“We look intently for individuals with an undying passion to reach those who need to know the love of Jesus, those who will go into unique settings in our nation, perhaps doing ministry a little differently than we have in days gone by.”
June is the month for professional sports drafts. The one to kick off first is the National Football League (NFL) Draft, also called the Player Selection Meeting. It’s an annual event in which the NFL teams select eligible college football players. It serves as the league's most common source of player recruitment. Every year in late February or early March, the NFL convenes the Scouting Combine, a rigorous six-day assessment of skills. As well, each university has a pro day, during which the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) allows NFL scouts to visit the school and watch players participate in NFL Combine events. The aspiring college gridiron players are put through the paces, along with interviews and questions about absolutely everything and nothing all at the same time.
Next, the attention turns to the baseball world, where players are scouted and cross-checked from high performance academies and a myriad of colleges. Highly sought-after teenagers with 95-mile-an-hour arms, quick gloves, and fast bats from sandlots around the globe are watched closely with keen eyes.
Then the sports calendar changes again, and the focus is on the National Basketball Association (NBA). It’s their turn to gather. Skilled professional scouts and teams all circulate around the latest high school phenom, a one-on-one from a U.S. college, or even a seasoned foreign player from a distant country.
At the end of June, the National Hockey League (NHL) management, coaches and scouts spend countless hours of deliberation and then meet to decide where the next Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid will play and what fortunes they will be signed to.
As the PAOC strives to reach Canada for Christ, we realize that we also need to scout for qualified, called and equipped individuals with skills and abilities unique to them. We look intently for individuals with an undying passion to reach those who need to know the love of Jesus, those who will go into unique settings in our nation, perhaps doing ministry a little differently than we have in days gone by.
Where are those who will go and partner with our Indigenous leaders to reach the 1.5 million Indigenous Peoples in our nation? We need people who understand the challenges of reaching the 300,000 new Canadians who land on our shores each year from around the globe. We need to have innovative leaders who are in relationship with large swaths of our nation that adhere to other world religions. We are scouting for those who understand and value urban ministries in our 13 major centres and can create strong partnerships. Our cities are changing. The challenge of the 10 million francophones in Canada remains a high priority for Mission Canada as we are partnering to reach into regions without adequate representation of a living faith in a risen Christ. The next generation of children and youth and those on post-secondary campuses across our country represent an ongoing challenge as well. There are more than 1.5 million college and university students on over 200 campuses in Canada. Our desire is to have a Pentecostal, Spirit-filled presence on each campus.
So, when scouts are looking for new players, they search for athletes with passion, character, skill, adaptability and “projectability.” A baseball scout calls this the IT factor. It is something the athlete possesses: they will do anything to succeed; they learn from their mistakes; they love to win and will do whatever it takes not to lose.
Mission Canada is always on the lookout for workers who understand and have a heart for reaching their Samaria in the Acts 1:8 grid. Samaritans are Canadians who are often close in proximity, yet distant in culture and faith. Workers need to be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and full of grace and truth. As team players, they understand a calling that is more than just “para” (working alongside others), but rather “appo”—being sent out from the local church or district. They understand that the Lord indicated they will have troubles, and that they ought to be “as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
A worker who experiences kingdom success in their missional focus on reaching Samaritans will need both understanding and skill. Jesus, in John 4, modelled a pattern and principles for all time. Be present, engage, invite dialogue, avoid detours, keep to the main things, point to the eternal solution, and tell others.
So, first off, it is “Draft Day!” Mission Canada is looking to the Lord of the harvest for workers for His harvest field. We are looking for qualified and called people who get that it will take all kinds of people from all domains of life to impact our nation. As the PAOC family, we must be present in the missional “gaps” in our nation … living, reaching, serving, discipling.
Secondly, if you are a local church, we are encouraging you to draft one of our qualified Mission Canada workers into your Acts 1:8 mission team and strategy. Through one of our workers, we are giving your local church an extended arm to reach into those Samaria places. Your partnership with a Mission Canada worker helps the gospel advance into those hard-to-reach areas or with distinct people groups. Together, you can celebrate the wins and journey through the challenges.
Mission Canada’s worker force is growing. At last count we had 15 deployed workers, with an additional 17 who are readying themselves and fundraising. We would like to see them released to full-time service in 2018 with churches, individuals and businesses that will partner in prayer and funding to see the spiritual state of our nation impacted.
Would you draft a Canadian worker with the PAOC? Together, let’s experience an incredible season ahead and have endless reasons to celebrate kingdom wins!
Brian Egert is the director and assistant to the general superintendent for Mission Canada with The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.
This article appeared in the March/April 2018 issue of testimony, the bimonthly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.