Hi, my name is Tim Stewart.
My family and I live in Victoria, BC, where I serve as Pastor at Parkdale Evangelical Free Church.
I grew up in the Vancouver area, studying International Relations at UBC before teaching English in Russia, where I met my wife, who was also teaching. I worked in warehousing, gardening in construction before serving as a Youth Pastor while I completed a Master of Divinity at Trinity Western Seminary. We were then blessed with three children while serving as Pastor at a multicultural, urban church for a few years. Finally, God led us to return to my hometown of Victoria, where we have been serving since September, 2016.
As a pastor, it is such a joy to share the gospel of God’s grace – which has transformed my life and the lives of others. As I have learned to rest, receive, surrender and trust, I have found freedom in following Christ. When we get the order right (Eph 2:8-10; John 1:12; Mark 1:14-17), we find that the gospel works! And each new year, I get to baptize more and more new believers from such a variety of backgrounds, who offer such rich and diverse testimonies. As a result of this experience, I will focus my Doctoral research project on this topic of how recent adult converts are coming to faith!
As a pastor, another of my greatest joys is witnessing how God can create such unity in the midst of diversity. Personally, I have found the church to be a unique place where people of various generations, cultures, and backgrounds find that their commonalities are greater than their differences. It has also been a joy to partner with church plants who use our building. Through our common faith, we are all family! (Ephesians 2:11-22; 4:4-6). And as God’s family, we are frequently blessed with opportunities to welcome newcomers and walk alongside them through the challenges of life – immigration, addiction, vocation, family, and questions of faith.
Finally, as a pastor, I find great joy in offering mentorship, friendship, and guidance to others as they grow. My goal is to replace myself – to work myself out of a job! As a pastor’s role is to equip the church to do ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16), I’m eager to share the limelight and any opportunities for leadership. Aside from involving others in ministry, I also cherish opportunities to help people through key transitions, such as premarital counseling with Prepare-Enrich, recovery and healing through Freedom Session, and perhaps in the future, Spiritual Direction – a way of offering people space to hear from God. While some of our growth can happen in great leaps at key transition points in life, most of the time, our growth and insight must be found in the ordinary, everyday gaps of life – a five minute pause, a lunch break, a weekly Sabbath. It is my hope that this blog can serve as a spacious place to pause, reflect and listen for God’s still, small voice.