/ Wednesday, December 20, 2023
This month I will finish my fifteenth year as Executive Director of Outreach Canada and next month I launch fully into my new role as Director for Global Collaboration for the OC Global Alliance.
As I look back over the past fifteen years I have so many great memories. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people and to be a part of some great ministries and projects. I am very thankful. But when I remember all the way back to the beginning, when I returned from South Africa to take on the role of Executive Director, I remember feelings of fear and intimidation. At that time, I was the youngest guy on the team and I had never led an organization like Outreach Canada; everything was so new to me and I wondered why God had called me to this new challenge.
In my weakness God was strong.
- He surrounded me with a great team who had incredible vision and gifting for ministry.
- He provided resources, time and time again, when we wondered how we would meet our needs.
- He drew together teams, partnerships, and networks that enabled the ministry to multiply across the country and into new demographic groups of people.
- He led me to further my education to be able to serve more effectively, and he opened my heart to see the mission field in Canada in some incredible ways.
I would have never dreamed that Outreach Canada would grow by over one hundred and twenty staff and volunteers nor did I think we could have ministry in multiple languages, across our country, but God did it. I was often hanging on to the steering wheel with white knuckles and holding on for dear life, but God has led Outreach Canada to fill a unique niche in Canadian missions.
Through the years OC has partnered with dozens of denominations and ministries and has developed ongoing ministry partnerships and networks like Church Planting Canada, Loving Muslims Together, the MORE Network, Simply Mobilizing Canada, and more. We have become unique bridge builders and have helped unify the evangelical church in Canada in the quest to make disciples of all nations.
As I prepare to turn off the lights in my office for the last time, I am grateful for what God has done and the people he has gathered in our team, and I am very excited to see what He will do next. Many of our ministries are still young and building momentum.
- BetterIT Workplace Chaplains is poised for national growth based on a great foundation in BC.
- Simply Mobilizing Canada is continuing to bring courses, including the Kairos course, to more people in more languages and in more communities every year and the graduates of Simply Mobilizing courses are going out and making a difference in their communities.
- MORE Network continues to be invited to serve Canadian Missionaries and their families in new ways and they have started to coach other networks that are forming in other parts of the world to do similar things.
- Our Disciple Making Team has seen phenomenal growth in Asia over the past two years and the number of people hearing the gospel through their own people is growing into the thousands and across several international borders.
Outreach Canada has an amazing leadership team who have taken hold of the wheel as we navigate this transitional season. They are successfully covering all of the Executive Director responsibilities and initiating the search for a new Executive Director. We hope to have a new Director in place by the end of 2024, but the Lord may lead us to the new Director much sooner than that. I have great confidence that we have only seen the beginning of what God has planned for Outreach Canada and the best is yet to come.
As I step out of the way for the next leader, I would like to thank all of you who have helped Outreach Canada become what it is today through your prayers, partnerships, and financial support. I am reminded of the words Paul shared with the church in Philippi:
“I thank my god in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil. 1:3-6
In 2024, Outreach Canada will continue to share "Director's Blogs" written by the Outreach Canada LeaderSHIFT team during this season of transition. You can subscribe to the OC Directors's blog here: Subscribe to OC blog
A pastor for 15 years in western Canada, a missionary in southern Africa with Outreach Canada, and the Executive Director at Outreach Canada since 2008, Dr. Craig Kraft is now stepping into the role of “Director for Global Collaboration” for the OC Global Alliance. Craig is a graduate of Northwest Baptist Seminary at ACTS and a graduate of Asia Graduate School of Theology with a Doctor of Intercultural Studies. His study has focused on diaspora missiology in Canada. His dissertation explores the potential for revitalizing Canadian churches through the practice of biblical hospitality with refugees and immigrants. Craig loves to watch sports, work in the yard & spend time in the woods.