A conversation between leaders at Burman University (BU) prompted a drive that resulted in the construction of the new Burman Ministry Centre (BMC), which officially opened on March 6, 2022. The new center, located on the campus of the Seventh-day Adventist school in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada, seeks to train and support Adventist leaders and young people across Canada and beyond, people behind the initiative said.
“The question was asked, ‘What do Seventh-day Adventist Canadians need today, and how can we help?’ ” Mark Johnson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada (SDACC), said. “We need two things: first, a deeper and more personal faith in God, and second, a better understanding on how to lead people to Christ.”
That is precisely what BMC is trying to accomplish, church leaders said.
An Idea and a Plan
In April 2021, a conversation between BU president Loren Agrey, Religious Studies chair Steve Reasor, and Outdoor Leadership chair Kevin Kiers resulted in what is today BMC. From that initial conversation, many more conversations among ministry leaders from every level of the church took place.
The opening of the center was “a landmark event for Adventist ministry and mission in Canada,” Kiers said. “In collaboration with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada, the North American Division [NAD], the General Conference, Canadian ministry leaders, donors, local churches, and the Burman Ministry Centre Board, this center now has many branches of ministry to help Canadian churches share God’s light and the hope we have in His soon return.”
Kiers explained that even though the center is located on the BU campus, much effort is being spent on serving all areas of Canada. “Careful thought has been made to include ministry-minded Seventh-day Adventists from across the country to help others,” he said.
The center’s motto is “Shine to Serve,” which provides a basis for the ministry, Kiers said. “Everything we do, produce, and share is service oriented,” he emphasized. “In these uncertain days that we live, we find it fitting to help our church members shine so that others can grow faith in Jesus. In turn, we hope that Christians across the country will share Christ’s love with others through service.”
What the Center Does
Kiers explained that BMC includes state-of-the-art video, audio, and podcast recording studios. Funded by private donors and with the support of the Adventist Church organization, BMC offers a high-quality venue for various ministry initiatives.
Its top-of-the line tools include modern sound diffusers. One of them includes a wooden sound signature of the center’s motto. The other sound diffuser is a colorful art piece titled Koi, as it has a look of a koi fish swimming through it. Each wooden square is a hand-cut piece of painted cedarwood, and all are placed intentionally with their angled fronts facing different directions. This helps the sound waves scatter in all directions, creating a deeper, richer sound in the room.
BMC invites church members from across Canada to record at the facilities and share their talents with Canadian Adventist churches. “Four content creators have been hired to move things along quickly, and more will be hired later this year,” he reported.
The new center accepts church members individually or in groups to book appointments and get help to record songs, sermons, and podcasts to share on the center’s website, or through Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. “This is where you can truly ‘let your light shine,’ ” Kiers said.
BMC has a special invitation to all high school students who want to share their talents. As an incentive, Kiers said, BU marketing department will help pay for the trip of those accepted to participate.
Student Missionaries and Internships
In cooperation with the NAD Office of Volunteer Ministries, BMC is now a processing center for any student in Canada, 18 years and older, to serve worldwide as a student missionary. “Students can take a year off from school to volunteer somewhere on the planet,” Kiers said. “Students are needed to serve as teachers, pastors, evangelists, accountants, grounds and maintenance workers, translators, and so much more.”
Students who register to serve as a student missionary through BMC will receive a Medallion of Service and up to a CA$1,000 scholarship, Kiers said.
Beginning in summer 2022, BMC will be sending 10 religious studies students to serve as interns to the church conferences in Canada, Kiers reported. “These interns will serve for three months with a mentor pastor in an assigned church. The goal is to support local churches while at the same time helping our future pastors be more prepared for when they take their first position to serve in pastoral ministry,” he said.
BMC is also planning to host evangelism conferences for members to learn more about how to do evangelism in the Canadian context. It will also conduct ministry-related research from churches in Canada to provide much-needed data that will help guide decisions.
Kiers asked for prayers for the new ministry and the church. “Pray that our churches shine bright in this dark world, [and] pray that our faith grows strong while we serve our communities,” he said.