The Presidential Search Committee appointed by the EMCC Board of Directors worked earnestly and prayerfully to present a nominee who would stand for election as the next president of EMCC. Follow the work of Search Committee and news releases about the presidential nominee here.
Mar31FriMarch 31, 2017
The National Board has spent some time thinking about the future of EMCC and some of the significant challenges that lay in front of us for the denomination and the new president. We specifically asked Kervin to speak into these four areas that we feel need to be addressed over the next four years.
In addition to responding these four areas, we’ve asked Kervin to share with us his personal sense of calling to this role, and his vision for where he sees EMCC in the coming years. His responses are as follows:
Kervin Raugust – President Nominee
The Way of Jesus
Jesus Christ began His public life with an invitation, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17). Toward this end, Jesus introduced a discipleship language captured in The Way of Jesus. This language is Biblical, theologically sound, inviting and compelling. It is the language of Jesus! Learning to speak this language, as with any language, requires patience, persistence and practice. In all sincerity, I applaud every person in EMCC who has been a “language instructor” and who has given themselves to learning the language of The Way of Jesus!
When asked what I see as next steps toward infusing The Way of Jesus deeper into the culture of the EMCC, I respond by saying, “I do not know!” The reason for my response is this: I do not, at this point, know how fluent we are at speaking the language of The Way of Jesus. For me, fluency is about instinctively speaking a new language in one’s daily life. Getting to fluency for us as followers of the “Way” matters if we are going to help people enter the kingdom of God through Christ and then to achieve their kingdom potential in Christ.
What I see: While I do not know what is next, I do know that it will take a collaborative effort on my part with leaders across our denomination to determine the next steps in our journey toward fluency. One of my favorite quotes by Chuck Swindoll speaks of the importance of leaders engaging in a prayerfully intentional process, keeping in mind, “These are days for careful evaluation, honest admissions, and tough decisions!” I am confident we are up to the challenge because we are a people who are determined to live The Way of Jesus ... with fluency!
I began ministry in the era when the “church growth movement” was at its peak. A functional, pragmatic way of thinking caused church leaders in those days to believe the axiom, “build the church and you will get disciples”. While there is merit in this way of thinking, Jesus’ way was different. Jesus’ axiom is, “Make disciples and I will build my church.” Healthy churches are led by leaders who get this!
In the context of EMCC, it appears to me that health has everything to do with The Way of Jesus. Allow me to explain. When I visit my doctor I expect he will assess my health against predetermined health standards. If my health is outside of the standards, I can expect my doctor to prescribe a “get healthy plan”. Following the plan matters of course to my health. Church health functions in much the same way – determine the standard of health, to figure out the plan to get healthy, to engage in regular health assessments and to make corrections as necessary!
A word about why church health matters. For me, church health matters because there are spiritually lost people living in the communities where our EMCC churches are. I speak as one who has some family members who do not know Jesus in a personal way. Time is running out for them! So, I am counting on the church in their community to be healthy. I believe that my hope is a reflection of the longing of many for their friends and family!
What I see: It seems to me that inside our churches across our denomination there are people with ideas about how their church and our denomination can become healthier. This is not to be taken as a negative view of the current health of the church. The reality, however, is that just as the health of our physical body needs constant attention, in the same way we are compelled to pursue health for our churches. So, what I see is creating a way for us to have meaningful dialogue across our denomination - todetermine the standard of health, to figure out the plan to get healthy, to engage in regular health assessments and to make corrections as necessary! There is one more thing for us to figure out. We must discover ways in which we can celebrate health, because healthy churches matter!
If EMCC does not seek to understand millennial thinking and adapt where adaptation is necessary, then the words of Reggie McNeal in his book, “Future Present”, will likely prove true for us. McNeal writes,
“The world is profoundly different than it was at the middle of the last century, and everyone knows it. But knowing it and acting on it are two profoundly different things. So far the North American church has largely responded with heavy infusions of denial, believing the culture will come to its senses and come back around to the church.”
While there is an element of millennial thinking which concerns me, I am optimistic about this eager and energetic people group. If EMCC is willing to adapt its thinking and ways, the millennial generation will become a people group who will change the world yet one more time.
What does adaption look like?
Therefore, become fully engaged with discipling them into a Way of Jesus lifestyle.
Therefore, get them connected into people who live as a family on mission.
Therefore, be the kind of church that generously engages in causes which help people; create pathways for millennials to get involved in these causes; and, be sure to tell the stories of what God is doing to transform people. Millennials want to be proud of their church track record, so give them reason to be glad they are part of their church.
