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Taking Us Out of Our Comfort Zone

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Comfort… it is a thought provoking word. Oftentimes, we find ourselves naturally being pulled towards what is comfortable and familiar to us. This is not always a bad thing. However, comfort can often lead to a stagnant place. Jesus called us to, “Love our neighbours as ourselves.” He called us to feed and clothe the “least of these,” and He called us into community with one another, but He never called us into what is “comfortable.” 

As a young adult community group, we realized that we were approaching a place of comfort and almost stagnation. We met every week, talked to the same people, ate the same food, and realized that we were not doing much to reach out to those around us. We all agreed it was time to shake things up a little bit. 

And so, REACH emerged! REACH is the new young adult ministry of South Delta Baptist Church. Starting September 12th, we will meet in the Youth Centre of the church every second and fourth Tuesday of the month to sing, worship, learn, and discuss culturally relevant topics together. The ministry is called REACH because we emphasize Reaching Up: growing close to our God and Heavenly Father; Reaching In: to the community of SDBC; and Reaching Out: to the larger church community and communities of Tsawwassen and Ladner. Within this ministry, we are starting up a mentorship program, seeking out opportunities to serve our community and the larger church body, and by moving to a central, larger space, we are hoping to create a more inclusive atmosphere so that more young adults feel they can join our community. 

Change is not something that comes easily to every individual. However, when following the Lord, change is something that each Christian needs to navigate. God does not call us to where we always want to go. He calls us out upon the waters; to the great unknown. The great unknown that is totally known to Him. 

Please be in prayer for this change for us, and pray for this ministry initiative as we prepare to hold our first REACH gathering!

Posted by Mary Grierson

Pastoral Search Team Update #15

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We have a candidate! After reviewing all the applicants, we have selected one man whom we are pursuing as a candidate. The elders held a time of prayer and fasting, and came to a unanimous decision to pursue this man to be our next pastor. We are currently interviewing a list of references for this individual which will prepare us for another interview.

Thank you for your prayers, as our process is moving along smoothly. We will have the interviews and reference checks completed by the beginning of September and, Lord willing, we will be able to introduce the candidate to the congregation in September. Once the candidate has been introduced, we will schedule a week for the candidate to be with us. This week will allow him to meet with us, share his vision for our church and community, and have lots of interaction with our congregation. This visit will be followed by a congregational vote.

Things are moving along well. Please continue to pray for the elders, pastoral search team, and the candidate as we move steadily forward.
*Please do not ask us who the candidate is, as we are not able to share that information yet. We will introduce the candidate as soon as we are able to.

Posted by Craig Kraft

Meet Gatlin Saip

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Almost a year ago, I was praying for our church, asking God how to unify our congregation in a special way. It was revealed to me that it was time to combine our two separate worship services into one. We needed to worship together as a community of believers. After thinking and praying about this for a period of time, I asked God how we would accomplish this. I had some sleepless nights and anxious days until I understood that it would take the right person to make this happen. I did not know who this person would be. I felt overwhelmed with what to do, and totally inadequate with how to do it. I addressed this with our elders, who had also been praying, and they agreed it was time to unite our services behind the right person.

During multiple conversations with different men, God led me to speak with Gatlin Saip, someone I did not know personally. We met over coffee and I shared our vision for what we wanted to do in moving to only one service. As we talked, Gatlin shared a bit of his life journey. He and his wife Mackenzie had been married at SDBC, and he was a school teacher at South Delta Secondary, working 3/4 time. He shared that he had been approached a few times before to consider leading worship in other churches, yet he had declined those opportunities. Gatlin was intrigued, however, by our vision and what God had been doing in his and Mackenzie’s lives for some time. Gatlin agreed that he and Mackenzie would consider and pray over what we wanted to do, and whether it was a fit for him. I would pray over this. I left this first meeting certain God had led me to the right person. For me, it was God continuing to lead me through answers to my prayers.

Over the course of several months, we continued to pray along with our elders. It became clear to Gatlin that he was being called into this ministry. We agreed on a process by which a final decision would be made. He had the challenge of leaving his current church that he had been a part of since childhood. That was a very significant issue for all of us. He wanted to leave well and we agreed this was important. In order for him to leave well, it required SDBC to hold his name in strict confidence, giving Gatlin the time to tell people around him and in his church what he and Mackenzie were going to do. It also required us to wait until God moved in such a way that Gatlin’s church gave him and Mackenzie a wonderful blessing and their best wishes as they left. Only after this, could we start our process of properly vetting Gatlin with a support team led by Pastor Paul. Their assignment was to verify what I believed God was doing in Gatlin’s life and in our church life. On July 31st, that team gave me a unanimous endorsement of Gatlin, agreeing he was indeed the right person to lead us into a one service format.

As many of you have discovered by now, Gatlin, in the words of his friends and mentors, is a "young man with an old soul." We have seen him lead both our traditional and modern services. He is a gifted musician, singer, and, I think, a gifted leader. Over the next month, Gatlin will begin to assume more of the leadership of our worship arts ministry. Doug Harris will continue leading the traditional service, and Mary Uher will continue to lead the modern service. On Sunday, September 10th, we will no longer hold these two services. We will meet at 10:00 in the auditorium for one 60-70 minute service, with Gatlin leading our combined worship team made up of those already serving in worship, as well as some new people.

This is indeed a God story of answered prayer and fulfilling vision. Gatlin was officially hired on August 8th. Please welcome Gatlin Saip as our new Director of Worship Arts.

Posted by Rick Burdett

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