The youngest of four, Lucas grew up in Calgary as part of a large family cluster. Seeking a better life in Canada, his parents had emigrated from Holland in 1954 and moved to Calgary to be near his mom’s family. “I had a great home life. Everybody looked after me,” says Lucas, who grew up confident, knowing he was loved.
His parents did not attend church, but when Lucas was just seven years old something happened that God would use to make himself known to a little boy and spark the beginning of a life dedicated to God’s service.
Construction work began in the empty lot next door to the van Boeschoten’s home. Lucas and his friends often played on the site, watching the progress as the big building took shape. During one of these playtimes, Lucas noticed a man painting a cross in the parking lot and went over to ask the man what he was doing. “We’re building a church and you can come!” Lucas said, “Okay.”
When the building was complete and opened for services, sure enough, Lucas and his sister walked across their yard, crossed the parking lot, and went inside. The church was Centre Street. Lucas never stopped going. Sunday School, choir, VBS – all wonderful memories. When he was 9 he qualified to go to AB Camp. “I remember being in the chapel when the speaker talked about sin being in people’s hearts. At the invitation, I got up, went forward, and asked Jesus to forgive my sins.”
Journey into ministry
“By the grace of God, I stuck with it,” Lucas says of his decision to follow Christ. “By the time I was 8, even before I was a Christian, I felt a call to ministry. I knew I was going to be a pastor.”
He was involved in music programs and the school’s Christian club in Jr High, and belonged to YFC in high school, and led youth group. “God helped me all through those years, and I experienced no opposition at home, although my parents were not believers.” All through Jr high and high school, he did not waver from God’s call. “I told my pastor, and he had me sign the denomination’s Declaration of Intent to Enter Ministry form, even though I was, of course, too young to be accepted as a ministry candidate. He did it to affirm me.”
Following high school, he entered the University of Calgary and came away in June ’72 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a Minor in music. From here he moved to Portland, Oregan for Seminary and there he had opportunities to preach and do youth work in the church he attended. His internship was at CSC where he worked with youth, sang in the choir, assisted in services, and preached. In 1975 he graduated with his Masters of Divinity in Biblical Studies.
At 23 years old, the time had finally come to become a pastor as God had told him he would 15 years earlier.
Lucas returned to Canada, and in 1975, was ordained by The Evangelical Church, and accepted his first pastoral position. In Vancouver, he served Richmond Faith as Associate Pastor of Youth and Worship for 2 years.
“I was smitten”
In 1975, while still at Richmond Faith, a Leighton Ford Reachout came to town. The church was involved and Lucas dropped by the Reachout office. Here he saw Pat for the first time. In his own words, “I was smitten.”
Alas, he saw the ring on her finger and thought she was engaged. How was he to know the ring was on the wrong hand?? With the unrequested help of a gregarious friend who asked her, “Are you looking for a husband? Lucas is looking for a wife,” the ice was broken and soon Lucas asked her out.
But she said she was busy. It turned out she really had been busy and on his next try, he arranged a date: dinner with Pat and her roommate at Vacation Bible School! Soon they were engaged, and in January of ’77 Lucas married Pat.
Life lessons learned from difficult challenges
A series of pastorates ensued after he finished at Richmond Faith. As Lucas reflects on his years of pastoral ministry he notes that all departures were a little tough because good people were left behind. Difficult challenges make the pastorate a soul-refining job. He learned good life lessons that helped along the way: keep a clear conscience, never assume I am right and the other person is wrong, step into people’s sorrows, don’t assume things are okay, say I’m sorry, pay attention.
Lucas and Pat moved from BC to Saskatchewan in 1977 for his next assignment as Pastor of a rural church; Whitewood Evangelical in Whitewood. “Here I learned skills that have stood me in good stead everywhere. In a small community, everyone knows you and everyone is watching you. I learned that every moment of life is a testimony. I am an ambassador everywhere I go.”
Lucas and Pat welcomed their first child, Bethany, and then Erin while living in Whitewood.
In 1981 they left rural life behind and moved to another province, this time to serve as Senior Pastor in a city church – Albright, Winnipeg. Two more children, Grant and Katie, were born during these years.
Transition to a different kind of ministry
There was one more pastorate before Lucas made a transition to a different kind of ministry. He was Senior Pastor at Medicine Hat Memorial (River Park) for three years. After a painful, unresolved conflict, a discouraged Lucas was ready to take a break from pastoral ministry.
In 1989 an invitation came to join the faculty at Hillcrest College (now RMC). He resigned his position at the church, but they continued to attend. He accepted Hillcrest’s offer and over the course of the next 19 years at Hillcrest and then RMC, he taught Bible courses, preaching, and Christian Education.
Throughout his years of ministry, as far back as the late ‘70s, Lucas was aware that there was something lacking in his spiritual life. A dive into old journals he’d kept revealed his struggle to learn how to listen to God: “Lord, what are you saying?” In the late ‘90s, the weight of his responsibility as Dean of Students was taking a heavy toll. “I was exhausted.” As he shared this with a fellow staff member she told him about her positive experience with a spiritual director. He needed help so he called and made an appointment. With the help of a spiritual director, he learned much about reverence, worship, and allowing God to search his heart.
Being immersed in the education environment, further education was always a priority for Lucas. So in 2003, he enrolled in ACTS – Trinity Western University’s Graduate School of Theology in their Spiritual Formation and Leadership program. “I knew I was easily side-tracked, so I wanted help from someone who would require me to read, reflect, and write.”
In 2006-2007 he juggled graduate distance work, his position at RMC, and a half-time position at CSC where he was Director of Children’s Ministries. While busily engaged in all of this, Lucas still longed to grow spiritually. He determined to intentionally put himself into a situation where he would grow. He turned to the Faithful Companions of Jesus Centre in 2006 and began their Spiritual Direction training program, right in the middle of his doctorate studies. Here he learned much from nuns with a vibrant faith in Christ. Under their watchful eyes, he learned the practice of spiritual direction. He found this training to be life-changing in His own walk.
More about Lucas
Amidst changes at RMC Lucas’ time at the College ended and he used the extra time to write his dissertation.
After graduating with his doctorate in 2008, Centre Street Church hired him full time as Community Pastor, a position he held until retirement in 2016.
Lucas and Pat continue to live in Calgary, attending CSC. Their four children are married and they have the joy of being grandparents of ten children, with another on the way. Pat, who Lucas describes as a nurturer and life coach, remained at home when the children were growing up and then turned her gifts towards working with special needs adults.
Lucas enjoys bike riding, and he loves studying – whether Hebrew, People, Bible, or Geography. Puttering in the garden is a pleasant pastime, and he likes to ‘sort of’ fix things around the house.
Lucas is available as an Enrich Facilitator for coaching in spiritual formation
As a spiritual companion, Lucas uses his training and gifts to help others on their journeys with God. He comes alongside individuals working through a struggle, or wondering how to focus their life, or asking ‘what’s going wrong?’, and helps them discern answers that may have been elusive. In a holy atmosphere, with a shared confidence that both are there seeking God to discern a direction, they look to answer ‘Where is God in this?’ They may uncover hidden motivations that may be holding a person back or discover a pattern in how God speaks in circumstances. Sometimes there are ‘aha’ moments. All are offered encouragement and hope, anchored in Scripture. Sometimes a session or two will suffice, sometimes more time is required.
Connect with Lucas on the Enrich website. He is available by phone, online, or in-person and is willing to travel.