Brandt Van Roekel joined the team back in May as the Director of Ministry Development and Care. We decided to sit down with him and ask him a few questions, so that we all could learn more about him.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Brandt Van Roekel, I am incredibly fortunate to be married to Heather Van Roekel, and we have one little guy running around these days, named Arjen.
Heather and I grew up in the valley (Mission), where I attended her dad’s church most of my life (Mission Evangelical Free Church). We’ve been married 8 years, and have lived in the United States for most of our time together (5 years). After following Jesus into a life of carpentry, I felt called to vocational ministry and attended The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville Kentucky. We moved to the states for seminary, and after I finished, I participated in a church planting internship in Vermont for a year. We moved home to Canada in June 2017, because I strongly desired and believed that we were called to vocational ministry in order to serve the church in Canada.
What is your role at Christ City Church?
I was called to serve Christ City Church as the Director of Ministry Development and Care. It’s a long unwieldly title on purpose: Brett and Fred basically want me to do anything they ask—and, so far, it has been an awesome experience. I’ve been able to serve by assisting curriculum development, working with the pastoral team planning preaching schedules, serving in discipleship and evangelism, hospitality (Heather has been incredible helping meet, connect, and love people here!), set up and tear down supervision at the Kitsilano neighborhood church (I don’t just drink coffee and yell, though, I promise), preaching on rotation especially at the Kits neighborhood church, and I even got to serve as a volunteer for the Kids camp this summer.
How long have you been following Jesus?
I expressed my faith in Jesus at a super early age. My conscious memory is of believing the gospel. I was baptized when I was 11. I like to tell people, though, that I look back on my walk with Jesus through several significant stages: the first was believing the gospel when I was young. The second was desiring to be baptized as a step of faith and obedience when I was eleven. The third was when I was 15: I had been growing in conviction about what it meant to follow Jesus and striving to live in obedience to him, and as the gospel grew more and more beautiful in my mind and heart, I began wanting to serve Jesus in vocational ministry. Looking back, that desire never left me. Of course it matured and developed, but God used it to lead me to serve at the church I was at, the churches Heather and I were members of when we lived in the states, and now into my first full-time vocational ministry position. Looking back I see God’s hand at work in grace in incredible ways, despite my often obstinate heart, molding me for his purposes. I am so grateful God has led us to serve at the Kits Neighbourhood Church! It’s a real joy to be here.
What does an ideal date night look like?
The perfect date would have to be on a nice hot summer day, include kayaking, swimming, and/or hiking, wind down with seafood (especially shellfish), and end with some dancing (I enjoy it, but Heather LOVES it).
Are you a sports fan?
No. I never really been into sports-ball—at least not as an avid fan. I do enjoy watching the odd hockey or football game, but I haven’t followed a sport seriously in years. I do enjoy playing sports, but I haven’t ever been super competitive at any one sport or anything. I do love the outdoors and being active.
What is your favorite music?
My favourite music—wow. Big question. I like most kinds of music. What I want to listen to depends a lot on the moment. Recently I’ve been defaulting to Johnny Cash and Bach.
Asides from the Bible, what is your favourite book?
Another tough one! It’s so hard to pick one. Tolkien’s trilogy, Lewis’s Narnia, and Rowling’s Harry Potter have been favourites for a long time.
Top three movies?
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Beauty and the Beast, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
What is the favourite place you have travelled?
Heather and I spent a few weeks traveling through Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia a few years ago. There was a little island off the coast of Malaysia called Tioman. We only spent three days there, but something about the off-the-grid vibe of that island was magical.
What truth about God has most impacted your Christian life?
God’s existence as a triune being, eternally existing in perfect love and relationship who had no need to create us, but chose to create us out of his own love and self-giving, has caused me to delight in the gospel a ton over the past year.
What’s been something that has encouraged you since coming to Christ City?
Working together with the staff here has been incredible. I’ve loved being able to bounce ideas off of them, and get regular feedback, as well as to have other people to make fun of Jake with.