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EQUIP: Kick the hamster off the wheel

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Transforming Discipleship was the theme of CCMBC’s 2017 EQUIP study conference. From plenaries to workshops, sessions gave attendees practical tools to take home and apply in their ministries. 

Here’s one testimony on the ongoing impact of attending EQUIP:

A mentoring relationship grows out of EQUIP

Erica Boschman, associate pastor at River West Christian Church, Edmonton

“As an extrovert and a caregiver – a people person, my preference is not to be alone, but it’s in solitude that I can hear God,” says Erica Boschman, associate pastor at River West Christian Church, Edmonton.

“I need to be willing to be uncomfortable.” When growth involves discomfort, it helps to have someone to walk alongside you.

When Boschman had to take on extra responsibilities during lead pastor Kerry Dyck’s sabbatical (May–September 2017), River West assigned her a mentor – someone outside the church and the MB conference with whom she could process issues openly.

For the first two-thirds of the sabbatical, “Don’t screw this up! was a burden I put on myself,” says Boschman. “My mentor helped me remember to take a day off and to rest. Mentoring rewired me.”

When the sabbatical ended, so did that mentorship. But Boschman wanted more.

In a TED-style talk at EQUIP Study Conference, Nov. 1–3, 2017, Boschman heard Glencairn Church pastor Ingrid Reichard speak about how her Kitchener, Ont., congregation mentors people in the spiritual disciplines.

“I wanted someone to walk with me on that path,” says Boschman. “I felt strongly that I should ask her to mentor me.”

An alumna of Bethany College and TREK, Boschman had experience in disciplines such as contemplation and solitude, but as a pastor, she found it difficult to keep her reflections focused on her own relationship with God, rather than her ministry.

“There’s always a hamster going in the back of your head saying, I could put that in a sermon or I could do this with the youth.” says Boschman. “A mentor can kick the hamster off the wheel.”

Reichard agreed to meet Boschman online through Zoom every six weeks, starting in December 2017. They began by focusing on listening prayer.

“I’ve come out of some hard years where my husband and I experienced lots of loss,” says Boschman. “I lost my words.”

“Ingrid is leading me through sketching prayers. Sometimes it’s easier to sketch an image than summoning the words I just don’t have.”

While Boschman and Reichard are intentional about focusing on Boschman’s relationship with God rather than her work, Boschman’s spiritual growth will impact her ministry at River West.

“I love my church family very much: that includes investing my whole self into them,” says Boschman. “But when you’re tired and you haven’t refilled your reservoir, you can’t pour out anything else. As I lean into solitude, I’ll have more energy to give to others.”

[Angeline Schellenberg

What’s your story? How have you taken action to live out the insights you learned at EQUIP? Share your story with us.

Read more about EQUIP here:


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