‘The EMC is the Best Conference in the History of the World!’

STEINBACH, Man.—Andrew Dyck, pastor at Stony Brook, responded to a few questions from Terry Smith.
Tell us about where you were raised, educated, and served prior to and while at SBF.

I was raised in a loving Christian family, spending my early years in Landmark, Man. When I was 10 my family was sent as missionaries from Prairie Rose to join Wycliffe Bible Translators. We lived six years in Dallas, Texas, and moved to the Wycliffe Canada office in Calgary. In Alberta I graduated from high school and chose to attend Providence College and come back home to Manitoba. My time at Prov was extremely fruitful, netting me a BA and a future wife! I married Karen in 2007 and began my ministry in 2009 as a youth pastor at New Life Church in Stonewall, Man. In 2013 I moved to an associate pastor role until God called me to SBF in the fall of 2019.

Tell us about your family.

Karen and I have been married for 13 years. We are the proud parents of Elijah (8), Malachi (5), and Silas (2). Part of our journey was saying “goodbye” to our stillborn daughter Selah, who is very much a part of our family in our hearts.

What led you to serve here?

Since a mission trip to Peru in grade 12, I have believed God was working on me to eventually become a senior pastor. Once I met the church family at Stony Brook Fellowship, I became certain this was the time and place. SBF has long valued people over programs, cultivating a church environment steeped in relationship. The church’s mission statement since its inception is to reach the under-churched and over-churched people of southern Manitoba, a vision that resonated with my philosophy of ministry.

To understand you as a pastoral couple, what do people need to know?

Karen and I operate as a team in ministry. She is a vital support to me personally as someone who listens well and offers godly perspective when I begin to feel overwhelmed. She vets many of my program ideas, sermon illustrations, and corny jokes before I unintentionally inflict them upon the congregation. I support Karen in her areas of gifting and service: she is an experienced worship leader, has a keen eye for graphic design, and establishes deep and meaningful relationships with others. It is important to know that as a couple, we are both ministering and supporting in our own ways.

What do you think of the EMC?

The EMC is the best conference in the history of the world. Ever. Okay, because I am the son of the EMC’s Executive Director, you may need to take my answer with a grain of salt. The members are missional, connected, and willing to talk about hard things for the sake of true unity. While it may always seem a struggle for local churches to feel connected to the larger body, there is a lot of positive and ongoing communication and support given by the conference. So much of the work is done by volunteers on the many boards that continue to guide our group into the future. I look forward to continuing to help lead as part of the EMC and not solely as the pastor of SBF.

What else would you want to say?

My final word would be to acknowledge all the hard work done by my predecessor, Earl Unger. It has been a privilege to inherit such a healthy church, one that loves Jesus and loves each other. They are not perfect (don’t tell!), but they are committed to the core values of the church and have been long shepherded by a biblically minded and warm-hearted pastor. I only hope to continue to carry on this good work.

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