ALPHARETTA, Ga. – During an upcoming meeting of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) trustees, the Chaplain Commission that oversees the endorsement of Southern Baptist chaplains is expected to endorse the first Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC) chaplain who currently serves in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Rev. Jay A. Maynard, a lieutenant and chaplain in the Royal Canadian Navy since 2018, is eager about the potential a new partnership with NAMB brings to chaplaincy ministry in Canada.
“The newly forged connection between the CNBC and the NAMB will bless Canadian chaplains with the ability to partner with a network of thousands of fellow chaplains in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC),” Maynard said. “But it also affords us with the honor of becoming part of a larger Christ-exalting force dedicated to bringing the Gospel to more who serve.”
The CNBC is a network of churches in covenant together that focuses on advancing the kingdom of God. Their statement of faith is the SBC’s Baptist Faith and Message 2000, and NAMB-endorsed chaplains with the Canadian Armed Forces will serve under that confession. NAMB’s ministry assignment from the SBC includes Canada, and it has worked closely with the CNBC for years.
“We are very excited in the CNBC about the possibilities of CNBC-NAMB chaplains serving in the Canadian military,” said CNBC executive director, Gerry Taillon. “We believe that this will open the door to many critical ministry opportunities with men and women who would be very hard to reach in other ways.”
Maynard said even as Canada continues to rapidly secularize, there are opportunities for the advancement of the Gospel as Canadians think more and more about spirituality.
“One of the things I feel really passionate about is making sure the Gospel continues to reach people who would otherwise not knock on the door of a church building,” Maynard said.
Maynard served as a pastor for about 10 years across Canada and earned his Master of Divinity from the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary and College in 2015.
Rob Blackaby, president of the seminary, said Maynard could not be a better choice for NAMB’s first endorsement.
“From the moment he graduated, Jay embraced whatever assignment God gave him with both heart and rigor,” Blackaby said. “I cannot imagine a better ambassador for Christ to Canadian Armed Forces personnel than this man. May our God of hope grant him peace in this great calling.”
The partnership with NAMB began after the Canadian Baptists sought to engage more and establish a greater presence in military chaplaincy. Maynard knew that NAMB has a history of encouraging and equipping chaplains in the U.S. military.
“Why would we reinvent anything?” Maynard asked. “Why would we not partner with the SBC in the United States and take advantage of the blessing of having those ministries support us? The Gospel is increasingly marginalized in Canada, and we need to come alongside healthy organizations like NAMB.”
Doug Carver, NAMB’s executive director of chaplaincy and retired chaplain (major general) in the U.S. Army, said the chaplaincy team at NAMB was grateful for the opportunity to assist Canadian Baptists who are looking to further the spread of the Gospel.
“NAMB is extremely excited for the opportunity to serve as the endorsing agency for CNBC pastors who pursue ministry as a military chaplain in the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Carver. “This historic and strategic ministry partnership will strengthen the CNBC’s effectiveness in sending the hope of the Gospel to their nation’s military communities.”
Maynard has seen an uptick in other religious organizations in Canada sending chaplains into the armed forces. He and the CNBC see the partnership with NAMB as a chance to minister to those in the Canadian Armed Forces as well.
“Our military is very welcoming of evangelicals serving as chaplains, and we want to seize this opportunity while it is still available,” Taillon said. “Please pray that God will use this to reach many influential military families in Canada.”