You hear it occasionally – “I am honoured to share the stage with…”. Sometimes actors and athletes, songwriters and singers, billionaires and bureaucrats are genuinely privileged to work with one another.
Certainly, I am honoured to share this column with my friend and colleague, Willy Reimer. Decades ago in Calgary, before their church planting dream was realized at SunWest Christian Fellowship, Willy and Gwen would slip in with the worshipping community I was pastoring. Later, in a period of transition for Karen and me, we found our spiritual and ministry home with the people that Willy led. We still look back on it as a meaningful time of give and take.
I want to thank Willy and Gwen, as do thousands across Canada and more in the global Mennonite Brethren church, for your passionate, thoughtful, visionary leadership to the diverse people of God in the Canadian Conference of MB Churches. Because of your quick departure last fall, you have missed hearing our true thanksgiving to God for your faithful service.
And now, with humility and joy, I have accepted the call from the leaders of both the CCMBC Executive Board and the “South Abby” Church tribe, whom I love deeply, to serve the Canadian MB family.
The mission is the same: “multiplying Christ-centred churches to see Canada transformed by the good news of Jesus Christ.” The strategy is to engage every member on one mission – collaborating with all our hearts in this local, national and global enterprise. Our shared spirit is to witness the transformation of people, communities and nations by the gospel of Jesus Christ and the work of the Spirit.
I am committed to lead for 18 months by being with you across the country, listening together to the Spirit’s direction, bringing our best resources into collaboration with churches, prudently expending God’s wealth for his mission and leading CCMBC with joyful, trusting faith.
I will pray wholeheartedly for you, the people who serve Christ faithfully. I am asking that you will pray for me – to be full of the Spirit, the grace and truth of Jesus, the wisdom of the Father, and the courage of conviction that God who began the good work within you will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns (Philippians 1:6).
Jesus, let your name be honoured in Canada and the world through us!
[Steve Berg is interim executive director of the Canadian Conference of MB Churches (see “Board appoints interim executive director”). He and Karen live in Abbotsford, B.C.