Welcome to the Canadian Church Leaders Podcast, hosted by Jason Ballard. We are committed to serving church leaders and their teams by sharing conversations focused on pastoral leadership. Each episode features honest and thoughtful interviews with key voices from Canada and beyond. We want you to be inspired and encouraged as you hear the stories of hundreds of churches alongside the learnings of those who are leading today.
Kara Powell on the Questions the Next Generation Wrestles With That Every Pastor Should Consider
Episode 67 | Kara Powell is a veteran of researching young people and bringing practical ministry ideas to pastors and leaders in churches. Jason sat down with Kara to hear some of the latest research being released in her new book 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager.
They begin by highlighting why this all matters and what is at stake when we talk about discipling kids and youth in our communities. Kara highlights both the ways churches can impact the lives of young people positively, but also how young people can help transform churches. Going off research from past projects as well, Kara shares about what churches reaching young people are doing well and how pastors of kids and youth ministries are best discipling their people to follow Jesus.
Jason also explores with Kara the ways parents are the primary way of discipling young people and what it means for pastors to partner with them. They talk about ideas and tactics that have been effective at encouraging parents and building relational trust with parents that pastors can look to implement.
About | Dr. Kara E. Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and Chief of Leadership Formation at Fuller Theological Seminary. The mission of FYI is to equip diverse leaders and parents so faithful young people can change our world. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women to Watch”, Kara completed her PhD in Practical Theology from Fuller Seminary with a focus on Pastoral Role Expectations in 2000, an MDiv from Bethel Theological Seminary in 1994, and a BA degree with Honors from Stanford University in 1991. In addition to her roles at Fuller Seminary, Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and volunteers in student ministries at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena. She is the author or co-author of 3 Big Questions that Change Every Teenager (releasing August 2021), Faith in an Anxious World, Growing With, 18 Plus, Growing Young, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Essential Leadership, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum.
Blog | www.ccln.ca/episodes/episode67
Website | www.ccln.ca
Keith Taylor on 42 Years of Pastoral Ministry: How He Finished Well, Kept His Heart Tender, and Experienced God’s Missional Imagination.
Episode 66 | In this week’s episode, Jason had the opportunity to connect with Keith Taylor in the final week of his 30-year tenure at Beulah Alliance Church in Edmonton. In their conversation, Keith reflects back on 42 years of ministry and the ways he saw God move in different ways, in different seasons. He also shares about the unique history of Beulah, born out of a missionary-style movement to Western Canada in the early 1900s, and speaks to young pastors about what can help them serve faithfully for decades to come.
As Keith finished his time as the Lead Pastor of Beulah, it was also the beginning of a new era of leadership for the church. Almost five years ago, the journey began as the elders board and Keith started to look towards what would be next and how they might begin preparing for the search and evaluation process.
Looking ahead, Keith says he isn’t done just yet! Although his time at Beulah is over, he is excited by the ways God might lead him to new assignments and ways to serve others still. He plans to spend time with younger pastors and to invest in the next generation of leaders who face a challenging Canadian landscape ahead. He has great faith though, knowing that if pastors continue to rely on God’s power, He will ultimately continue to build His Church across our country.
About | Keith Taylor served for 30 years as Lead Pastor of Beulah Alliance Church in Edmonton, recently passing on that role in Spring of 2021. Previously, Keith was lead pastor for 11 years at the Alliance Church in Vernon, BC. He is a passionate preacher, leader, and champion of people and enjoys continuing to be a part of Beulah after his retirement. He has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Jacquie, for 45 years. They have three married children and 6 awesome grandkids. Keith has served on the Ambrose University Board, Alpha Canada Board and numerous other denominational boards. He also has a passion for motorcycles and sailing.
Blog | www.ccln.ca/episodes/episode66
Website | www.ccln.ca
Anu George Canjanathoppil on the Church's Role in Ending the Slavery of 40 Million People in Our Lifetime
Bonus Episode | This week we feature a special bonus conversation between Jason and the Executive Director of International Justice Mission Canada, Anu George Canjanathoppil. Throughout the interview, she shares her own story and upbringing that led her to pursue a role advocating for justice. She also speaks to the work of IJM, their vision for a slave-free future, and how pastors might partner with them to join the fight. Anu is a gifted and passionate leader who God has uniquely positioned to work towards to abolition of slavery. About | Anu George Canjanathoppil became the Executive Director of International Justice Mission (IJM) Canada in September, 2019. Anu has 9 years of leadership experience with IJM. In Delhi, India, she served as the Director of Operations and the Director of National Interventions, and in Chennai, India, she served as the Director of Legal. During her time with IJM, Anu worked extensively to impact the justice system by collaborating with state and local governments in India. Anu oversaw the training of more than 17,000 police, government officials, and NGOs on the rescue and rehabilitation of individuals trapped in slavery and bringing criminals to justice. As a result of Anu’s leadership, 8,500 individuals have been rescued from forced labour slavery.
