Monthly Archives: April 2015

Kingdom Ministries

For Glory Destura, Immerse student and Director of Children’s Ministry at Burnett Fellowship Church in Maple Ridge, building God’s Kingdom is her main focus. Glory signs all her emails with “FTK (For The Kingdom), Glory“. Her love for her Lord and Saviour and her heart for children is a joy to witness. Glory directs the Kingdom Kids service each Sunday and she meets with a handful of young girls for prayer and mentorship each week. She exclaims,  “Exciting things are happening! We launched Kingdom Kids to meet three major goals. They were, BELONG to a Caring Community, BELIEVE in God’s Kingdom, and BUILD Faith by Empowering Parents. My heart is full of gratitude and thankfulness for the amazing work God is doing at Burnett Fellowship and also for the many faithful people who give to support the Immerse Program – Thank you!”

Upon completing the Immerse program Glory will have earned an accredited Masters of Divinity degree while gaining invaluable ministry experience serving at Burnett.

Tom DrinkwaterTom Drinkwater, one of our more recent Immerse students is the Children’s Ministry Director at Central Baptist in Victoria. Tom loves to have FUN and share JESUS with the children and families in Victoria: “I have the great privilege to work on a staff team at Central that is very supportive and it’s great to see the kids getting excited about God, their faith and sharing the Good News.”

Tom is on a life journey to serve Jesus: “The Immerse program is helping to highlight my ministry strengths, as well as tending to areas that need growth. I am on a journey to keep learning, keep improving and serve our Lord as best I can, in the context He has called me and gifted me. Thanks to all who support Immerse! ”

The Ministry of Northwest and Immerse is about building God’s Kingdom through the development of key leaders like Glory and Tom. Thank you to all our faithful partners and donors for their generosity and prayers as we impact our communities and beyond together. To donate, you can do so directly online at www.nbseminary.ca/donate or contact me – Ron J. Sing, Director of Development: ron -at- nbseminary.ca or 250-240-3737.

Opportunity

Opportunity is an interesting phenomenon. It comes and goes. You need to grab it when it is present, because you are never sure when it might come again – or so it seems. The reality is that opportunity presents when people God has prepared meet the moment that God intends. At Northwest, we have that kind of opportunity before us now. I am so encouraged by the multiple means by which we are able to fulfill our mission.

We continue to value our partnership at ACTS Seminaries. Some say that the day for classic education has passed. Those people have probably not been in one of our classrooms. I continue to be energized by the passion and commitment that our students bring.

I am also grateful for the opportunity we now have to extend our context-based model of learning. We are now in full delivery or active development of nine different versions of the Immerse program. Soon we will be able tell you more about the C2C church planting network, SEMBEQ in the province of Quebec, the Antioch Project out of Texas and California, and several others, all of whom have embraced Immerse and who are partnering with us.

I am further pleased to celebrate our return to Korean programs and the offer of our new Global Leadership Doctor of Ministry offered in the Korean language. We have assured that this program carries the Northwest theological ethos, along with a strong commitment to our signature, context-based approach to learning. Many thanks to Larry Perkins for his championing of this exciting piece.

Speaking of Larry, our work is a team affair. It has been wonderful to welcome long-time friend and pastor, Trent Erickson to the team. Howard Andersen continues to bless me in his role as Academic Dean. Ron Sing is really hitting his stride in his role as our Chief Development Officer. Loren Warkentin has been God’s choice servant in making possible the technology upon which our work depends. Archie Spencer has a special opportunity to teach at Regent College this year, which is an encouragement to the quality of his scholarship. Eric Fehr has just begun a PhD program at the University of South Africa (by distance education), which will prepare him to serve us better. Brian Rapske, Dianne Gleave, Nikki Lanigan, Mark Naylor, and Brent Foster all continue to serve our mission with excellence.

To lead this team has been the opportunity of my lifetime. We are here by God’s appointment and for his purpose. It is to his service that we dedicate ourselves.

Northwest’s Newest Member – Trent Erickson

Hi! My name is Trent Erickson and I am the Chief Operating Officer at Northwest Baptist Seminary, a new role implemented to assist the President’s office in managing the operations of Northwest internally, and its growing network of relationships with partners in Canada, the US and abroad.

My wife, Karen, and I live in Abbotsford. We have two boys. Evan is married to Alyssa and has just begun a ministry career in the Fellowship, serving as a pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Maple Ridge. Our other son, Lukas, currently lives with us at home and is preparing to be an elementary school teacher and a husband, getting married in September to his beautiful fiancé, Crystal.

