Nothing Wasted An unexpected second career

Village Missionary Ryan Schnee worked several jobs before entering full-time ministry, and none of them are typically associated with shepherding a church. Yet, every job and life detour was preparing him for a career he didn’t expect.

Commitment to Ministry

From his earliest memories, Ryan recalls his parents modeling faithful service within their local church in Gwynne, AB. Serving was a way of life for the Schnee family. That example made a lasting impression on Ryan, who went on to become a board trustee, Sunday school teacher and occasional preacher by the age of seventeen.

However, Ryan’s path to becoming a Village Missionary would not run through Bible College. At least not right away.

Instead, he completed a major in Farm and Ranch Production. After marrying his wife, Jenneke, Ryan earned his certification as a journeyman welder, as Jenneke finished her own university degree.

They returned to Gwynne for agricultural opportunities, but knew the return included service within the church. Ryan became board chair, rotating preacher, youth group leader, and a full-time farmer. Realizing the church's need for full time leadership, Ryan guided the church through the process of applying to Village Missions, and helped unpack Gwynne's first Village Missionaries in 2006.

Eventually, Ryan and Jenneke began to consider full-time ministry, but after taking just one seminary course, Ryan put his education on hold to deal with their infant daughter’s health challenges.

It wasn’t until Ryan’s dad passed away in 2007 that he decided to re-enroll in seminary. The flexibility of being a self-employed welder enabled the Schnees to financially make the transition through fulltime schooling with four young children to a career in ministry.

Working with Village Missions’ leadership in Gwynne became the foundation for the Schnees joining Village Missions themselves after Ryan’s graduation, and the family has served in Middle Lake, SK ever since.

Looking Back

Was Ryan and Jenneke’s time in secular employment or education wasted?


Ryan now recognizes every job as a time of training and equipping.

From financial literacy gained in college, to cement and construction knowledge gained in a temporary job, to a broader knowledge of agriculture, God used each and every one of their skills in ministry.

A Second Career in Ministry

Ministry is a special calling, but it’s not completely different from the job you are doing now. Nearly every job requires some of the same skills needed by Village Missionaries.

Has serving God in a full-time capacity been on your heart and mind? Maybe this is the first time you’ve entertained the possibility. Don’t be surprised if God has customized your past for His future service.

“Wherever you find yourself in the course of your life or development, God can use that as a training ground for His purposes. Nothing you learn is wasted.”

Are You Called?

Called to a second career in ministry? Many of our current Village Missionaries became missionaries after a full career elsewhere, and God has used their skills and experiences to do great things for His kingdom. If you are interested in serving with Village Missions, we’d love to hear your story. Just visit or give us a call at 1-866-885-3885 today!

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