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Alumnus becomes new LCBI chaplain

New chaplain says he has big shoes to fill

OUTLOOK - For more than 100 years, LCBI High school has provided education to students from the province, the country and around the world. In addition to the academic program and full slate of extracurricular activities, the school located on Outlook’s riverbank focuses on providing an environment for students to grow in Christian faith. An important step toward that took place last week when the school installed its first full time chaplain in more than a decade, alumnus Todd Johnson who is excited to take on the role.

After attending the Christian high school for grades 11 and 12, Todd headed to Sweden for Bible School, then continued his education back in Saskatchewan at Briercrest College. He was drawn to the opportunity to play volleyball but also found an area of study that appealed to him, obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Youth Ministry. He followed that up with Theology studies in Norway, a country where he spent much of his adult life.

Todd’s volleyball skills caught the eyes of the international athletic community and he was soon on his way to Norway where he played on championship squads and then became an assistant coach with the men’s national team.

Soon after, he and his wife Kristy began work in a Norwegian Folk School in the city of Førde, fulfilling a dream they both held. After several years, and now as parents of three children all born in Norway, they felt it was time to return to Canada.

Arriving in Outlook in 2021, Todd took a position in the Admissions and Recruitment Office at LCBI. As time went on, and as the school was looking to return to full time chaplaincy, the possibility of him moving into the position was explored. “I believe God has brought me here, and maybe I can use more of my experience and education in this role.”

Todd sees the position of chaplain as someone who walks beside and guides people in their faith formation, meeting people where they’re at in life. “The chaplain has an office,” he explained, “but he also has a pair of shoes and goes and meets people where they’re at and where they’re living life.”

A life of faith is nurtured at the school through morning prayer, daily chapel, music ministry, prayer at athletic events, dorm devotions, Sunday worship in the community, mission and service opportunities, Faith in Leadership, and special Faith in Life events welcoming in guest speakers. “We want to practice and live out our faith and we want our students to participate in the life of community. That’s the rhythm of discipleship, of faith formation here, finding a rhythm students and staff can walk in together.”

Returning to the place where he was a student gives Todd a bit of a model to follow, but also a desire to carve his own path. “Coming back as an alumnus is a bit of a challenge. You have to deconstruct your own experience of when you were here. There’s a sense of ownership when you step on campus once again. You get this feeling of ‘this was my school.’ But now as a staff it is realizing it’s our school. The people that you meet here and those involved in the school are so special.”

One of those special people is the individual who was chaplain when he was a student. Todd was thrilled to learn that Pastor Lee Woolery would be travelling from Alberta to be part of the worship service where Todd was installed as chaplain. “He is a big faith role model in my life,” Todd explained. “He was involved in all areas of the school and that is important for me to do, too. It’s big shoes to fill and big footsteps to follow in.”

Stepping into the chaplaincy, Todd wants to be the ministry of presence—being present with people in different times of life. He says that while conditions of belief may have changed since he was a teenager at the school, what has not changed is that students are encouraged to follow Christ. “It’s important LCBI has an emphasis on helping kids understand what the gospel is,” Todd remarked, “and what it means to follow Jesus.”

As he gets ready to put on his shoes and step into his new role he says he will focus on building relationships. “I will be walking beside students, staff and families. My role is taking time with our Christian walk. It’s not a sprint or race. It’s about helping people see Jesus. That’s the motto of the school and it’s become a prayer for me being on staff, that we would see Jesus.”