Finally, “It seems we’re on the cusp
of some real change,” says Shellrude
MK Safety Net is a bilateral organization with five Canadian board members
who hope to establish a Canadian-regis-tered charity, says Linda Tripp, a former
vice-president of World Vision Canada
and an MKSN board member.
A Chicago conference April 19-21 will
address many of the issues faced by survivors. The theme “Unexpected Journey”
refers to the very difficult road survivors
have travelled throughout their lives as well
as the journey of healing, Tripp explains.
Paul Young (author of The Shack) will
be the keynote speaker at the conference,
himself a survivor of sexual abuse at a
missionary boarding school in Indonesia.
“He spent 11 years in counselling,” Tripp
notes. The Shack grew out of Young’s own
Helping past generations of MKs who
are still suffering the traumatic effects of
abuse is one thing. Recognizing there are
still children at risk, despite widespread
changes, gives organizations like MK Safety Net momentum to keep going.
“There are still about 18,000 children in missionary-owned and operated
schools,” says Shellrude Thompson. Some
are day students, but many still board.
And that’s part of the ongoing journey,
says Tripp – putting into place policies and
procedures that make sure no child of parents serving in missions has to be abused
again. FT –Debra Fieguth
Do you have a Kingdom Matters
story to share? Email us at
Manitoba Musician Balances Ministry and Music
“Focusing on building the Kingdom takes obedience. But surrendering your
will to God also relieves the pressure. We believe He has anointed us to continue in
music, and He is opening the doors.” FT –Steven Sukkau
The color, comprised of James Shiels, Gabe Boschmann, Jordan Janzen, Tyler Martens and larry abrams, has been nominated for five GMa awards.
PHOTO: RUSS DUECK
recording artist and youth pastor Jordan Janzen is blurring the lines between ministry and music, reaching teens who wouldn’t normally attend church. As the lead singer of Christian rock band The Color, Janzen has toured
the country overseeing mosh pits and shredding guitars, or picking up awards like
Best Song and New Artist of the Year at the GMA Covenant Awards last fall.
It’s a life any musician would dream of, Janzen says it’s just another facet of
ministry. As the youth pastor at Westside Community Church in Winkler, Man.,
Janzen spends his time off the road leading students in prayer or organizing other
youth events. Whether it’s performing onstage at an awards show, or making
thirty-plus ice cream sundaes for his youth, Janzen says he sees no difference
between the two ministries.
“Music gives me a great opportunity to speak into so many kids’ lives,” he says. “I
can connect with kids who wouldn’t normally go to youth [group] or attend church.”
And Janzen finds his music heavily influenced by his ministry with youth, see-
ing their daily struggle with identity and desire to feel valued, whether through
popularity at school or acceptance on sports teams.
“Popularity doesn’t last, sports teams end … only Christ can fill that need to feel
valued,” he explains, adding many of his songs materialize from his youths’ stories.
The rising young artist says balancing a music career and a nine-to-five ministry position would be impossible without the support of his congregation and
“We see God moving through his music,” Westside lead pastor Konrad Loewen
says. “We want to be able to allow him to continue pursuing music. We’re about
building the Kingdom, and that includes his music ministry.”
“It’s a tough balance,” Janzen says, adding being on the road for weeks does
take time away from church and family, but he feels God’s calling at the concerts
and awards shows just as strongly.
That opportunity came in the shape of a three-day workshop
for the congregation in February. The workshop examined the
cultural shifts needed to move from a fragmented, isolated and
consumer-driven ethos for youth to a culture with more meaning. The workshop also presented the outcomes of the Hemorrhaging Faith report, and strategies to engage and retain youth
and young adults.
“It’s the beginning of a conversation that needs to happen in
leadership teams,” says Zerbin. “One weekend alone won’t frame
the entire conversation, but it’s a beginning. For me, as a pastor, it’s
a chance to actively seek the Lord for what’s next in our context.”
Seminars like the one hosted by Edmonton’s Calvary
Community Church are popping up across the country. Other
recent workshops include:
Hebron Christian Reformed Church in Whitby, Ont. held
an interdenominational conversation in early February led by
Daryl Stogryn from Youth for Christ Canada, one of the report’s