Where are you? The Meeting Place at Abbotsford. With the aim of reaching "those who may not be familiar or comfortable with the Christian subculture", the newly started Meeting Place at Abbotsford is fashioned after the Meeting Place that has been going for seven years in Winnipeg. Each service has a definite theme, presented through contemporary songs sung by members or guests, praise singing by the congregation, skits, music videos and a focussed message, preached as to people with little knowledge of or respect for the Bible. This combination has helped increase attendance at the Meeting Place in Winnipeg from eight families to around 2200 people in seven years.
A core group with a vision for starting The Meeting Place at Abbotsford has been meeting on Sunday evenings for about six months. Although the group does not yet have a pastor and is not large enough to hold regular seeker services, they decided to host a preview service on the evening of Sunday, Jan. 18 in order to demonstrate the church's vision to Christians and to begin reaching non-Christians. The meeting was held at the Chum Centre, a dinner theatre where the core group regularly has its meetings. Senior pastor Paul Wartman and producer Tim Plett were brought in from the Winnipeg Meeting Place to help run the preview event. Invitations were passed out by core group members to interested Christians and non-Christians. About 130 attended.
On January 16, Wartman also presented two seminars for Christians which examined ways of preaching to seekers and explained the basis of the seeker movement. Among other points, Wartman said he avoids using exclusive language, saying "us" or "we" instead of "you" in order not to present a "holier-than-thou" attitude. About 40 people attended the seminars.
The Meeting Place at Abbotsford has been recognized as an MB church plant by the B.C. MB Conference, although it receives no funding.
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