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Two directions, one clear destination for Westside
Westside, a high-profile, young MB church in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood, is growing again. It already fostered a thriving church plant, Reality Vancouver. Now it has launched a new campus in North Vancouver.

This new venture, Westside North Shore (WNS), is known as a campus plant. Like its parent congregation, WNS gathers Sunday morning in a movie theatre – Park and Tilford Cineplex Odeon, located in a mall near the Ironworkers’ Memorial Bridge in North Vancouver. The first service was Apr. 1.

The campus plant concept is both similar to and different from an ordinary church plant. Teaching is shared between resident pastor James Bonney and Westside lead pastor Norm Funk. Westside ministry staff all take on responsibility at this second campus as well. The goal is to reach new people like a plant, but to provide the resource base of a multi-campus church.

Planning for WNS started a year and a half ago. Last October, Bonney and his family moved to North Vancouver – only to discover that the image of North Shore residents as people who have “made it” is no more valid there than anywhere else. “People feel their North Vancouver lifestyle is still not enough,” he says, “and they’re looking for more – looking for meaning.”

So, the hills appear ripe, the campus is located in the centre of a district with a civic development plan, and the mission is clear: “Westside is a church that plants churches,” says Bonney. “What we do here will be like Westside Kits– just a little smaller. We’re one church in two locations.”

Westside Kits has a weekly attendance of 900 in three services, and doesn’t own a building. The congregation gathers at diverse locations including restaurants, parks, theatres, and the beach. WNS expects to be just as mobile.

—BMc
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Barrie McMaster