Johannes Schouten
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I think it is good and benefiical, from time to time, for me (and for us as a church community) to ask: "What is this pastor up to?!?!"

Not a question we ask with an "edge" to our voice or with suspicion but rather a question we ask with a longing and eagerness to really know: "What is our pastor up to?!?!"

Other ways to ask this question could be: "What are the things and themes that are important to this pastor's present ministry?" or "What is our pastor feeling calling to do and be involved in these days?!?!?"

So, here are some things that take up my focus, time and attention these days:

1. The Word: even after (or maybe I should say "espeically after") more than 20 years of preaching I remain committed to the task of the Word. I want to be a better and more effective preacher. I want to be both personally but also communally as a church more focussed on the Word: listening to it better, studying it more, meditating on it and, yes, also preaching and teaching it more effectively so that others might hear it, understand it and respond to it.

2. Prayer: along with the Word, prayer is meant to be one of my top callings. So I want to pray more on my own and also pray with others more.

3. Worship: at the heart of the Christian experience is an experience of worship. I want to work with others for a rich and vibrant worship experience at Nelson Ave.

4. Hospitality: I want to be, more and more, a hospitable person--both in our home but also through the way I live my life--showing hospitable both to church members and guests / visitors; both to those who believe and those who do not believe; both to leaders and followers; both to young and old; to those with much ability and thoes who have less ability (at least in our eyes); both to the "haves" and the "have nots." May my life, my speech, my actions, my thoughts and feelings emulate the hospitality of God.

5. Connection With Other Churches: over the last year or so I have spend some time praying and getting to know leaders in other Burnaby and area churches. I hope to continue and see if there are ways to connect leaders and churches together and to see if there are ways we can even do ministry together.

6. Releasing Saints For Ministry: a longing of my heart is to see the people of God use the gifts that God has given to all of us (children, youth, adults) to do the mulit-facted ministry in the world.

7. Missional Engagement: I want to find myself and our church community caught up in the "missional experience" Jesus is calling us into (Genesis 1:26ff; Matthew 28:16-20; John 20:19-23).

8. Healing Ministry: recent experiences in my life have invited me into a healing journey as I keep looking to the cross of Christ. Could there be more of Christ's healing in my life and could Nelson Ave to a place of healing for the nations? Could the church be, more and more, a signpost of Jesus' tangible healing ministry in the world. A much needed ministry for our day!

May God give me (and all of us!) grace to continue to pursue the things He has placed on our hearts.