Lawrence Smith says 90 percent of the hiring done in any enterprise, including churches, constitutes a mere verbal agreement – and that makes for increased pain if the person doesn’t work out. It’s painful enough to terminate a staff person, says Smith, but even more so in a church setting. The message: do it right, from the start.
The thing about the current generation of young people, says a veteran Bible college professor, is the speed at which God is working in their lives. Ken Esau, director of biblical studies at B.C.’s Columbia Bible College, told the school’s annual general meeting Oct. 13 that most Christians tend to change only when faced with some sort of life crisis. But he is seeing seemingly spontaneous changes in the lives of today’s CBC students that amaze him.
When Henry Warkentin started to teach Sunday school at 16, he had no idea it would launch him on a career in church planting. He taught as he went to Bible school, joining the West Coast Children’s Mission each summer. In 1953, he became chair of Canada Inland Mission.
Columbia Bible College (CBC), Abbotsford, B.C., is proof, said president emeritus Wally Unger, that “where there is a vision, people will support.” As part of that vision, Columbia’s faculty “didn’t teach students for information,” he said, “we taught them for transformation.”
The trip was one I had dreamed about for nearly a decade, ever since my cousins Walter and Anne Willms had begun working with the Mennonites in the village of Apollonovka. Until then, the Siberian Mennonites had been far below my radar.