So much is happening in our world these days that I find it hard to keep track of it all. Significant changes are happening in the leadership of the United States. The business and financial worlds continue to experience turmoil. Leadership among our seminary partners in ACTS is changing, as well as leadership within the ACTS Consortium. Discerning the implications of these things for our personal lives, as well as our church communities, families or businesses becomes challenging.
Keeping Northwest’s mission on track when times are turbulent and chaotic, when the future seems less clear than it did six months ago, requires wisdom, courage, and significant intentionality. I am sure you experience the same constraints as you are re-calibrating your own personal budgets, travel plans, business ventures, or investment strategies. My faith in Jesus Christ and confidence that God’s Spirit is with me, however, gives me assurance to press forward. In spite of the changes in the world around me, Jesus’ word remains central – “seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). That remains the main thing.
When I translate all of this into the context of my leadership within Northwest, it requires me to ask once again this question – why does Northwest exist and what difference is it making for God in our world? Discerning the answers to these questions enables me as President to find joy in my calling and keep focused, patiently persistent, and significantly encouraged.
The more turbulent our times become, Northwest’s work to equip effective Kingdom leaders gains importance. Churches need passionate, competent, caring, godly leaders.
- Brian Reagh, a recent graduate began his work as lead pastor at Ruth Morton Baptist Church at the end of October.
- Tim Durksen, having finished his youth pastoral training program began as Youth Pastor at Sardis Baptist Church in September.
- Robin Martens is the associate pastor of Discipleship at Campbell River Baptist Church.
- Brian Pankratz is planting a new church in Burnaby.
- Three Fellowship Baptist Church boards participated in the Best Practices for Church Boards Workshop at the beginning of November, discerning ways to lead more excellently within their churches.
- Current Fellowship pastors (and those from other denominations) participated in a week-long Doctor of Ministry course entitled “Spiritual Leadership in the New Testament”, deepening their own understanding of Kingdom leadership.
- Current students, like David Yeo at Northwest Langley Baptist, or Rob Schweyer at Maple Ridge Baptist, or Paul Truman at Fellowship Baptist in Kimberly, are deeply engaged in pastoral ministries within their churches.
Are we making a difference? Absolutely! New leader by new leader, one by one, our current students and graduates bring the Gospel of Jesus and the powerful presence of God’s Spirit into their communities.
Are these leaders enough? Absolutely not! We must press forward. The work of God’s Kingdom isn’t finished. So we must keep on task. Jesus is holding us accountable. His body needs more trained leaders than ever before.
Your involvement in this work becomes more critical, not less. We know that the message of Jesus changes lives and restores relationship with God. As the Spirit of Jesus takes up residence in people, radical transformation occurs. Your prayers for us, your financial gifts, your wise counsel, your encouragement of those in training – all of this keeps us focused and persistently achieving Northwest’s mission – equipping effective Kingdom leaders. What investment carries greater opportunity for Kingdom advancement?
Thank you for your encouragement. I know that each of you in your own situations is being challenged by the financial chaos. Yet God’s continues to provide for our needs.
There are many different ways that you can help me lead Northwest:
- Help us connect with people in your church whom you believe have the gifts and calling for ministry leadership.
- Provide legacy gifts to sustain Northwest’s mission – real estate, bequest by will, making Northwest the owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy, gifting securities (stocks or bonds), gifts-in-kind. You benefit through the tax receipt, God’s Kingdom benefits as resources are applied to developing Kingdom leaders.
- Let me know that you are praying for us.
This is my joy and my challenge these days. Thank you for standing with me.