A True story…

“We passed many people on the streets of this little town as we made our way to the church.  Most were standing against walls or sitting on benches looking resigned and hopeless.  Saying a prayer as we passed, we made our way to the church. That bright sunny Sunday morning we walked into the church, full of hope, excited to worship with other believers.  Our eyes open to the potential of finding a place where we could plug in and be of service to our community. It was 20 minutes past 10 when we entered the bright foyer, we looked around but did not see anyone.  Moving in a little further we looked towards the sanctuary to find the greeters but none were to be seen.  Hearing sounds from inside we ventured in to find a large sanctuary full of empty pews.  Our hearts sank as we wondered where all the people were.  Perhaps it was still early and more would come but our hopes were dashed as there was only a slow trickle that brought the numbers including children into the thirties.  As the music began we looked at the bulletin we had picked up from a table and wondered why there were no programs listed.  Perhaps they were posted somewhere else.  There was only one musician, a pianist with a microphone that we joined in song with.  Where was the worship team?  A tired looking Pastor preached that morning a sermon of hope that carried an undertone of resolution rather than a feeling of inspiration.  What had happened here?” 

The reality in rural, small town and transitioning churches today is that the workers are few. Usually one Pastor serves all the needs of the church, 24 hours in the day not being enough to even meet the needs of his people let alone move them forward and prepare them for ministry.

These churches are in slow growing communities, which means limited growth in church membership, few new faces and limited financial resources for hiring assistance or training lay leaders.

Transitioning church families are often struggling with disappointment and hurt as all of us are, living in and being influenced by such a hurting and sinful world. The hours are long, the labour done in love, is exhausting and help and rest are concepts the Pastor longs for.

4 H.I.S. Ministry is here to help.  We come alongside churches and Pastors who would like to revitalize the church or continue its growth process by developing programs, encourage healing, raising up and training leaders, developing and breathing in vision, refreshing the Pastor and sharing the burden!

Knowing that these churches lack financial and physical resources we work to raise funds as Canadian missionaries so that we may assist churches in reaching their potential.  This enables us to work with each church within their budget.

Imagine if all of God’s churches were functioning to their full potential!  We were not meant to do this all alone, we need to help eachother in building and edifying the body so that it can reach the lost.

4 H.I.S Ministry is a church growth, restoration, revitalization and pastoral care ministry.  Our vision at 4 H.I.S is to serve pastors and churches which are struggling in one form or another; short handed, financially struggling, hurting church, transitioning church, single pastor churches etc…

It is our hope that by providing support for pastors, ministry development, leadership training and tools to churches who can not afford to pay for these services that they will reach their full redemptive potential in the communities around them.

Eric and Maren Brandsma are the directors of this non-profit organization.  It was started in 2006 following 15 years of intense involvement in local churches.  At that time the Brandsma’s spent a year developing the ministry plan and tools, they sold their home and went on the road in a trailer to help churches, living by faith!

12 years later, they have worked through 4 complete church restorations, assisted several other churches in smaller areas, worked with three denominations and are currently assisting to pastor another church.

The Brandsma family homeschooled their two kids to enable them to travel in ministry.  The kids are actively a part of the ministry and a great blessing to have around! Keanna (20) is currently enrolled in bible college online and is the Children’s Pastor at Hope Community Church in Hanover. Noah (18) has completer one year at Master’s Bible College and Seminary in Peterborough and will be starting at Cambrian College in the fall to study in the Automotive Mechanic program to assist him in pursuing his dream to one day have a youth centre with an auto garage for mentoring.

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Currently the Brandsma’s are working at ope Community Church in Hanover.  Maren is the Associate Pastor there, Eric is the technology Pastor and Keanna is the Children’s Pastor.

They have a wonderful Board of Directors supporting them. The ministry is a non-profit and the Brandsma’s are classified as Canadian Missions – meeting the needs in Canada and generating their support through donors.  God has been faithful to provide care for the family even though their sponsorship is low.  It has been a wonderful journey of faith and relying on the Lord for provision and everyday miracles.

Maren speaks at churches and for both women’s and youth groups.  Living by Faith and A Victorious Life are just two of her common topics.

A word from our Regional Director…

“Eric and Maren Brandsma have a passion directed toward assisting both those who minister and the work of ministry. Their influence and impact has been a blessing to many within our Fellowship. I encourage consideration of how their ministry might meet a need in your life. “

Ron W Baker
Regional Director
Senior Birkman Consultant (Certified) WOD PAOC
Personality Assessments, Executive Coaching, Career Management, Conflict Resolution
rbaker@wodistrict.org / http://www.birkman.com