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A New Chapter

June 1999, was my first day as Youth Pastor in a rural church. Four years later, that church shut down, and I transitioned to Youth Pastor at Fort Garry MB Church in Winnipeg. For the next 10 years I would journey through the ups and downs of vocational pastoral ministry. I learned a lot, I discipled many, and tried the best I could to point people toward Jesus. Along that journey, I felt an ever increasing nudge to lead the Church outside the walls of the building to live the way Jesus did, with people on the daily rhythm of life. With this nudge and the sending of FGMB, I transitioned to the role of Missional Pastor with the mandate to develop a network of Missional Communities, or neighbourhood churches where all people are welcome to gather in a way that makes the Kingdom of God tangible or real in people’s life and circumstance.

For almost 4 years I’ve been able to take on this role, going from just myself and Colleen, to discipling 5 other families to join in the mission and many others to consider what it would look like to be sent as people on mission in our city.

Recently, as this mission called Venture Winnipeg has grown up, some assessment was done, and through conversation, it came to be recommended, that perhaps it wasn’t necessary to have a paid pastoral position for this mission, and that it should move more under the umbrella of FGMB. With that, at the end of February, my role came to an end.

There are many ways to describe what happened, and many ways to think about the context. Some descriptions come from emotion. And though my emotion is fair, the associated description of the context may not be. The way one person described it to me, after I explained what was happening, was to say that “my program had been cut”. While that doesn’t describe the entirety of the situation, it does a pretty good job of simply saying what has happened.

So the journey into vocational pastoral ministry that started in June 1999, is now, for all intents and purposes, finished. I am no longer a pastor in the traditional, vocational sense. Yet, I still and will always feel compelled to love people, bless people, and try to be an example of Jesus in our world, which I believe, is so badly needed.

There are many opportunities on the horizon, and I’m excited about what’s next, even if I don’t really know what that will be. My oldest son suggested I start a vlog and become a YouTuber, and become “rich” that way (his words). Not sure anyone wants to see me vlogging? I mean, what would I vlog? Slightly overweight, non muscular dad yoga? I guess I could do make-up tutorials? We’ll have to see, haha.

Regardless, my 40th year, though different than expected, is shaping up to be an epic one, and I invite you to follow along through this website and see where the journey takes me and my family.

Peace.
Joel