Of late, several churches in Kamloops are going through transitions in their pulpits.
Last week, we read of the Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Valleyview having installed their new pastor. At the end of this month, the Free Methodist Church in Brocklehurst will introduce its new minister.
The Kamloops Alliance Church at the north end of Overlanders Bridge — one of the largest churches belonging to the evangelical strand, in Kamloops — welcomed new pastor Chris Throness in August.
In moving to Kamloops, Throness left an even larger congregation at the Coquitlam Alliance Church, where he served as an executive pastor.
But he studied and worked in the Okanagan region, where his dad was in pastoral ministry.
Throness lived in Kelowna, where he always had a positive experience of the church under the tutelage of his dad and others.
Many a young person likes to take a year off schooling or go off travelling following graduation, but Throness’ experience in the church led him to attend bible college in Regina for a year after finishing high school.
The time spent in Regina convinced him to pursue full-time ministry.
“While this call should have made my life clearer, it actually catapulted me into the messiest years of my life,” Throness said.
“I struggled with the sins of a young man, trying to find my satisfaction in many things, except for Jesus.
“I credit God’s inexhaustible grace, mentors, Eagle Bay Bible Camp and Vernon Alliance Church as I stumbled and fumbled my way into my first ministry position at Vernon Alliance Church.”
In Vernon, Throness served in student ministries for three years before meeting his future wife, Krista, on an education trip to Israel. They married quickly and moved to Coquitlam.
Jumping into a large, dynamic and engaging young adult ministry, Throness learned to preach weekly, lead a staff team and develop leaders
Simultaneously, he finished a master’s degree in biblical and theological studies and graduated in summer of 2017.
In 2014, Throness moved into the role of executive pastor at Coquitlam Alliance, a daunting task that involved leading a large staff team, crafting vision and preaching to multi-generations.
He said the years spent as an executive pastor under the mentorship of his senior pastor was a period of serving joyfully.
Since 2013, Throness had as his goal lead pastor of a church.
Following a few rejections, he applied for the vacant senior pastor position at Kamloops Alliance and was accepted earlier this year.
“It was amazing to see God answer prayers, open doors and guide us clearly to a place where we were to be, “ he said.
“We are here because we feel God asked us to come. We come to Kamloops humbled, excited and expectant for God to move at KAC and in our city like never before.
“Kamloops is a fun city to be in. I am still getting used to the amazingly short commute times and the extremely friendly and not rushed people.
“I have noticed a high value on recreation, the outdoors and an active lifestyle.
“I sense that the city is well positioned for the future as TRU continues to grow and the city council continues to think strategically about how to improve infrastructures and fix social issues.”
As for vision of outreach inside and outside of church perimeters, Throness dreams of “ being a part of a church’s messy hands, big heart and engaged mind.”
Under those three parameters, Throness hopes KAC continues to bless our city by lending a helping hand.
He is praying for an effective ministry to the marginalized and the forgotten in our city.
“We have been, and are committed, to helping those who need a listening ear, a loving environment and practical help to get them to the next step of health and flourishing,” Throness said.
“We will continue to partner with like -minded agencies in Kamloops to ensure that the people who want help receive it in a way that brings dignity, hope and lasting change.
“I also have a strong vision for the life of the mind. We won’t encourage checking our minds at the church door. Instead, we will engage our minds to honour God and steward our live, families and community well.”
KAC board member Gordon Downs is looking forward to Throness’ impact at the church.
“We are really excited about his energy, vision, experience and what it means for the next chapter of KAC,” Downs said.
“Chris brings experience from a larger church and was unanimously approved to be the best candidate from among many applicants.
“He had the highest responses to a lead pastor opening for a church of its size. I am impressed with his head and heart. He is not just qualified for the job, but has a real heart for ministry.”
A fellow KAC member echoed Gordon’s observation: “I appreciate that he takes the Bible as authoritative. While his preaching style is energetic and animated, more importantly, it is biblically sound.”
With such a solid background and strong support, it looks like Throness is here to stay in KAC and in Kamloops for the long run.