By Julie Cole
hat’s the pulse of the local church today?
On May 16-20 David Wells, General Superintendent of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC), will teach the seminary course Ministry Issues in Contemporary Culture which he hopes will enable students to gain a fresh perspective on what’s going on in the church.
Briercrest seminary dean, David Guretzki believes Wells is the best candidate to teach this course.
“It would be hard to find someone who has more exposure to the local church in Canada than him,” Guretzki said. He has so much insight into what’s happening and he is willing to experiment with new (forms of ministry) even while recognizing that traditional forms within the church are still necessary and needed.”
Wells has held a number of impressive leadership positions. In 2010 he coordinated the Christian chaplaincy at the Olympics in Vancouver. He is currently the Chair of the Board for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.
These responsibilities help Wells to keep his finger on the pulse of society and the church.
“I communicate with Canadians in everyday life,” he said. “Not just from the ivory tower of the denominational office. (It’s important) to lead from the streets instead of from the office.”
Many current issues will be examined in the course. Some that Wells hopes to look at are:
1. What does the church look like today?
2. The “basic angst” related to the church and those who have felt burned by the church.
3. Social media and the new demands it places on Christian leaders.
4. The role that denominational affiliation has in churches today. (Is the church becoming post-denominational?)
5. The mission of the church today.
Both Guretzki and Wells hope that local church leaders will take this course. The class is designed to be “highly participatory” so that students can bring up issues in class that they are encountering in their own ministries.
“We’re hoping to engage leaders in the local church,” Wells said. “People involved in equipping ministries who are currently in ministry in the laboratory of the local church or other ministry organizations.”
“Our primary hope is to signal to the local churches of our interests in talking about trends in ministry,” said Guretzki. We are hoping to draw pastors from local churches and our own alumni as well as current Briercrest seminary students.”
Click here to look at the course syllabus for Ministry Issues in Contemporary Culture. For more information about registering for the course, contact Shirley Entz at 306-756-3306.