by Ron Thiessen and Terry M. Smith
SWAN RIVER, Man.—Terry Smith sent questions to Ron Thiessen, who has served at CBF since October 2011. Here is his reply.
Tell us about where you were raised, educated, and served prior to CBF.
I was raised in the Mennonite Mecca of Winkler, Man. After grade 12 I landed up going to Millar College of the Bible for four years. Once I was married, we served in Martensville, Sask., as a Youth Pastor and then at two different churches while in Aylmer, Ont. The first one was as an Associate Pastor of Youth and then as a Lead Pastor.
Tell us about your family.
God has given me the opportunity to marry my best friend Rita, and we have been married now for almost 27 years! WE have been blessed with three amazing kids: Kendra, Jayden, and Myron. Kendra is now done her first year at Bible School, Jay is graduating from grade 12 this year, and Myron is in grade 11 presently. What gives me the greatest joy is to see how each of them is walking in the truth.
How did you hear about CBF and what led you to serve here?
I was without work for a couple of years when I felt directed to look at the EM Conference in hopes to find a church we could serve at. The Conference Pastor saw our resume and felt we would be a good match for Swan River, and are we ever glad that he did.
To understand you as a pastor, what do people need to know?
I am in progress just like everybody else. Far too many people think that pastors or missionaries have it all together. Just ask my kids and you will know that I am as far from perfect as they come. I have come to see that it is my brokenness that qualifies me to minister to others, for it is in weakness that we can minister the life of Jesus to one another.
What else would you want to say?
I would really want to encourage church members to pray for their leaders in their churches. Being in church leadership is a very lonely place. If you pray for them and keep your heart soft and receptive to the Lord, then you will make their role of being a leader a joy and not a burden, just as it says in Hebrews 13:17.
What brings you the greatest joy in your role as a pastor?
To see people who are willing to change and move forward with God! Nobody enjoys a change except maybe a baby with a wet diaper; but when I see people young and old alike who are willing to say count the cost and say yes to Jesus , that fires me up like nothing else! That is undeniable proof that the Holy Spirit is at work in their lives; and as far as I am concerned there is no greater joy for me then to see people being transformed and becoming more like Jesus!