Vol 3 No. 20 Alberta Listening Sessions in Lacombe

I thoroughly enjoyed accompanying other members of staff to Lacombe. I am particularly thankful to Sam Breakey and John Prociuk for their leadership. I have asked Sam to write a piece about these set of Listening sessions for you. It was also interesting to discover at the Nisku Inn that the International Pipe Meeting, being held from 8 am to 5 pm, was not in fact a Scottish bagpipe competition, but a meeting of Oil Industry folks.


In Christ,

Jeremy Bell


Listening Session – Central Alberta

May 10, 2007


The phrase “under the dome” is acquiring new meaning in Lacombe, Alberta through First Baptist Church. Normally attributed to the business that happens in legislative assemblies, the phrase in this case is attributed to what is happening at the newest church structure in the region.  FBC Lacombe hosted the Central Alberta Listening Session. Representatives from nine of ten area congregations and Gull Lake Camp gathered to answer four questions that have become part of new culture for Canadian Baptists of Western Canada.

In this region significant differences evidence themselves in congregational attendance (35-550) and pastoral tenure (a months to 22 years). Despite these differences they have one trait in common; each fellowship is at a critical juncture. Three of them, in many ways were starting ministry all over again. Four are in the process of filling pastoral vacancies or adding associate staff. The two largest are considering selling their buildings to erect larger facilities, and two others have moved into new facilities in the past year.

Those in attendance eye witnessed the hunger Baptists in Central Alberta have to fulfill God’s vision within the communities to which they below. A conscious shift is occurring to bring the church to people after years of expecting people to come to church. One pastor admitted with candour, that his leaders could not agree on answers to the assigned questions. His honesty reminded us all that visioning seminars and brainstorming sessions are no substitute for the work of the Holy Spirit. Another representative spoke of his congregation was still paying for some decisions that were inappropriately made some twenty-five years ago but they are beginning to move on.

After the gathering one person told me that she had attended mainly to please her husband but left thankful she had attended because she realised that God was doing something truly special among his churches. We have to encourage one another so that we can enjoy richer ministry opportunity and harvest.


In Christ,

Sam Breakey




CENTRAL ALBERTA – 10 commitments


Red Deer First Baptist – 

Hands on ministry and leadership training

Gull Lake Camp– 

To take the good will, momentum and generosity invested here from across our constituency and transform it into real life ministry to 700 campers, 80 emerging leaders and 1000 retreat and conference guests.

Ponoka First Baptist– 

Walk with us through a building project – 80% rule documentation, helping the congregation catch the vision, plans/layout, financing

Lacombe First Baptist – 

To offer wisdom and advice that will continue to help the church grow and remain healthy.

Olds First Baptist – 

Support for an IVCF worker at Olds College possibly through the Trinity Fund.

Clive Baptist– 

Access educational resources for developing spiritual growth and ministry skill among people who have not had a Bible School education.

Brightview Baptist– 

Resources for rural churches – budgeting/tithing, simple info/communication on what CBWC does and how they help

Stettler Baptist– 

We need the “jump start” of good staffing – denomination needs to stand behind us. Financial support and guidance.

Brightview Baptist– 

Resources for rural churches – budgeting/tithing, simple info/communication on what CBWC does and how they help

Camrose Baptist– 

Patrick said that the church has not been able to establish a vision