In January 2024, I started a new chapter as interim Executive Director of the EMMC. Thankfully, God has been active in the EMMC long before I arrived and will continue. In the last 8 and a half years, Lyn Dyck served well in leading the EMMC to a place of vision, stability, and hope for the future. Now we wait for the next executive director to answer God’s call for the next chapter of our conference. As we wait, I am serving the EMMC for 6 months at half-time. The General Board expects that I will:
Connect with churches, leaders, and regions.
Lead office staff in carrying out the strategic plan and staff transitions.
Communicate with the moderator and General Board.
Ensure that finances are well managed.
Assist with the establishment of a Ministerial Executive.
Sounds like a simple task! Recently, Darrell Kehler led the EMMC office staff through The 6 Types of Working Genius self-assessment. I discovered that my strengths are Discernment and Wonder. So, I will be seeking God's wisdom to discern which priorities will best serve the EMMC this year. Our mission says that the EMMC exists to equip and encourage our churches for effective ministry, empowering them to participate in God’s work in the world. I will also wonder together with staff and board how to do the mission effectively with the people and resources God is providing.
My faith story returns to last year when Luann and I returned to Kerith Pines for a retreat. The purpose of the retreat was to recharge from life’s challenges and refocus on where God was leading for the next 5 years. We read Richard and Leona Bergstrom, The Third Calling: What are you doing the rest of your life? They explain that life requires three big transitions or callings.
The first calling involves the choices of young adulthood including faith in God, friends, marriage, family, career, and purpose in life. Growing up in the Glencross church in southern Manitoba, I learned to love Jesus early from Sunday school, continuing to youth group, and participating in choir. My sense of calling to ministry grew through teaching Sunday School, leading youth, and even preaching at 19 years of age. I met Luann at the church, and we attended Winkler Bible Institute where our sense calling to ministry developed.
The second calling requires more of our time, responsibilities, and wisdom in balancing relationships, families, church, careers, and other involvements. As I neared age 30, the Warman Gospel Church in Saskatchewan invited me to be their pastor. Luann and I served together as our young family grew along with the people of the church. I joined the EMMC Ministerial Council and learned much from our family of pastors and leaders. We returned to Manitoba where I enjoyed 28 years of teaching and administration at Steinbach Bible College. These years increased my sense of calling in empowering servant leaders to follow Jesus, serve the church, and engage the world for God’s kingdom.
The third calling gives opportunities to share the benefits of life experience, wisdom, and faith in God over time. In May 2023 friends at SBC celebrated my retirement. I now have reduced responsibilities at the college, and new opportunities to say YES to God.
Thanks to Darrell Dyck, our moderator, and the General Board for inviting me to serve EMMC for the next 6 months. The home office staff make me feel very welcome! And when the next Executive Director arrives, I will gladly hand over the responsibilities. As an interim, I follow the mindset of John the Baptist who said, “He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).