Over 27 years, Karen and I have served in pastoral ministry roles in Victoria (Central Baptist, Youth Pastor), Vernon (Emmanuel Fellowship, Youth and Music), Edmonton (Millwoods Evangelical Free Church, Lead Pastor) and Abbotsford (Immanuel Fellowship Baptist, Senior Associate). I started working at Northwest in January 2015 after completing our ministry at Immanuel earlier in 2014.

One of the questions that I have been asked, and have frequently contemplated, is, “Why the move from the church to the seminary?” It’s a good question, and while I am sure I do not yet have the complete answer, I am encouraged by the one I have – that God is the one who is obviously in control. Just as we have seen His fingerprints in the decisions and direction of our past ministry roles, we are able to see them here as well.

I did not apply for a position at the Seminary for two reasons – first, there wasn’t one to apply for; and second, I am a pastor, and pastors apply for jobs in churches. I did ask for prayer at one of our FEB Pacific board meetings for clarity in God’s direction for the role and placement that He had for me, and God began bringing the understanding of two worlds together. Our Northwest President, Dr. Kent Anderson, was sitting at that table contemplating his unique need for someone to help in furthering the work of Northwest. His question at the time was, “How do I find someone I trust, someone who knows the uniqueness of the Fellowship network, and can quickly learn to understand Immerse and represent Northwest well to potential partners?” After our prayer time, Dr. Anderson caught my eye across the table and whispered, “Trent, I’m hiring. Can I talk to you at the break?”

As I continue to grow my understanding of how a career pastor can contribute to the operation of Northwest, some things are readily obvious. The development of Immerse within the Fellowship, and its potential to spread nationally and internationally through like-minded networks provides an opportunity that must be stewarded well. Having been privileged to be part of the concept and conversation about Immerse almost since its inception, I have experienced its growing pains in the church from the eyes of its potential, its implications in implementation, and its needs in ongoing development.

I also appreciate the importance of our partnerships. Serving in the church, on the Fellowship Board, and now as part of the seminary staff, I am benefiting from the perspective of all three partners in the Immerse concept. It is not a stretch to realize that the identification, development and training of the next generation of pastors, ministry leaders, and effective church leadership is important to the Church, the Fellowship, and the Seminary. In this new role, I am especially learning to appreciate the gifts and passion that our seminary staff and faculty bring to the partnership. I believe it is important that we appreciate each other in our work towards the common goal of real world kingdom and spiritual impact, whether it be through Immerse, or any other partnerships we have, perspectives we bring, or pursuits we engage.

This is an exciting time, and I feel privileged to be part of God’s plan as part of the Northwest team and the broader partners it represents and serves.

Northwest Alumni – Andy and Nancy Steiger

Northwest Baptist Seminary is approaching 80 years of history in partnering students and churches to make a God honoring impact. God has used, and continues to use, faithful men and women in ministry to make His mark on our world today.

I recently had opportunity to interview Northwest Baptist Theological College alumni Andy and Nancy Steiger.

They noted in my interview, and I had heard before, that they were declared “the most unlikely couple” to emerge from Northwest. It would seem that God knew what He was doing bringing the two of them together for partnership in life and ministry. Andy (NBTC 1998-2000) serves as the Pastor of Young Adults at Northview Community Church in Abbotsford, and is the founder and director of Apologetics Canada, while his wife Nancy (Schellenberg – NBTC 96-99) is full time mother, and part time Executive Assistant for Apologetics Canada. They have two children, Tristan (7) and William (5) and live in Abbotsford.

Apologetics Canada has developed a significant identity in the Lower Mainland through its conference ministry over the last four years, bringing together thousands to benefit from the teaching of top apologists from around the world. Apologetics Canada has captivated a younger generation of believers looking for an authentic community where their significant questions and doubts about Christianity and faith can be addressed with reasoned and logically plausible answers. The appeal is apparently broader than just the next generation. While they specifically target young adults and the next generation of leaders, they are drawing in multiple generations of believers from multiple denominations and faith expressions.

Curious about the God-shaping developments and events that are part of any ministry’s growth and effectiveness, I asked, “How did God bring this thing about?” They responded that they both recognized early on that they were missionaries at heart. As they began their life journey together, they envisioned serving God as missionaries to a small people group – “running around naked with the natives” as Andy so eloquently expresses it. God was nudging them in a slightly different direction.

As they were waiting on applications to missions agencies, God began to make Andy aware of a struggling people group and culture within North America – young adults. This next generation is either leaving the church or just leaving the church behind, unsure of what they believe and unsure of the reasonableness of the faith they have been taught. His bent towards missionary service helped him understand that you need two things to be successful in reaching any people group – you need to know their language and their culture. He thought he knew the language and culture of this people group because he was serving them within the church. He began to realize he didn’t, and was therefore drawn to understand more fully this particularly needy group in his own back yard.

