Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

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About Brian Stiller

One is caught in a bit of quandary when asked to say something about yourself. But given you have clicked on this web site and are curious about who is behind this, I’ll give it a go.

The older I get the more I recognize my roots are deep: born into a pastor’s home in Saskatchewan, the veritable breadbasket of Canada, a province of prairie farms, enhanced in the northern half with forest, lakes and the best fishing in the world. That world shaped my life, giving me identity, a love for farm traditions, a deep appreciation for the educational world of my youth and a profound thanks for church life which spawned faith and vocation.

Evangelism and public witness have always captivated me.

Early I chose biblical studies in my first post-high school years. There, Lily and I met and in 1963 married. Following University in Saskatchewan and then the University of Toronto, my first vocational assignment was to lead a youth agency in Montreal (Youth for Christ), later Toronto, and then as national director. This in time opened up a life-changing opportunity to lead the Canadian association of Evangelicals called the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC). In 1995, a Canadian college and seminary had gone into bankruptcy, and I was asked to serve as president. Over the next decade and a half, we right sided the college/seminary, changed the name, turned it into a university, bought a gorgeous campus of 56 acres in Toronto. It is now called Tyndale University. In 2011 I was invited to serve as global ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).

My motto: whatever your hands find to do, do with all your might.

Faith is core to life. Raised in a Pentecostal minister’s home, I early came to see, feel, and believe the essence of Christian faith. In my journey I’ve bumped up against challenges of faith. I’ve read and studied arguments for and against the Christian narrative. Core is this: this is God’s creation; his visit into human life was real, historical and transformative; the death and resurrection of Jesus is central to understanding the nature and ways of his creation, and is restorative for humans, living within the orbit of his love, grace and eternal promise.

My current assignment with the WEA is to represent our global community (made up of national alliances in 143 countries), as a white-haired senior, bumping around the world encouraging younger leaders. I’ve been to about 100 countries, meeting leadership, speaking at conferences, writing (see my Dispatches) and helping national communities define vision and goals.

My first landing in a country when I was first assigned was in the most unlikely of places: Mogadishu, Somalia. I should never have been there. The immigration agent wouldn’t allow me out of the airport until I had protection. I landed up with a war lord, then acceptable to the Somalian government. With an army of 100 and a downtown hotel, he assigned a group of five soldiers with their AK 47s, and they overshadowed my every move. From there, global travels have taken me into the worlds of people in government and ecclesiastical offices, into war-torn areas, communities marked by starvation, countries and communities alive with faith, churches vibrant and creative, along with cult-like movements whose ability to con people are simply astounding.

Writing books, articles and Dispatches have forced me into areas of research and commentary, committing me to both analysis and proposition. During the 1990s, I hosted a national television weekly program called Crosscurrents, framed around conversations on important issues with people who had something to say. Our venture into doing the podcast evangelical360 is driven by an interest to bring conversations on matters of faith into public view.

I long to raise a strong Christ-like voice around the world and find a platform on which that voice can be spoken.

The Evangelical community today replaces in large, what we have traditionally called Protestants. Within that global community, which now numbers about 650 million, there are a variety of positions, personalities larger than life and insights which empower people to believe. I’m well aware that in some countries, Evangelicals have been politicized, to the place that in the USA, some pollsters are showing that a small but surprising percentage of atheists, Muslims and Jews call themselves “Evangelical,” making it clear that for them, it is a political definition, not one of faith. So, within the wide horizon of faith, I want to give room for explanation and understanding, both to those who are believers, for those hostile and those curious.

Welcome.

Brian Stiller