Local church leadership development

24 January 2020
Reprinted with permission from Thrive Magazine (Winter 2020), by The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada.

An interview with Kirk Giles, president of Promise Keepers Canada, and Marvin Brubacher, director of MentorLink Canada

What is the mission of your organization?

Kirk: Promise Keepers’ mission is to ignite and equip men to have a godly impact. In short, we believe there is a need to build up men as followers of Jesus so they are bringing life to their family, workplace, church, and community.
Marvin: The mission of MentorLink is to develop leaders who lead like Jesus, with an emphasis on the heart. We believe that every believing community needs godly leaders and every leader needs a godly mentor. Our desire is to develop mentors to meet that need.  

In what ways can we see a societal need for an organization like yours?

Kirk: There have been so many conversations about toxic masculinity in society today, but there are very few giving a positive and God honouring vision of masculinity. Many of the most significant challenges in society and the church have a root cause in the action (or inaction) of men. Promise Keepers helps equip men to break free from this pattern and engage in a cycle of God-focused discipleship instead.
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Marvin: The desire for mentoring is expressed in many situations in our society. People feel the need for authentic human relationships despite their social media connections. Younger people often express their desire for an older, mature adult to come alongside and provide guidance and encouragement as they face challenges in life. This is especially true in the millennial and younger generations. MentorLink provides training to equip people to become mentors of others within their relational circles. The concepts are Biblically-based and simple enough to be applied in many situations.
What are some ways your programs help to develop future leaders?

Kirk: We are committed to developing more leaders to advance the mission of the discipleship of men. Men’s ministry is primarily led by lay leaders in the church. We have a series of opportunities to help strengthen the skills of these leaders.
In over 30 communities across Canada, we have launched regional networks. These networks are gathering leaders from a variety of churches to pray for the men in their community, learn from each other, and work together to advance the mission. In addition, our Blueprint Leadership Training will help leaders build a strategy for successful discipleship of men in their church. We also offer ongoing coaching to assist these leaders in the various stages of development of their ministry efforts.
Heritage College and Seminary has partnered with us to develop a course on the Discipleship of Men. This training is the most extensive training we have seen to help current and future leaders know how to build men.
Marvin: MentorLink has a variety of training tools that help to develop future leaders. The core training of mentors is called “Passing It On.” The MentorLink Institute provides training through a series of seven modules; each module is a six-week discussion by a group of five to seven people led by an experienced mentor. Often these groups consist of people from a variety of countries. The Leader’s Covenant leads a person or a group of people through a discussion of ten aspirational statements of what it means to be a Christian leader.
How does your organization partner with and support the local church?
Kirk: We are best known for large men’s conferences we host across the country. These events bring men from a large region together and seek to begin or renew their walk with God. However, we are committed to the discipleship of men which means we are more than a weekend experience.
As we train and support leaders in the church, we also provide a variety of ongoing resources to help develop men within the church. Local churches can host workshops on various topics, access small group resources, and provide other tools we have to strengthen the men in the church. All of our tools can be found on our website at

Marvin: MentorLink partners with local churches by providing mentor training seminars that prepare people to become mentors who develop leaders. This equips others to become mentors, thus creating a movement of mentoring within the congregation. All of our training tools are available on our website at

For more information about these ministries, contact Kirk at [email protected] or 888-901-9700 or Marvin at [email protected] or 519-240-5257. Do you know of an EFC affiliate organization with a story we can share on our website? Please contact us.
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