CBC alumni perspective: John Burtin
Name: John Butrin
Graduation Year: 1968
Current Position: Founder & Director of Matthew’s Table
City and State: Berlin, Germany
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
My wife Gayle and I currently serve at Matthew’s Table, a relational ministry of evangelism through hospitality in Berlin Germany.
Prior to ministry in Berlin, I pastored churches in Pennsylvania and California. I was involved in numerous denominational and community leadership roles. In 2004, I experienced a life-threatening medical crisis that has dramatically affected my approach to ministry. “Eternal significance” has become a keynote phrase in my vocabulary as we use our ministry at Matthew’s Table to welcome people who need to experience God’s grace.
What is your favorite memory from CBC?
Whether it was during the daily chapel services or in the classroom, the godly example and influence I received from professors and staff continue to guide my life.
How did CBC help you identify/develop your calling?
Having spent many hours in the Welch Hall prayer room waiting for the audible call of God, I eventually began to realize that God’s call (for me, at least) came through my response to opportunities for service. With each area of ministry involvement came the Holy Spirit’s confirmation both within as well as through the affirmation from others. God’s call was indeed in effect. CBC’s regular motivating of us toward practical opportunities such as ministry at area rural churches and choir tours served to solidify God’s call in my life.
How did your experience at CBC prepare you for life after graduation?
Campus life was a microcosm of ministry life in general. There were people from spiritual, cultural, ethnic, and educational backgrounds that were far different from mine, and everyday exposure to those people challenged my preconceptions and broadened my understanding of the vast possibilities available for future ministry.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
“Stay focused; be flexible.” Focus on the task involved in your current position, but remain flexible to accept future challenges. My fifty-year glance backward reveals that every ministry experience (or position) has served as preparation for what God would direct to come next in life. That process continues to this day and will ultimately culminate at heaven’s gates.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire a new graduate?
“Authenticity”– Having a biblically-based spirituality resulting in a genuine love for people.