If multiplying churches and ministries in Canada increases the number of access points for people far from God, I am all in! That’s something I can give my life to.
In October 2017, Rev. Paul Fraser of Edmonton, Alberta, accepted the call to serve as the PAOC’s Multiply Network co-ordinator. His role is to support and co-ordinate our local, district and national church multiplication movement. Paul brings a wealth of experience to this challenge. Here is a glimpse into his story and his heart.
Q1: Congratulations on your new role as the PAOC’s Multiply Network co-ordinator! For those in our Fellowship who may not know much about you, what are some of the highlights of your life?
On the home front, I have been married to Corrie for 22 years. We have four kids, one dog, and live in Edmonton, Alberta. From a ministry standpoint, I felt called to ministry at a young age but never really engaged that call until July 1, 1993, at Inner Peace Pentecostal Camp. A powerful time at the altar radically changed the trajectory of my life. I then applied to Northwest Bible College and graduated in 1997. God has been so good to us over the last 20 years, which has now led me to this role. I am honoured to be working alongside many incredible leaders in our Fellowship.
Q2: What excites you the most about this new role?
Someone finding Jesus in a culture that seemingly has fewer and fewer access points for people to experience the gospel. If multiplying churches and ministries in Canada increases the number of access points for people far from God, I am all in! That’s something I can give my life to.
Q3: How have your past ministry experiences prepared you for this season?
Early on in ministry, I was part of a fast-growing, healthy church that branched into multiple services a short time after I started there. I was then able to be on the lead team of a church plant that multiplied two more times. That season taught me the joys, challenges and tensions of church planting. Working for the past 11 years at the Alberta and Northwest Territories District office has been the greatest preparation for me as I step into this new role. Part of my portfolio was the role of church planting director. I see how helpful and preparatory that time was for me, and I am able to take the things I learned in that season and put them into practice in even greater ways.
Q4: What would you say is the most pressing need to ensure that the PAOC’s 2020 Initiative is realized?
At a grassroots level, I think the most pressing need is to garner greater ownership of the 2020 Initiative from our churches, pastors and leaders. The practical work is done at the local church level. We recognize that and want to come alongside as many church multiplication efforts as we can. Currently, we are working on developing a strategy for telling the stories of church multiplication in Canada. It is our goal to engage with 50 churches this year to help spur on multiplying efforts. As our [PAOC] family sees and hears stories of what God is doing, we trust they will be inspired and will step up to take part in our 2020 Initiative. I am praying for the Holy Spirit to challenge pastors and churches to see new works started in our nation.
Q5: What can help drive the 2020 Initiative forward?
Expanding our leadership pipeline. We may have money, partnerships and even locations, but we need leaders committed to carrying the vision through to reality. Praying for more leaders, asking the Lord of the harvest to send workers into His field, is our natural first step. Our Bible colleges are doing an excellent job, but we need to look wider. We need senior pastors to be on the lookout for future church multipliers within their current staff and congregations. We need youth pastors and workers to dream about extending their church’s reach. Maybe there are second career leaders or those who have taken early retirement who can consider full-time ministry. Those are just some examples of where and to whom we could be looking as we consider future leadership possibilities.
Q6: How do you see the younger generation impacting our Fellowship and our country?
I truly believe they are the leaders of today, and their influence is only going to increase. Inclusion is critical, giving them a level of influence and a voice in the direction of the local assemblies, district dreams and PAOC vision. I am excited that we, as a Fellowship, desire to bring young voices to our tables of influence. These younger leaders have ideas, vision and energy. I would love to see us spend more time walking beside them and releasing them into what God has for their lives and ministry.
Q7: How can our Fellowship specifically pray for you as you take on this new role?
Prayer is crucial to the success of anything we do for the kingdom of God. The things that come to my mind right away are wisdom and discernment as to which doors I should push on and which doors I should leave alone. Secondly, prayer for my family is important. I am incredibly grateful for my wife, who is so supportive of me in this new role and understands the travel dynamics. Praying for increased strength for her would be so encouraging and helpful to our family unit. The last thing would be for favour as I connect with district leadership, pastors and other leaders. I need an unusual amount of favour to build strong relationships with the [limited] time I have. I know that’s a big ask, but I believe a greater unity in the Spirit between brothers and sisters in Christ can help us accomplish much when we are about kingdom work.
Paul Fraser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @paocmultiply. Jordan Hageman is a freelance writer from Stoney Creek, Ont., and a regular contributor to testimony magazine.
This article appeared in the March/April 2018 issue of testimony, the bimonthly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.