COVID Can’t Stop Ministry – A Hope Blog Interview

Children's ministry veteran Mark Mast shares about changing ministry realities, new online opportunities and how God is still at work in the midst of COVID-19.

What’s a leader to do when much-loved ministry opportunities come to a grinding halt?

With almost 40 years experience serving in children’s ministry with One Hope Canada, Mark Mast joins Kelly Rempel in this Hope Blog audio interview to talk about coping with challenging ministry realities, new ministry opportunities and how God is still at work in the midst of COVID-19.

Mark, his wife Tina, and daughter Rachel serve with One Hope Canada in north-western Ontario. Most years, summer is an intensely busy time with an annual summer camp, travelling community Vacation Bible Schools, and a popular eight-day Wilderness Canoe Trip for teens. In the fall and winter Rachel and Tina host club programs, while Mark travels to the northern First Nation reserve of Pikangikum, and to Guatelmala, as part of ongoing mission opportunities.

Listen in as Mark talks about finding new ways to share the love of Jesus online, the launch of his YouTube channel to share Bible stories with kids and preparing for a virtual Vacation Bible School experience that’s involving campers from as far away as BC and the U.S.

FROM THE INTERVIEW

ON COVID-19 AND
TAKING MINISTRY ONLINE

“It’s been tough. We’ve shed a number of tears. Yet, in the midst of it all, God has really blessed us with many opportunities for doing online events….it’s been exciting and God is blessing these ventures.

“We do have frustration and feel discouraged at times, but we know God will handpick those who will tune in to what we’re doing…. We’ve always said we can’t be looking at numbers. The moment we start thinking about how many thousands of kids are involved, we’ll give up in a heartbeat.

God wins people to be part of his family one by one. So, we just try to be faithful. Whether we’re able to do it in live formats going places and doing events or now doing more online events, we’re trusting God for the outcome.”

ON SHARING
THE GOSPEL WITH CHILDREN

“When you reach children at those tender ages, the Gospel can change their lives for eternity. We receive testimonies of people who came to Christ at early ages through our ministry and are now serving the Lord faithfully or have had very dramatic conversion to Christ (as an adult) but go back to an experience they had at camp or VBS and how God touched them at that point in their life. That seed never died; it was there and eventually germinated when the Holy Spirit watered it and brought it to a place where they were genuinely born again.”