Q & a With Walter Fast
Walter Fast is lead pastor
of the Steinbach Mennonite
Brethren Church in Steinbach,
Man. He returned to Canada in
2009 to minister to his current
congregation after serving as a
teacher and pastor in Germany
for 19 years. He is also pursuing his DMin at Providence
What is your greatest joy in ministry?
Experiencing and helping others to experience a deep
satisfaction in the Lord, which emanates into a natural
and vibrant involvement in Kingdom ventures, whether
in the church or in the marketplace. Jesus put it this way:
“…do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice
that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10: 20).
What has been your greatest struggle?
Having returned to Canada almost four years ago after 19
years of teaching and pastoral ministry in Germany, I find
it a challenge to adapt my ministry to my current church
and location in light of my personal biblical-theological
convictions; my 25-year ministry experience in five different churches and a Bible College in Canada and Europe;
and the resultant appreciation for people of many different denominational traditions I have developed. However,
my greatest struggle remains being a consistent, reliable
and contagious witness to the reality of Christ.
What Bible passage do you most connect with right now?
The book of Joshua, which I am preaching through for the
first time. It is not easy to preach such a violent book, and
in a Mennonite church at that! However, the key message
of the book never ceases to amaze me, that total victory
(as God’s gift) and complete obedience (as my heartfelt
faith-response) form a perfect unity under God’s sovereign
What are the best theological books you’ve read in
the last year?
Depends what you consider theological. But these have
challenged me as a Christian who is also a pastor and
DMin candidate: What Was God Doing on the Cross? by
Alister McGrath (Wipf & Stock, 2002) and Making Room:
Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition by Christine
Pohl (Eerdmans, 1999). I just finished Fasting by Jentezen
Franklin (Strang Communications, 2011), which I read as
a personal challenge to “dethrone King Stomach!”
What is your best advice for those entering ministry
Glorify and enjoy God fully (Westminster Catechism),
obey and teach His Word faithfully, watch your life and
morals carefully, and stand your ground prophetically
in a shifting culture.
What is your biggest concern for the Canadian Church?
If only our passion for Christ and His Church would
match – even faintly – our love of sports and our pursuit
of pleasure. If only we could quote the Word as well as
we can quote the latest sitcom.
What are the specific challenges – and joys – you face
doing ministry in Manitoba?
My wife and I love it here in southern Manitoba – the
people, the climate (we really do!), my current church
and especially the leadership team. The key challenge?
How to be and do church in a small city of 13,000 with
approximately 40 (!) churches, including one mega-church
of 3,000+ people. That is a lot of churchgoers and a very
blessed community as a result. But when belonging to a
church is almost a part of the way of life, newcomers not
connected with Christ or His Church yet can sense that to
have influence of any kind, you must belong to a church. Is
that good – or questionable? Many of my church members,
including me, have little or no close contact with unbelievers. That too is a challenge when we discuss and implement
evangelistic emphases such as the upcoming My Hope
campaign (Billy Graham), which we will participate in. FT