Maintaining Pastoral Identity with Dan Unrau

by Laura A. Thiessen

On November 7, 2007, words of inspiration and insight flowed from Dan Unrau at the Winnipeg Centre for Ministry Studies, a campus of MB Biblical Seminary. The topic was Maintaining Pastoral Identity and Dignity in the Face of Criticism. As pastors, many in the room had experienced the conflict and criticism that Dan addressed. And simply as people, all of them could use the encouragement he provided.

Dan earned his Masters in Jewish Studies from the Jerusalem University College, and holds a Doctorate in Leadership Studies from Carey Seminary at University of British Columbia. He is currently lead pastor at Fraserview MB Church in Richmond, BC. Dan uses a story approach to teach the Family Systems Theory, a theory he has applied throughout his 23 years of church leadership. Dan Unrau would argue that criticism and conflict need not be stumbling blocks to ministry, but can in fact be the building blocks necessary for healthy, effective leadership.

Everyone who left the room that day was encouraged and renewed. One person commented, "I would come again tomorrow if it was happening again", another said, "Thanks for encouraging us to minister out of who God made us to be – to own it and share it with the community". It was felt that Dan’s openness broke the ice and allowed each person there to consider their own personal and church issues more honestly; to do more than just cope with conflict and criticism.

Unrau spoke on the topic of transformational leadership earlier in the year at MB Biblical Seminary’s Fresno campus.

Posted: December 07, 2007