Canadian Baptist of Western Canada

Meet your new Executive Minister!

As of July 1, 2017 Rob Ogilvie is the new Executive Minister of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada. He’s been a CBWC member, pastor, and Regional Minister for a long time, and he’s done so throughout our various regions. So lots of you already know Rob, but for those who don’t and for those who want to know more, Making Connections sat down with Rob for coffee—actually, it was just me who had coffee. Rob doesn’t drink the stuff—to find out where he came from, and what the office of Executive Minister will look like under his leadership.

Pastoral ministry was a family business for Rob, so to speak, having both father and brother as pastors. Yet for a long time, he didn’t think it was for him. Instead he progressed in business management, and had quick success. But a few years in, he began hitting walls with every attempt to develop. He reevaluated and decided to pursue teaching in earnest. But again things did not go smoothly.

By now Rob had married Bonnie, the woman who stole his heart in Baptist Leadership Training School, and was living in Alberta. As it became clear neither business nor education were the right career paths, Rob and Bonnie started to ask, “What next?”

Rob Ogilvie and Jeremy Bell at The Gathering 2017 in Calgary

As you can imagine, knowing the ending, the thought of pastoral ministry was getting stronger. After a time of discernment, Rob told Bonnie he felt called to ministry. Despite having once told Rob she’d never marry a pastor or a farmer—the latter being informed by her childhood on a farm—Bonnie had been feeling the same. Rob was being called to ministry.

That was a Wednesday in late spring. On Sunday, they saw an ad in the church bulletin looking for a residential dean at Carey Theological College. By September, they’d moved from Alberta to Vancouver to begin seminary. (Interestingly, Rob delivered milk for a dairy at the Calgary Stampede for the months in between, so Bonnie almost did end up marrying both a pastor and a farmer.)

After graduating from Regent and Carey, Rob pastored in at CBWC churches in Weyburn, Saskatchewan and Coquitlam, B.C. for 13 years before becoming the B.C. Yukon Regional Minister, a position he filled for 9 years. He still credits his prior career in business for shaping his leadership style as a pragmatic listener.

Recognizing the Baptist value of local church autonomy, Rob’s first move as Executive Minister will be to listen. The Board will spend a full day out of the one-and-a-half-day Board meeting listening and asking, “Who are we as a denomination?” and, “Where are we at?” Then they’ll spend another four months before the next meeting praying about, “Where do we go?”

Rob Ogilvie spoke to delegates at The Gathering 2017

While some might be anxious to know what direction Rob will take as Executive Minister, he’s says that listening first is his direction. The CBWC denomination isn’t made up of the Executive Staff, he says, but of the member churches. So it’s foundational to take the time to listen, both to member churches and God, about what the key focus areas for the next five years should be.

 

The only authority you have in the CBWC is relationally based, he says. So he’s already started visiting the more eastern regions (you’ve had him for 9 whole years B.C., it’s time to share!) for BBQs with member churches.

Keep Rob, Bonnie and their two daughters in prayer as he lets go of the Regional Minister’s role and steps into the Executive Minister’s office.

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