Reaching Cities for Jesus
*Information about our most recent church plant, Praxis Church in Kelowna, is located here.
Why Church Planting?
Westside is a local church that is committed to planting other churches. In fact, our strategy for local, national, and global missions flows through our desire to plant other Jesus-loving, gospel-proclaiming churches.
But why church planting? We get this question often. After all, church planting is challenging and there are many factors that determine whether a plant successfully launches and reaches people in that city. But, we remain faithful to Jesus despite any of the challenges that come with church planting. We are called to plant and water and rely on God who gives the growth (I Cor. 3:7).
Simply, we are called to go and bear witness to the greatness of the glory of Jesus and do so through the building up of the Church (Matthew 28:19, Acts 1:8, Eph. 3:10).
Aren't there enough churches already?
This depends on how "church" is defined. If you equate church with a building alone, then yes, there are a lot of churches in our nation. However, if you define church as the Body of Christ, then our nation is in need of more.
Westside believes that the church is the covenant community called by God through Jesus Christ to live a life of discipleship and witness as empowered by the Holy Spirit. The local church gathers regularly for worship, fellowship, and accountability and to discern, develop, and exercise gifts for the ministry.
Further, the mission of the church is to make disciples of all nations by calling people to repent, be baptized, and love God and neighbour by sharing the good news and performing acts of love and compassion.
"If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves
in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar
and foundation of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15)
We need more people in the Church, the Body of Christ. But, additionally, 300+ churches (physical locations) close their doors every year in Canada. 80% of all existing churches have plateaued or are declining, and well over 90% of all people in Canada don’t attend an evangelical church of any sort. And therefore, the need is great, but excitingly, the harvest is plentiful (Luke 10:2).
Some respond to this by saying, “But you don’t need to attend a church to be a Christian.” That's true! We are saved by grace alone. But those who love Jesus aren’t only to obey His commands but to also love His Bride, however messy she can sometimes be (John 14:15; 10:25).
In addition to the need for more churches, there are beautiful effects of church planting in the lives of individual believers. Church planting dictates the need for individual involvement, it demands local missional activity, it necessitates leadership from those who have never led before, and it deconstructs the idea that missions happens only “out there.” It also forces us to pray with greater urgency and expectancy. In this way, we can continue to seek Jesus' presence and know Him as we make him known throughout our communities.
History of Church Planting at Westside
- In the Spring of 2009, Westside planted Reality Church Vancouver, which gathers on Vancouver's eastside.
- In 2012, Westside planted a campus on Vancouver’s north shore that moved to stand-alone status in 2018 as The Shore Church.
- In September 2013, Christ City Church was planted in south Vancouver and has gone on to plant Christ City Kitsilano in 2017 and launched Christ City East Vancouver in Fall 2019.
- Westside also had the joy of planting TriCity Church in Coquitlam in 2017 with partner churches, Northview Church and Crossridge Church.
- In 2020, we sent a team to plant Trails Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
- In 2021, Praxis Church launched in Kelowna, BC. It was planted together with Northview Church.