We hope your 2021 new year is off to a great start! Here at Promise Keepers Canada | Impactus, our team is moving forward with fresh vision and energy to engage men in Canada and around the world.
In December, we announced the arrival of our new President, Dean Brenton, and we’d like to take this opportunity to introduce him to you through a fun interview conducted by Paul La Vigne, our Director of Operations.
Take a few minutes to watch this video to get to know our new President and hear Dean’s excitement for his new role and vision for the future.
You can read the full transcript below.
Interviewer: [00:00:00] Welcome to Promise Keepers Canada Impactus, my name is Paul La Vigne, I’m the Director of Operations in the ministry, and we have a really exciting guest for your today. It’s the first time that we get to introduce our new president Dean Brenton, welcome Dean.
Respondent: [00:00:16] Well, thank you Paul, and I wish we were doing this over a coffee in Burlington, but Zoom will have to do for now, and guys, it’s great to meet you and to get to know you all. I am so looking forward to connecting with you in a variety of ways in the future.
Interviewer: [00:00:32] Yeah, it’s so great to have you here, Dean, and, again, too bad that we have to do this by Zoom and can’t be together, but I know the day will come. Lockdowns will be over and we will be working side by side in the office, but Zoom will have to do. So, Dean, we want to introduce you to the donors of the ministry, the followers of the ministry, and just talk to you today about – just to get – help them understand a little bit about you, know who you are, get to know you in the days ahead. So, you have significant experience in ministry and leadership, tell us a little bit about your background prior to coming to the ministry.
Respondent: [00:01:05] For sure, well, I’m not that old, but I did spend 15 years in pastoral ministry, primarily in youth and worship ministry. Then, spent another 15 years, the last 15 years, really focused on denominational organizational leadership, some national leadership, and specifically around church ministry. One of the big areas was a youth movement that we created in our province that really engaged with young people, young adults, we were ministering to 2,000 and 3,000 young people every year through events and initiatives. So, my background in ministry really is focused on ministry, discipleship, outreach and mission, as it were.
Interviewer: [00:01:48] Perfect fit for Promise Keepers Canada Impactus. So, you’re coming to us from Nova Scotia, Canada. Tell us a bit about, you know, life in Nova Scotia and your family.
Respondent: [00:01:59] Yeah, there’s a whole story there. We’ve relocated from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia in the past year and living here with my wife and one of our daughters. We actually have four daughters, three of them are in Newfoundland in university, and one is here with us. I actually live in a home typically with five females, our dog is also a female, so I am vastly outnumbered, but extremely blessed, and I want you to know that and tell my wife that, as well. But I am married to Kelly, and we recently celebrated our 28th year of marriage. Kelly’s a faculty member at Acadia university right here in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and she’s also a registered counselling therapist. And then, we have Jennifer, Bethany, Julia and Rebecca, who are all the pride and joy of our family and we’re doing this Covid world with some of them in Newfoundland, some of us here. But we’re all in lockdown learning and lockdown living together.
Interviewer: [00:03:02] Wow, unbelievable, I can relate. Four daughters, I have two, two daughters, two female cats, and my wife, so I can certainly relate to where you’re at. But, yes, I am blessed, as well, no question about it. Tell us about your involvement in men’s ministry. Obviously, Promise Keepers Canada is a men’s ministry, and you’ve got vast experience in this area and you bring all kinds of great new fresh ideas to the ministry, so tell us a bit about that.
Respondent: [00:03:29] Yeah, so, I remember as a young guy attending with my dad some men’s events at our local church, and just being really involved at our local church. And it really translated for me into youth ministry and mentoring young men and discipline young men, and that passion never left me. And then, when I moved into leadership in a denominational level, we began to work and grow, especially around provincial ministry to men, working with leadership teams, creating events, creating initiatives, outreach events. And so, it was a growing reality inside the work that I did, but it was certainly an extension of those early days as a young man who really got an appreciation for the local church and for ministry to men in the local church. So, that was my background and it’s a passion I still have to this very day.
Interviewer: [00:04:27] wow, that’s going to serve you well here at Promise Keepers Canada Impactus. What was your first connection with the ministry? How did you get involved with the ministry itself?
Respondent: [00:04:36] That’s a great question. I remember hearing about Promise Keepers Canada many years ago and admiring the ministry from a distance. I had been involved in lots of event organizations, creating events on a provincial level. And I remember thinking and wondering early in my ministry time if there was a way to avoid reinventing the wheel and somehow build a relationship with Promise Keepers Canada to impact the men of our province. And in 2007, I remember, we did an interdenominational conference with over 500 men that attended. And that actually was the spark to eventually build a relationship to form the, really, the first provincial event with Promise Keepers Canada, in 2012, when we brought an event to St. John’s. And that turned into a run of events all over the province, developing networks, developing a relationship with the team at Promise Keepers Canada. Eventually, I got invited to the advisory board and into the board. And so, it’s been a growing reality, but one that really spans a whole lot of years. And so, it really is amazing now to be on the inside of this amazing ministry with this opportunity.
Interviewer: [00:05:54] It’s so different, isn’t it? And I know you’ve only been here since January 1st, but it’s amazing when you’ve been on the outside and connected to the ministry as I have been for many, many years, but to come inside the ministry to meet the team of people that make it happen, and the incredible amount of work that’s done by such a small team, is just – and you’ve got to give all the credit to God, it’s all God, and we just, as a team, lean into God daily for his provision, for his guidance, for his wisdom. But it’s amazing to be on the inside, isn’t it, to see the inner workings.
