Lead Pastor @ Selkirk Community Church
What are some of the ways that you guys have seen God at work over the last year?
We’ve seen God at work in the increased level of engagement with new folks. Whether that’s in-person services or people saying they’ve been tracking with us online and looking forward to meeting us in-person. Many folks drive by the new building and are curious about it. There’s a ton of new people accessing the space in our new building because we’ve got a gymnasium that’s open for groups to use/rent. It’s been fun seeing how God is bringing people right to our doorstep in a variety of ways.
That’s exciting. Tell us a little more about the new building.
It’s almost like two buildings in one. We’ve got sanctuary offices on one side and the gymnasium and commercial kitchen on the other. At one point in the pandemic, we had the option of using the gymnasium on a Sunday morning as additional seating to space out adequately and have the video and the audio sent into the gym. So the building is serving us well. It’s just a lot of fun engaging with many different people that we normally wouldn’t have an opportunity to engage with.
How did you get initially involved with Selkirk Community Church?
About 12 years ago, I was looking to transition from a volunteer youth pastor position into full-time vocational youth ministry. During a phone call with a YFC staff member, I learned that the YFC Selkirk branch was looking for a director. I served in Selkirk for 12 years as the director and recently transitioned from YFC to a full-time position with the church. So I got to know the community well in all aspects, not just the community at large but all the different churches in the community. Selkirk Community Church has been very supportive of YFC from the beginning, so my wife and I started attending the church regularly. We got to serve in different areas, occasionally sharing updates about what youth for Christ is doing.
We were actually without a pastor for several months, and we were in the middle of finding a more adequate and accessible building because our space was small and wasn’t wheelchair accessible. The whole vision of finding land and a way to build a new building was in the works, and during that process, we had to relocate to a temporary location for services. For the last few years, God had laid a burden on my heart to possibly move into a pastoral position. But I had no idea what that would look like or where that would be. During our church’s season of massive transition, I would fill in occasionally to preach. I asked the leadership if it might be helpful, I put in 10 hours a week to function as a pastor of the church, so it started small. When you look at God’s timing for everything, this provided us with the flexibility to see if this might be a good fit.
What are some of the challenges you might have faced as a church or community over the last year?
We were just settling into a new building when the pandemic hit and then had to learn how to pivot to offer church online. So we have tried to live stream services. We’re in a rural setting, so the internet can be a real challenge. And then the other aspect of it is training people to take on those elements of the service. It was challenging for me because I am tech-savvy, and I enjoy that kind of thing, but I didn’t want to rob anyone of an opportunity to serve in that space, and I didn’t want to burn myself out by running around doing everything on a Sunday morning. I was only part-time, 20 hours a week pastoral position, and worked with Youth for Christ (YFC). So the challenge for me was, “how am I going to train a team of people that know how to run the live stream elements of a Sunday service and take care of other parts of the service?”. Thankfully, we had many people who were eager to learn and take on leadership in those areas. It’s gone pretty well!
I feel strongly that we’re in a time right now and in an age where people are spiritually thirsty and curious, and as a church, we need to have a strategy in place that is prepared for growth. Yet, we never know what’s just around the corner in terms of restrictions with the pandemic. It can be challenging to have enough volunteers that help make Sunday happen. It’s difficult to predict where we will be in one to five years and how we will prepare for that. It can be a bit daunting, but I’ve seen God do amazing things over the last year and a half and provide incredible volunteers, so I’m excited!
How can we be praying for you?
Pray that we connect more and more with folks in our community who don’t regularly attend church or maybe never attend church. Pray that God would give our church family his heart and vision for the lost in our community and lots of open doors to share the gospel. Pray that people don’t get burnt out and that our team can grow. It’s very exciting, all the different people we get to interact with throughout the week.