I wanted to explore some of the world of different Christian leaders, small and big. However, I wanted to report less on those and more in their own words. These will be published, slowly, over time.
This, I trust, may open dialogue and understanding between various communities. Of course, an interview does not amount to an endorsement, but to the creation of conversation, comprehension, and compassion.
Parkside Church is in Mission, British Columbia, Canada, as a Foursquare denomination of Christianity – meaning a “full” church or Christianity. This may provide some intimations as to the theological inclinations of this interviewee’s particular theological orientation.
Their leadership statement provides a framework for their theological foundations and practices: “We have a few guiding approaches to leadership: 1) Leaders are to be servants (of God, His Word, His Spirit, Prayer and People); 2) Leaders ought to work hard at replacing themselves; 3) Those called and capable of leadership recognize that it is by God’s grace and mercy, not merit; and 4) Every Christ follower has a call to lead by example and lead others to Jesus.”
Pastor Clint Nelson has two children. He is a graduate of Pacific Life Bible College. Nelson is a fan of food and chainsawing. [Ed. British Columbians have been known as lumberjacks, as some may recall the Monty Python sketch.] In 2013, unfortunately [Ed. and condolences], his wife, Angela, died from cancer and – within the religious philosophy or theology – “received eternity with God.”
Here we talk about his life, church, views, and community.
*Interview conducted in May, 2018.*
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What was early life like for you, especially regarding religion and irreligion in peers and family?
Pastor Clint Nelson: My family were all Christians. Majority of my peers were not. My parents weren’t perfect, but they lived a genuine faith and were good parents. My friends thought I was weird for believing in Jesus, but I knew it was more true than anything the world had to offer.
Jacobsen: When did you first become Christian or a follower of Christ in an explicit way? Often, in conversation with Christians, the conversions come from upbringing or adolescence/later life experience of God – using their terminology.
Nelson: I gave my life to Jesus when I was 5. I’ve doubted my faith at various points along the way, but rational answers and/or personal experiences with God only served to strengthen my faith and erase my doubts.
Jacobsen: Parkside Church was established in 1995. Who was the founder? Why the title Parkside Church as the name of the church?
Nelson: A couple families started our church under the name Mission Foursquare Church. But in 2001, we joined with another church and chose a new name to reflect a merged community. The name Parkside was chosen to reflect our park-like physical setting, but also a reflection of the kind of community we endeavour to be (like a park – a place to find God, to rest, to walk and play with others, enjoy beauty – working towards a restored version of the Garden of Eden).
Jacobsen: What is the particular denomination of the church? How does this differ from other churches?
Nelson: We’re a part of a denomination called “Foursquare”. It’s an old English word that means “full”. It’s about 100 years old and has over 70,000 churches in 140 countries. It’s a denomination that is known for working well with other denominations. It is a Pentecostal-evangelical movement that has a few legal structure and cultural differences compared to other denominations.
Jacobsen: What does an average Sunday service look like at the church? How do you, as a pastor, prepare the sermon? What tend to be the topics taught or spoken about at the church?
Nelson: We gather for coffee and light breakfast then sing songs of love and praise to our God, we pray for various matters, share announcements, give an offering, share a sermon, and offer personal pray for those that want prayer. We have a few people that prepare and give a sermon. We prepare the sermon by reading, thinking, researching through the passage. We work through books of the Bible for the most part so over time we cover all the topics covered by the Bible.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Pastor Clint.
Nelson: You’re welcome. I hope it helps. Thanks for your interest and patience.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.
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