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The Canadian Church is changing.
How has this impacted the PAOC? What
big changes have you seen?
We don’t have home field advantage
anymore. The Church needs to be
alert to today’s apologetic. We have
to be at the tables. There has been a
shift from proclamational to incarnational. It’s not that Christians haven’t been at tables before, but I see
stronger community engagement
that is external, as opposed to exclusively internal church programming,
which I view as a positive change. It’s
easier to talk about justice and
holistic missions, and those things
really do matter, but we are less
focused on seeing people become
disciplined followers of Jesus.
How do you view the PAOC’s role in
the fabric of Canadian evangelicalism?
We’re almost a hundred years old.
Both locally and nationally we are
strongly linked with our evangelical
friends. We are trying to be a good
family member and, perhaps because we have some size, trying to
contribute as together we address
the issues I mentioned earlier.
You’ve personally just come out of
heavy involvement with the Pan Am
games, with the More Than Gold initiative.
Tell us about that.
It’s both a personal calling, and also
as a leader I got tired 20+ years ago
of hearing Canadian world class
athletes were an unreached people
group. I’ve seen an enhanced Chris-
tian presence among the athletes.
You just keep showing up and doing
your part. I’m also trying to communicate to our constituency that
every leader, at least once a week,
needs to spend significant time in
relationship with people not connected with the faith. Sports involvement has allowed me to keep
my covenant. It’s not programmatic.
How do you care for yourself as a leader?
I’d like to say that I’m moderately
consistent related to spiritual disciplines. I’m strong in relationships
that replenish. Even with my Pan
Am involvement, but broader than
that, for me, change is as good as a
rest. The variety in my life and different venues I find myself in are
often replenishing because of the
freshness, the people and the
opportunities. I married well, so I’ve
got a great friendship. We go on a
lot of walks and bike rides.
Top leadership advice?
Keep the main thing the main
thing. In leadership and management literature, there is a lot of
discussion about metrics, what you
measure as you set goals and take
initiatives. For the Church, the
metric in the end is that of the
Spirit speaking to the churches
about what we are called to do. I’m
always going to make sure, with
any team I’m leading, that the main
thing will be the metric in the end,
not pseudo-important stuff that
comes from all sorts of places, and
doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.
Who are your heroes?
I’ve had great mentors through the
years, right from when I was going
to college and spending every
Thursday over a butter tart with my
pastor. My mentors are still in my
life. They are with me every day.
Peter, Bob, Al, Jack, Wally…you see
what I’m saying. /FT
Dave Wells of Burlington, Ont., is general
superintendent of The Pentecostal Assemblies of
Canada, Canada’s largest evangelical denomination
Keeping the main thing
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