Emerging church leaders want to engage with Jesus in an “apprentice model of learning”. Why? Because they want formation to be about life and leadership. They also want multiple pathways of learning. So, what if we could create a formation system consisting of two pathways? These pathways might be:
I believe students exiting High School are looking for a 6-12-month discipleship experience. Facing their future, these emerging leaders want to be developed in three domains:
These young adults are eager for a missional lifestyle where they see the Kingdom of heaven on
Earth “right now” in front of their eyes! EMCC must therefore come alongside Emmanuel
Bible College’s Expedition discipleship program and Rocky Mountain College’s Discipleship
Certificate to promote them to the emerging generation of leaders in EMCC.
I see Schools of Ministry across our nation in a variety of locations where emerging leaders are apprenticed. This will require a “school” model to be created and supported by the leadership of our churches. Some of these emerging leaders will serve as volunteer lay leaders, while others will be called to prepare for vocational ministry and will need to earn a degree. Emmanuel and Rocky Mountain College are positioned to receive such emerging leaders. For those needing education beyond the Bachelors level, partnerships with other educational centres will need to be forged.
God’s Mandate to Me
As a coin has two sides, so too does the mandate God has given to me. On one side of the coin is the relationship mandate. What is more important to me than anything is relationship with God - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I learned this the hard way as Executive Pastor at Centre Street Church, where I over-extended myself in doing the work of ministry. Consequently, the over-packed and over-committed hurried life damaged my relationship with God, my family and my friends. It took a wake up, near miss cancer surgery in 2009 to get my attention. Having secured my attention, the Lord Jesus began to teach me the joy of discovering new levels of intimacy with Him, as I learned to hear His voice and to see Him in new ways. This joy of discovery is taking me deeper into relationship with God, and is spilling over into my relationships.
On the other side of the coin is the responsibility mandate. There was a day when I engaged in voice lessons, where I learned to sing in harmony with the music my voice teacher was both playing and singing along with. In the same way, Jesus has become my voice teacher, and has given me a mandate to sing a new “Kingdom song” in the church. Harmony with this song for the church means living out Isaiah 61 as a church, and exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit while doing so (Galatians 5:22-23). For both to happen God, has given me a mandate to guide people into following the pathway which leads to …
Finally, what keeps me pursuing God’s mandate is the thought, “What if the people of God discovered the path to ever deepening intimacy with Him, and the way to rise to new heights of intimacy, authority and capacity in Christ?” I like to imagine the difference my family, friends and congregants would be to their families, their relationships and the people in their work places! I like to imagine what would happen in their community, province and nation, and around the world! I like to imagine the difference the church would make in the territory assigned to us by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!”
“O God, we magnify your name. Come close, we pray; make yourself clearer and be bigger in us. We yearn to know you in ever-deepening ways. We long to rise to new heights of spiritual maturity, authority and capacity, for those who know their God are strong and do exploits! Today we declare our trust, O God, is in your nature; our confidence is in your promises, and our expectation is that you will show up in our nation through us. This we pray for the display of your glory and for the praise of your name! Let it be!”
Vision for EMCC
I believe the purpose of the church is “to honor God by living out His Kingdom purpose on earth as it is in heaven”. Toward this end I carry a vision with two parts:
Part 1 - The Church as an organization.
The vision I hold for the church as an organization is for it to be organizationally healthy and strong. Every effort must be made to avoid dysfunction by pursuing the principles and practices of organizational design. As well, organizational dysfunction is avoided when its leaders are leading with spiritual sensitivity and authority. When the church is functioning well organizationally and spiritually, it will “do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine by the power of Jesus at work in us.” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Organizational health for me includes the following:
Part 2 – the Church as the Kingdom expression of God.
The vision I hold for the Church as the Kingdom expression of God arises out of the words of Jesus, spoken in Luke 4:18-19. There Jesus, at the beginning of His ministry, stood in His hometown synagogue and read from the book of Isaiah, chapter 61. He began by saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, He has anointed me and appointed me ...” He continued by declaring what we could expect to see happening in the days ahead. Jesus spoke of us seeing Him …
I imagine therefore an Isaiah 61 church arising across Canada to serve the purposes of the Kingdom of God in this age. This I imagine because the kind of church Canadian culture needs is a church where the manifest presence of God is the distinguishing mark. I imagine EMCC becoming this kind of church because the same Spirit who anointed and appointed Jesus to do what He did is upon us! By His Spirit, we then will walk in the Way of Jesus, which in the end will make all the difference in the lives of people.
In Preparation for General Assembly
What’s next, you might ask? We would like to give you an opportunity to ask Kervin questions so you can continue hearing his heart and thoughts. Please e-mail your question to email@example.com and look for posts in the coming days on the EMCC site for his response. He will reply to as many as possible on this blog via video. The Search Committee might group similar questions together, so don’t be shy to ask whatever you would like.
As we continue to move towards General Assembly in May, please remain in prayer for God’s clear guidance, hearts to hear His voice, and faithful communities ready for what God has next for us in the EMCC family.
For the Presidential Search Committee
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