Interview with John Albiston

John Albiston is an Effectiveness Coach in the Alberta and Northwest Territories district office. He works with leaders to see both church multiplication and revitalization move forward at a local church level to reach people far from God.

Who is John Albiston? 

I was born and raised in a Pentecostal family. My earliest memories of church were of the big brass pipe organ and all the dancing hippies. Over the years, I've seen everything from fire tunnels to high-church Anglicanism and I firmly believe that our finest hour is still ahead of us. I've been a pastor since the early ‘90's and now work for the Alberta District in church revitalization and planting.

In ministry, what are you most passionate about?

Changed lives. Everything from seeing the joy of a new believer to the excitement in a seasoned veteran with fresh wind in his sails, I love seeing changed lives. Closely related to that, I love seeing changed churches who are now seeing changed lives. Nothing fires my jets quite like seeing a pastor and congregation who were about to give up hope come alive and make an impact on their community by winning souls once again.

How are you growing yourself as a leader?

By being a bandit and a thief. Whether it's a great book, great conference, or having coffee with a great leader I am constantly on the look out for good ideas and principles that I can take and use. I like to think of myself as Pastor Robin Hood: yes, I steal good ideas from others, but whatever I steal I share. 

What are some good things that are happening in the ABNWT for church multiplication?

The biggest thing we're working on right now is developing our leadership pipeline. The biggest hurdle we face right now isn't the lack of money or lack of opportunities, it's the lack of leaders. We are currently working with our guys on the front lines to raise up and invest in young leaders - Starting in junior high onward, we want to be intentional in cultivating dreams of ministry impact and then build those dreams with hands-on ministry experience and mentoring.   

What are some things that need to be done to help fill our leadership pipelines?

We're working with our Bible College in their pursuit of ever-increasing excellence to give our young leaders the best possible start they can get. We're working with our youth pastors to identify top leaders while they’re still in junior high and give them opportunities to grow. And we're working with our lead pastors to deliberately identify and raise up young leaders and give them the best leadership and ministry training that they can get.  

What characteristics are you looking for in a church planter?

A burning desire to reach the lost, a teachable spirit, and God-given endurance to see it through. We're looking for entrepreneurial visionaries who love people and hard work. 

How is culture teaching us on how to lead church for the future?

By showing us how alien we are to them. If we're going to be fishers of men, then we have to start baiting the hook for the fish we want to catch.

Why should we all be thinking about church multiplication?

Because there are over 30 million people in this country who don't know Jesus. And if that doesn't break your heart, then you're probably one of them.