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First seen in Truth & Life Magazine, June 2024

A New Voice

Dr. John Neufeld joined Back to the Bible Canada in 2015. He had been the lead pastor of a large congregation in Vancouver, BC and was recognized for his expository preaching. He became a distinctly Canadian voice for this teaching ministry and continues in the line of excellence and integrity reflected by Theodore Epp, Warren Wiersbe and Woodrow Kroll. John has prairie blood, a farming work ethic, breadth of mind and a heart that is devoted to God. In an interview, John spoke of his motivation, challenges, hopes and joys in teaching God’s Word over the radio for the past 9 years.

Obedient to His Call

Dr. John never envisioned radio ministry in his future. When his pastoral ministry closed, there were several options open for him to consider. The invitation to join Back to the Bible Canada was unforeseen, but he prayed about the opportunity.  He would be moving from a large congregation with abundant interaction and feedback from the congregation to a small room with just a microphone. Would anybody be listening? He wasn’t sure. This he was sure of: “If nobody is listening but the Lord, that is enough.” He sensed the opportunity to be faithful to exegeting the Word regardless of audience. God seemed to be asking him, “Would you do this if no one else heard?” John replied, “Yes!”  The obedience of faith was enough, regardless of outcome. He chose to do this, “for a time,” which has extended to almost a decade. In it and through it, John has found deep joy and richness through his obedience to God.

Some Adjustments

John found himself preaching into a microphone with no one nodding their heads or saying “Amen.” At first the atmosphere felt sterile. It was intimidating to have no faces before him nor any feedback of connecting. But as he committed, “If the only approval is from my heavenly Father, that’s more than enough.” He soon learned not to preach to a microphone or an empty room, but to envision one person as his audience. He recognized that many listened to the radio alone, driving in the car, doing household chores or sitting on the back porch. He kept reminding himself, “Speak the Word to one person.”

Early in the radio ministry he was on a cross-Canada trip with Ben Lowell. They were visiting various radio stations, starting in Nova Scotia. They pulled the car over to a roadside restaurant and the clerk recognized their voices. “Aren’t you the guy on Back to the Bible Canada?” she asked. When John affirmed it, she began to weep. She listened to him daily and said, “You’ve been changing my life!” It confirmed to John that there was an audience, a large one, and God was at work.

Another adjustment was learning to preach a new sermon every day. His pastoral schedule of once a week had to be ramped way up! He says that the secret was to train his head, heart and body to focus on the passage of the day and drown out all other distractions. The repetition of doing a daily sermon creates a facility in doing it.

“It’s amazing what the flesh can do if you threaten it and whip it into line. “

Why Radio?

Research has shown that radio is still one of the most effective means of reaching an audience. Dr. John appreciates the medium for its ability to strip the message down to a personal voice. There are no visual distractions. People can listen in their own space and their own time.  It offers room for people to hear and reflect upon God’s Word. In fact, Dr. John is convinced, “Back to the Bible Canada stands in an unusual place to minister to hearts and minds of Canadians.”  It has the ability to reach those who may be alienated from the church. They may not attend a weekly service, but they can tune in daily and repeatedly. The spoken message also has a global reach. John’s messages are travelling all over the world. He is recognized and appreciated in places he has never been!

What’s to Come? 

God’s Word is never dated. His truth penetrates to the soul. John prays that God will continue to use Back to the Bible Canada and that, “God will always raise up a voice for this amazing unique ministry.” John states, “My dream for Canada is that it would be impossible to live in any part of our nation without having to decide what to do with Jesus.”  Back to the Bible Canada is a means to that end.

Pray for Dr. John 

When asked how people can pray for him, John replies,

“Pray for daily insight and strength to preach God’s Word. Pray that I would always have enthusiasm for preaching. Pray that I would never be dull towards the privilege which is mine to obey God in this way. I am grateful that God has given me the purpose of preaching to people every day. In it I find personal delight and the glory of God.”

Dr. John Neufeld

Dr. John Neufeld

Dr. John Neufeld is the national Bible teacher at Back to the Bible Canada. He has served as Senior Pastor, church planter, conference speaker and educator, and is known both nationally and internationally for his passion and excellence in expositional preaching and teaching.

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