The executive director of the Weyburn Youth Centre, Brian Hopfe, is moving on to a new challenge after 19 years at the helm, as he will be moving into a ministry position at the Weyburn Free Methodist Church.
He recently was announced as the “generations pastor” for the church, and he will start on Oct. 1st.
In the meantime, he has informed the youth centre board and the Youth For Christ organization about his resignation, and the search has begun for a new executive director so that ministry will continue.
Hopfe noted the unusual title for his new position is due to the range of his duties, which will be about 70 per cent with the youth, and the balance with seniors along with young adults.
He hadn’t been looking for a new position, but it was mentioned to him at a ministerial meeting that the church was looking for some help on their pastoral team. They wanted a youth and worship pastor, and he noted he could do the youth part, and suggested adding a seniors ministry to it.
“I’m excited about this. I feel I relate very well to seniors as well as to youth. Part of my goal will be to see if we can get seniors and youth working together,” he said. “This will be a different chapter in my life.”
Hopfe has been in ministry for 34 years now, and while he’s been in charge of the youth centre for the past two decades, prior to that he was an ordained minister for the Church of the Nazarene, an ordination that he still holds.
Looking back on his time at the Youth Centre, he noted the skateboard park was not here when he came on, and the main building housing TAGS was not in good shape. They completely did over the building and over the years built up the drop-in centre in the basement, along with bringing in the skateboard park around 2005.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I can’t thank the community and businesses enough for the way they have partnered with the youth centre, not only financially,” he said, noting the support was there every year with the fundraiser banquet held every October helping to keep the doors open for the centre.
“It’s not always been easy, but it’s very rewarding as I look at the lives that have been changed,” said Hopfe, adding he has had phone calls from people years after thanking him for having a safe place for youth to hang out.
“There have been many people who have gone forward with their relationship with God, and to me that’s the most rewarding part,” he said. “My hope is that every youth that has come here has felt cared for and appreciated, and there are people who care for them.”
Going back to a church ministry will familiar to him, but he noted there will be a big difference, as he won’t be the lead pastor at the church, but will be working with the lead pastor team of Ian Isaak and Jody Pfeifer.
One of the advantages to this position is that he knows many of the youth and seniors already, unlike when a church brings someone in to a ministry position from outside the community. In addition, he will be working alongside those in the church who are volunteering with youth ministry and with the seniors.
“I think the youth have something to offer seniors, and seniors have something to offer to the youth. I’d like to work towards that,” said Hopfe.