As I write this blog post, some 530 of you have read my previous post, “What A God!! What A Ride!!! Fort Mac Here We Come!!!” I am truly humbled that so many people are interested in what God is up to in the life of myself and my family. Many of you have left public comments in various parts of Facebook and a few on the blog itself. Others of you have sent personal messages and emails. Thanks for all your words of encouragement, celebrating with us these amazing doors of opportunity that God has opened. We remain awestruck by how God showers his love on those who seek Him.
In the next few blog posts I am going to attempt to answer a few of the questions that some of you have been asking, some more privately than publicly. Questions like, “I still don’t get your excitement for Fort McMurray, are you sure that’s where you really want to go?,” or “Why did you choose to serve in a much smaller church than where you’ve been, when other doors were open?”
Today I just want to provide a bit more insight into what happened after I said “yes” to going to Fort McMurray Alliance Church, which meant saying “no” to being the Dean at Briercrest Seminary. What happened was totally unexpected. I put it in the “only God,” category, because only God would design a situation that is so in tune with my wiring, where I get to be the Lead Pastor of a compassionate missionally minded church in a city with explosive potential, while being able to be a significant influence in the training and mentoring of the next generation of men and women for vocational ministry through one of Canada’s leading seminaries.
To help you see the way God works, let me share with you an email that Dustin Resch, the Interim Dean of Briercrest Seminary sent to the students of the school on Saturday.
In February, we interviewed three candidates for the position of Dean of the Seminary and Master of Divinity Lead. Of those, we decided to bring two to visit our campus. There was overwhelming support from our search committee and students for one of those candidates—Doug Doyle, a long time pastoral veteran from Thunder Bay. We were excited about how Doug would add a significant perspective and unique gift-set to our Seminary faculty. However, like the good pastor he is, Doug was deeply drawn to ministry in the local church and heard God’s call to pursue pastoral work in Fort McMurray, Alberta. This means that Doug felt he should decline our offer to make him Dean of the Seminary.
However, we are thrilled to announce that Doug Doyle will still be able to play a significant role in our Seminary. We have offered, and he has accepted, an innovative new role to lead our Master of Divinity program from a distance. While residing in Fort McMurray, Doug will provide strategic and visionary leadership for our MDiv program, work to foster a network of mentorship for pastoral leaders, MDiv students and recent graduates, as well as to teach two courses per academic year in our seminary. We are ecstatic to have Doug join our team in this way.
If you have any questions, please do contact me and I will be happy to help.
Dustin Resch, PhD (McMaster University)
Interim Dean of the Seminary
Assistant Professor of Theology
Briercrest College and Seminary
Dustin, thanks for those very kind words. I too am ecstatic at the opportunity to team with such a spiritually passionate and talented faculty as together we seek to train, mentor and equip men and women for vocational ministry in Canada and around the world. And while this will on top of a significant Lead Pastor role, I’m pumped by the opportunity as a front line ministry practitioner, to bring those front line realities into the formation of future pastors and ministry workers. Only God could come up with such a crazy combination of opportunities. Only God knows exactly how I’m wired and how to open doors to allow for that wiring to be fully engaged for sake of seeing “God’s kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven.”