By Andrew McKaysmith, Synod writer and content creator.
Reverend Jim Haak, a seasoned minister passionate about spreading positive news within the church, shares his journey in ministry as he prepares to step into a new role at Ashmore Uniting Church. From his humble beginnings as a tradesperson to becoming a chaplain at various schools, Jim’s experiences have shaped his perspectives on church-related matters and have led him to embrace challenges with a strong sense of purpose.
Jim’s journey began with a calling that led him and his wife to work in the western suburbs of Logan. Reflecting on his early days, Jim fondly recalled, “I’ve got to think back 30 years. I was a tradesperson, and then we thought God was calling us to be missionaries or something radical. He called me Browns Plains instead (haha).”
As Jim delved into his experiences as a school chaplain at Browns Plains, he illuminated the increasing demand for pastoral care and spirituality in educational institutions. The burgeoning need for chaplaincy services presented excitement and challenges as Jim acknowledged the need to adapt the church’s mission to an increasingly changing local culture.
Discussing his current placement at Ashmore, Jim acknowledged the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the church community. “A lot of young families just left and unexpectedly never returned, so we need to reinvigorate community involvement in the church,” he stated.
Reverend Jim is optimistic, highlighting the church’s prime location and facilities. “Ashmore still has enormous potential. In an age where loneliness, mental ill-health and social issues are ever growing and where property and any community-based building is highly sought after,” he emphasised. “We find ways to adapt and continue to do God’s work.”