Respondent: [00:06:27] So true. The small team that we have puts together an enormous amount of ministry work and connection across the country and around the world. It’s so exciting to see. And it’s even more exciting now to be a part of it.
Interviewer: [00:06:43] It is, it really is, it’s a true blessing. Now, we’ve joked about this, but I’ve got to ask you, we’re in the midst of a pandemic, you in the Maritimes are in your own bubble, we in Ontario have just gone into another lockdown, what were you thinking taking on the role of a presidency of a ministry, a men’s ministry, in the midst of a pandemic?
Respondent: [00:07:02] That’s a really good question. I thought I was in the fast line for the vaccine, but no, I’m kidding. We were actually in the season of the sermon in our own family of what the next steps for ministry were going to be. And so, that’s a whole other story in itself, but we were in a major season of transition and discernment, and then, the opportunity to enter the process for the selection of a president came, and through some counsel of some friends, and the prompting of the lord, decided to enter that. But honestly, I was completely surprised and overwhelmed when the opportunity actually came. And so, I don’t know what I was thinking, but God must have been up to something and I’m going to trust Him with that.
Interviewer: [00:07:47] You know, as are we. We as a staff and I know our board and supporters have been praying for months and months that God would lead us to the right individual, that God would lead the search committee to the right person to lead this ministry into the future And we truly believe God has answered those prayers, and we are so excited to have you on board. Now, I see you have a base guitar in the background, do you play that or is that just for show? I know I have just taken up guitar, and right now, it’s just for show as I learn, my fingers are still recovering for the first couple times I’ve tried to play. But do you play?
Respondent: [00:08:23] I do, actually. So, that guitar is the remnants of a past life for me when I was very involved in music bands and worship leading and all that, that was a big part of my life growing up. And – but it’s also a reminder to me that I do love music and creativity, and I love playing together in a band and it’s a reminder I need to get back into it, because it’s very life giving to me. But one of the things I love about this new role is actually that I get to play in the band of the staff of Promise Keepers Canada Impactus, and I do believe we’re going to make beautiful music together.
Interviewer: [00:09:01] We have a band? I wasn’t aware of it.
Respondent: [00:09:02] We do now [laughs].
Interviewer: [00:09:05] We have a lot of background singers, I think.
Respondent: [00:09:08] Work up those calluses on those fingers, Paul.
Interviewer: [00:09:09] Absolutely. Well, I’m going to need some lessons, that’s for sure. So, tell us, what excites you most? And I’m sure there’s lots, but what are some of the things that really excite you about coming on board and leading the ministry into the future? As you know, God put it on the heart of the leadership team three years ago to go in this new direction as Promise Keepers Canada Impactus to launch this new brand, to launch this new website, to become a digital focused ministry, what excites you most about coming on board and leading the team and leading the ministry?
Respondent: [00:09:44] That’s such a big question and so many things excites me about this opportunity and about where the ministry is headed. But if I can put it in maybe two concepts, I remember growing up in Sunday school and singing a little chorus called deep and wide, deep and wide. And that really kind of reflects I’m – I guess my excitement and where I see us going, and I’m excited about us going deeper with our discipleship pathways so men can grow in their faith and become strong and Godly influences in their homes and in their communities and around the world. But also, that we could become wider in our reach to impact men around the world, wherever they are, with the gospel so that they can be introduced to faith in Jesus Christ. And so, it is a deeper and wider concept for me that really excites me, and I believe we’re on the right path to that. You know, we have a tagline that says that we exist to equip men for a life of purpose and Godly impact. Well, I want that to be more than wishful thinking, but I want it to become a reality, and I believe it will, and I believe we’re on the right team and we’re heading in the right direction together to see that actually become reality for us, so that God will be glorified and men will be impacted.
Interviewer: [00:11:04] Praise God, that’s just a great answer. We are so excited that you’re on board and bringing your years of experience and leadership. Yeah, it’s amazing to see what God has been doing, even throughout this past year as we’ve gone through this pandemic, God has been so faithful, we can see his hand of blessing upon this ministry. It’s amazing to see how men from around the world are already reaching out to the ministry and participating in leadership training and online events, it’s just amazing to see what God is doing, and we’ve only just gotten started.
Respondent: [00:11:37] So very true, Paul. We are just scratching the surface of what God can and will do through us and so, I’m excited about connecting with our supporters and men at our conferences, but even just digitally through these methods and through our online platforms that we’d start to build our relationships and connections and grow this vision that God’s given us to impact Canada and the world for His glory.
Interviewer: [00:12:10] That’s great, so great. Dean, it’s so great to have you on board and I speak for the staff, the team at Promise Keepers Canada, but also the men across Canada and around the world, and so grateful that we had an opportunity to introduce you to everyone today. You know where you can find Dean, you can find him by email, you can find him through our website, but we are so grateful you joined us today and had a chance to say hello to everybody.
Respondent: [00:12:35] Well, thanks Paul, it’s been an immense privilege, and I’m looking forward to working with you and the team and getting to know all the guys out there, as many as we possibly can in the days ahead.
Interviewer: [00:12:46] Absolutely. Well, thank you everyone for joining us today, so glad that you could meet Dean in person or by Zoom [laughs], and so, thanks again for joining us, hope you have a blessed day, we’ll see you soon.
Respondent: [00:13:01] Blessings everyone.