Slave Lake’s Abundant Life Worship Centre has another pastor for its flock; Cory Hughes has been the ‘Life Group’ pastor for the past three months or so.
“My job description is threefold,” he says.
But first let’s find out what a life group is.
“Life groups are small communities within the church,” Hughes says, “that get together on a regular basis. They can be from two or three people to 15 to 20 people.”
An example is a ‘young adult’ group that Hughes recently got going. What they do at these meetings varies – it could be Bible study, it could be talking about life or it could be watching a movie, he says. Such groups exist in many churches; ‘life groups’ is what they’re called at Abundant Life Assembly.
“We have about five right now,” Hughes says. “In a church of our size we should have about 15.”
Which brings us back to the job description. Part of it is starting new life groups and training leaders for them. Another part of it is what Hughes calls “facilitating new people – connecting with them and helping them see where they belong.”
A third aspect of his pastoral job description, as Hughes describes it, is “facilitate new Christians – to help them start their journey.”
And how all that going so far?
“It’s exciting!” says Hughes. “What’s life without a bit of challenge?”
Perhaps a challenge was what Hughes was looking for when at the age of 25 he decided to enrol in a Pastoral Theology course at a school in Sydney Australia. He graduated from there in 2013 and went back home to Vancouver, but was unable to find steady work for four years. Then he got an opportunity to go to New Brunswick to help set up a new church there. That lasted a year, he says, and the Slave Lake opportunity showed up just as the one in Fredericton ended.
“It’s going great!” he says.
Joining Hughes in Slave Lake are his wife Melissa and their daughter Emersyn.