER, Monday June 24 – Breakfast 7 a.m., White
Spot Restaurant, 1616 West Georgia Street (near Stanley Park), Vancouver;
Joshua Davis, facilitator.
WINNIPEG, Tuesday June 11 - Breakfast 7:30 a.m.,
Smitty’s Restaurant, 580 Pembina Highway at Grant Junction, Winnipeg; Carolyn