Many of us consider 20 years at one job long enough, but the Winnipeg branch's executive director has been at YFC for 45 years and has loved every second.
The National Ministry Conference with Youth for Christ is in Winnipeg this weekend. YFC is honoring the Winnipeg branch's executive director, John Courtney, who has been with YFC for 45 years.
"It's been a long time since I've had a job interview," Courtney joked. "It's been my greatest joy, my greatest thrill.
"If you had to do life again, I'd say 'give me the same assignment.' It's been a wonderful journey."
Courtney said that he has stayed all these years because of God's calling. He said it was a clear call, describing it as a 'made in heaven' calling. He is also passionate for the mission.
"I get the incredible priviledge of spending my life helping kids come to know Jesus Christ," Courtney said. "It doesn't get any better than that."
The biggest memory that stands out to Courtney is watching the mission grow from four people when he started to over 80 staff members now. They also have a beautiful building in downtown Winnipeg that Dave Brereton, the National Director of Youth for Christ Canada, said is the largest single facility that YFC has in Canada.
"When I started in Montreal in '95 . . . I wanted to know what a big effective YFC looked like, so I hoped on a plane and flew out to Winnipeg," Brereton said. "Winnipeg has been very visionary."
Brereton said the committment that Courtney has shown to the mission is incredible. "Frankly, it's a model for the rest of the folks coming along behind him."
As for how much longer he has left, Courtney said "I don't want to leave a day before I'm supposed to and I don't want to stay a day longer."
Don't rule out another 20 years.