In 2009 the Steiger’s young family moved to California to attend Biola University. Andy packed a 2 year master’s degree into a year and a half, graduating with a Masters in Apologetics (with Highest Honors) in 2010. During this time, a vision was birthed for Apologetics Canada. The Steiger’s passion for the work of Apologetics Canada is obvious as you talk with them. They both speak with passion and insight as they describe the core of what they do and how they seek to do it. The name “Apologetics Canada” is strategic. “Apologetics is a term (and discipline) that needs to be redeemed,” says Andy. It comes from a Greek word that means to “give reason” for the hope you have. Andy sees himself as a translator, appreciating the work of theologians and academics pursuing disciplines in high thinking, but seeking to make it possible for the average person to understand and express deep thinking in their own thoughts and words. They faithfully uphold that Christianity is not a tradition of blind faith, but a reasoned faith. Faith is another key word in their vocabulary. It means “trusting what you have good reason to believe is true.” Their vision biblically is from Romans 12, that transforming your mind should result in transforming the way you live; that faith touches your head and your heart; that loving God also means loving people!

Nancy’s passion for the work of Apologetics Canada is evident. I asked how it came about, since Andy was the one going to school and studying. Her response – knowledge has grown from reading, listening, and conversation. More importantly, her motivation to learn was birthed through her desire to engage her son Tristan in conversation equivocal to the depth of the questions she was being asked by him. Her desire to be a great mom for her kids highlights an important question for us all – who is the motivating force behind your desire to grow your knowledge and skill in answering the questions of faith for our day and the next generations?
As we concluded our time together, I asked what insight they might have for what the questions and issues of church and culture in the future might be. Andy responded with two thoughts.
The question that has dominated the Enlightenment period has been “Does God Exist?” The resulting question for our time might just be “Do people exist?” Andy’s recent seminar at the Apologetics Canada Conference, “Zombie Culture,” addressed the evidence and issues that result from a culture that is uncertain of God’s existence and leads to the next logical uncertainty, our own existence.

He also suggested that the church needs to monitor the effects of social media on our culture, especially noting the tendency of people to prefer a virtual community over a real community, their walls being the computer, phone, or tablet screen, keeping them from engaging in community with God, the church, and peers.

ThinkingWhat’s next for Apologetics Canada? The big goal for the immediate future is to take the new “Thinking Series” across Canada and the US. This resource enables pastors and lay ministry leaders to equip their church for thinking deeply and engaging the culture. They are also looking forward to presenting their first Eastern Canada Apologetics Conference in Ontario.

Many resources are available for people to discover on the Apologetics Canada website
www.apologeticscanada.com and www.thinkingseries.com. While you are there, check out Andy’s new book, “Thinking? Answering Life’s 5 Biggest Questions.”

Discerning a ‘Kairos’ Moment

Paul claims that God always acts at the right time and presents opportunities for Kingdom advancement at crucial moments – “kairos” moments. He talks about “open doors” and the importance of advancing through them.

KDMN Planning Committee

KDMN Planning Committee

At Northwest we believe God is providing us with a “kairos” opportunity to assist key Korean pastoral leaders in Canada, Korea and other parts of the world to develop their capacities as Global Christian Leaders.

On May 1st. Northwest will launch a new Doctor of Ministry program with a focus in Global Christian Leadership for Korean pastoral leaders in our Fellowship, as well as for other Korean Christians throughout the world.

Vancouver is one the primary centres in North America for the Korean diaspora, with over 150 Korean churches, many of which are substantial and growing. When Korean pastors come to Canada, they have great challenges understanding our culture and adapting their leadership to this new reality. This program will develop their capacity to transition cross-culturally.

Many pastoral leaders in Korea lead their congregations to establish mission projects around the world, including Canada. Yet, they have not had opportunity to develop cross-cultural leadership skills or discerned the challenges involved in being global Christian leaders. Significant struggles ensue, despite great passion for the Gospel.

This program will be cross-disciplinary, incorporating the following areas of study:

KDMIN

This new Doctor of Ministry program will enable the students to interact with and be mentored by Christian leaders who have significant global leadership experience, as well as deep commitment to and understanding of the mission of God in this world. Recruitment for the first class has already started.

Dr. Larry Perkins, Northwest Professor of Biblical Studies and President Emeritus, and Dr. Daniel Park, pastor of Global Korean Mission, a Fellowship Baptist Church located in Coquitlam, are co-directing the new program. A petition for accreditation of the program has been submitted to the Association of Theological Schools.