Blog | www.ccln.ca/episodes/anu-george-canjanathoppil Website | www.ccln.ca
Aaron White on the Common Pitfalls in Efforts to Serve the Poor, Why Prayer Must Come Before Acts of Justice & the Power of Partnerships
Episode 65 | Aaron White, a local ministry leader in the Vancouver area with positions at 24-7 Prayer Canada, Westminster Theological Centre, and Jacob’s Well. He shares about choosing to live in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and how although many people see the area as dangerous or rundown, he finds great beauty and community within it. He talks about how many people can come to the area, hoping to share Jesus with those on the streets, but are often surprised to learn that Jesus is already there.
Jason picks up on that theme, asking about what it means for churches and Christians to not come in with a prideful spirit, but to still find ways to effectively minister to the needs of their city. Aaron encourages him that if the church is the church in its own neighbourhood, that actually blesses the wider society. Not every church needs to be in the same area or trying to serve the same people, but through the fabric of the local church in a city, all kinds of needs can be met. When talking about serving the poor and working to bring compassion and justice to our cities, Aaron insists that prayer must be the first step. It’s through ministering to Jesus in prayer that we learn to care for and minister to those He loves.
About | Aaron White is the National Director of 24-7 Prayer Canada. He has been a pastor, missioner, justice worker and prayer instigator in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver for the past 16 years, where he lives with his wife and four children in a community home. He is the co-author of Revolution and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Kingdom of God; co-creator of The Creative Way Down discipleship resource; and author of the upcoming book Recovering: From Brokenness and Addiction to Blessedness and Community.
Blog | www.ccln.ca/episodes/episode65
Website | www.ccln.ca
Ho-Ming Tsui on How Ethnic Churches Evolve and Why the Gospel Must Be Central in Conversations on Justice & Mercy
Episode 64 | Ho-Ming Tsui of Richmond Hill Christian Community Church in Toronto, Ontario joins Jason for his second conversation on the podcast. Between this interview and the previous one with Ho-Ming, multiple anti-racism movements have arisen and resonated with millions across the globe. In particular, the Stop Asian Hate movement triggered by the Atlanta shootings in March, have acutely affected Ho-Ming and the Chinese community that he pastors.
Ho-Ming with great honesty processes the many tensions he felt as he considered how to thoughtfully respond to this movement. Thousands of pastors worldwide felt the pressure to release some sort of statement or response in the wake of the shootings. Ho-Ming shares how he wanted to provide more than a statement for his congregation, but a space for them to reflect, grieve and pray together. He describes the incredible fruit of that decision.
About | Ho-Ming is the Lead Pastor of Richmond Hill Christian Community Church, a multi-generational, multi-lingual church just outside of Toronto. He completed his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University, and went onto graduate studies at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston. Ho-Ming speaks frequently at conferences in Toronto and has traveled to Asia, Europe and Africa to teach as well. He is an avid guitarist and loves all things sci-fi. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Katie, they have three children.
Blog | www.ccln.ca/episodes/episode64
Website | www.ccln.ca
Jon Thompson on Discovering, Embracing, and Sustaining Your Pastoral Calling
Episode 63 | Jon Thompson joins Jason this week for a unique conversation about calling in pastoral ministry. Based on a talk from a 2018 church leaders gathering, Jon shares what he believes is the foundation for long term, effective church leadership. Jon’s own journey led him to question what biblical calling looked like. Experiencing a sense of supernatural leading and divine intervention in his twenties, he came to believe pastors without that “moment” might not be called. However, after stepping back to evaluate the scriptures, he came to see four biblical models for calling that he called: 1) “I have no choice”, 2) gift-based, 3) family-based, and 4) community affirmed. Based on biblical figures, Jon shares with Jason how most pastors experience one or a combination of these before or in their early years of ministry. Jason presses Jon on common objections or hesitations people might raise from seeing the idea of calling misused in church circles historically.
About | Jon Thompson serves as the Senior Pastor at Sanctus Church (formerly C4 Church), just outside of Toronto, Canada. He has been on staff for more than 20 years. Sanctus is a regional church with a community of over 3,000 people that gather in multiple locations in the Greater Toronto area. Under Jon’s leadership, Sanctus is characterized by dynamic Biblical teaching, vibrant community groups, compelling media and powerful times in worship. Jon has a Masters of Theological Studies from Tyndale Seminary, Toronto and a Doctorate of Missiology from Fuller Seminary, California. Jon is husband to his wife Joanna and Father to three kids - Hannah, Emma and Noah.
Blog | www.ccln.ca/episodes/episode63
Website | www.ccln.ca
I’m so thankful for this podcast. I love listening to people who love Jesus and are sharing lessons from their journey. It has been an encouragement to me as I seek to serve Jesus and minister to others as He has called me. I often connect with the struggles that Jason or the guest shares. I often start my work day with listening to this podcast and frequently, I’ve been thinking and journeying through an issue and someone will share similar thoughts and share ideas which help me process the issue in my life. Be encouraged and thank you for serving God in this ministry.
Great podcast for pastors and non-pastors alike
Jason is an excellent interviewer; he brings himself and his experiences to the conversations as well, and he listens attentively. The episodes I’ve listened to so far have been helpful, informational and good conversation -starters
Thanks Jason and guests. You are challenging me to greater depth and intimacy with Christ. So needed. Keep up the great work!