Ministry Quest Participants Set Their Sails at February Retreat

By Megan E. Richard

Thirty-three high school Ministry Quest participants took part in the Setting Your Sail retreat, February 14-19 at Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre in British Columbia. Setting Your Sail is the second of two stages in the year-long Ministry Quest program.

Forty-one students enrolled in the first stage of the program, Charting Your Course. This stage focuses on growing more in love with Jesus and figuring out what it means to be 'called’. These students met in three smaller retreat groups in Fresno, California during the fall. They then returned to their home congregations to complete thirteen mentoring sessions and three ministry observations. In December, students, mentors and pastors sat down to evaluate the value of each student continuing in the program. Thirty-three students chose to continue with Setting Your Sail.

The makeup of the group included sixteen female and seventeen male participants. Eighteen students came from the United States and fifteen from Canada. They represented Mennonite Brethren churches in California, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, North Carolina, Minnesota, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Leaders for the retreat included Cam Priebe, Ministry Quest Director; Anne Friesen, Associate Director and volunteers Rhonda Dueck of Fresno, California; Mike Stork of British Columbia; Chris Eidse of Lenoir, North Carolina and Carmyn Hildebrand of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Setting Your Sail retreat is divided into three main themes: knowing yourself, knowing leadership and knowing ministry.

Knowing yourself included a session with Doug Berg, Associate Professor and Dean of MBBS-ACTS, on writing your mission statement, digesting the results of a “Career Direct” questionnaire, and a spiritual gifts assessment. “The thing that impacted me the most was finding out how loved I am,” said participant Julie of British Columbia. “I know that doesn’t sound so incredible, but that was significant to me. My understanding of God has changed because I know that I am truly loved.”

Knowing leadership included team building exercises and time on a challenge course as well as a session with Ron Toews, ACTS Principal and Associate Professor of Leadership Studies at MBBS-ACTS. “I am learning that leaders are not the visible heroes, and it is not their job to make themselves succeed, but to spur on the success of others through their work. Leading the team is more important than dragging them all to the goal,” reflected Sarah, a participant from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Knowing ministry included a two hour session at the Mennonite Central Committee headquarters in Abbotsford. Participants folded blankets for shipping, sorted clothing and learned more about what MCC does worldwide. Sam Dick, MBMS International Regional Mobilizer for Western Canada, led a session on global missions. “I never really thought of myself as having pastoral gifts, but it was encouraging to me when Allison (a fellow student) said she thought I could be a pastor,” said participant Matt of Kansas. “I realize that we can minister in all walks of life. We don’t have to be a pastor to have a great relationship with Christ.”

The thirty-three students have now returned to their home congregations to complete the remaining assignments of the program: thirteen more mentoring sessions, three more ministry observations and a short-term ministry assignment.

MB Biblical Seminary’s Ministry Quest program seeks to “Transform Lives Through the Power of a Call.” If you would like to learn more about Ministry Quest, click here.

Posted: March 05, 2008