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Prayers of Discernment

Overview

 

There is the potential for 15:5 Church to begin meeting either late Sunday afternoons or early Sunday evenings at Ebenezer Baptist Church, beginning in the Fall of 2024.

 

  • 15:5 Church has met in several locations since we formed as a congregation and we have followed God’s leading to these different locations.

  • There are currently numerous challenges with meeting at the theatre and we have been seeking God’s direction for a new place to meet, but costs are prohibitive in the current area and market to build or rent.

  • Ebenezer Baptist Church has offered us the use of their sanctuary and some spaces for children’s ministries either late Sunday afternoons or early evenings on Sundays. They would charge us a very reduced rate compared to what we are now paying for Landmark Cinemas.

  • The first meeting to discuss this possible opportunity will be Sunday April 14th at our Pizza Supper at Ebenezer Baptist Church. We invite you to attend, and bring your questions, concerns and thoughts about this possible opportunity.

  • This decision will be made by the 15:5 Church Family as a unified whole. 

  • Please pray for wisdom for 15:5 Church as we go forward in seeking God’s direction in making this decision. 

  • For more information, see the full details below.

15:5 Church History

We are entering into a time of seeking the Lord for discernment regarding a potential new meeting space for 15:5 Church. This process will take time, and we encourage you to spend time in prayer regarding this possibility. On this page we have included some information on our journey so far - as well as some information about future possibilities. 

 

Since the inception of 15:5 Church, God has provided the needed meeting spaces for us to worship and minister. His faithfulness continues to encourage and undergird us, especially in light of a commercial rental market in this area that is unaffordable for smaller churches.

A foundational principle that we operate on is that God will lead us as we seek Him together. Any significant changes will be made with much prayer and input from all those who consider 15:5 Church their church family.  As we seek Him together, we will hear Him together. Seeking the Lord together in prayer, with love, humility, and the desire to hear the needs of others, are vital elements in maintaining our unity as we consider making any changes. 15:5 Church is, and has always been, Jesus' Church to lead us as He pleases.

Image by Maksim Shutov

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:6

The Discernment Process

We will seek to hear from God together by doing the following:

  • Praying individually, asking God to guide our hearts regarding the possibility of this move to Ebenezer Baptist on Sunday afternoons or early evenings.  Few people like change - but it is important to be open to whatever the Lord might say to us.

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  • Meeting together for prayer and to hear one another's hearts and thoughts.  We hope to have a few of these church family meetings, beginning with the Pizza Supper at Ebenezer on Sunday, April 14.  This will also be an important item at our upcoming AGM.

  • Remaining loving and respectful of those who have different perspectives than our own.  We need to remain humble and teachable!  God sometimes speaks through others who see things in ways that we have not considered.  How we journey together is as important as where we end up!

  • Refusing to gossip or speak unkindly about those who have viewpoints that are different than our own.

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  • Participating in surveys that will give those who are a part of the church family to express their preferences regarding the possibility of this move, including the best times for those with young children.

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  • We will only move forward if there is a strong sense of consensus among our church family that God is leading in the process.

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  • Should we have a sense that the Lord is leading us to move to Ebenezer, the Advisory Team is suggesting that we might try this move for a month during October to see if this would be good for helping us to thrive and grow as a church family.

The Advisory Team, Pastors, and Staff are committed to honest and transparent communication.  No decisions will be made apart from the 15:5 Church family being aware of every step of the process, as well as having ample opportunity for questions and input.  Our desire is to seek and honour the Lord and each other as we journey together in discovering the Lord's will in this matter. 

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Willowgrove School

October 2015 – July 2018

God provided the Willowgrove School. Had we applied earlier or later for that space, we wouldn’t have been able to obtain it. Our denomination, the CNBC, paid for our first 5 months of rent. Unfortunately, Public Schools do not rent their facilities during the summer months, or during any school holidays or breaks (e.g., Christmas, Easter, Summer, etc.) We were not allowed any storage at Willowgrove School, nor signage that we meet there (other than signs that were put out every Sunday morning). We had a coffee break in the middle of every service as a way for people to experience fellowship and build community. Children would go to Sunday School after the coffee-break.

Sutherland Hall

Summer of 2016 & 2017

The Sutherland Hall began allowing us to rent their facility on Sunday mornings during the summer, at a very reduced rate of $200 per event. This worked well for 3 summers, but we were bumped if weddings were booked in the facility. In addition, we outgrew the space, as seating capacity was approximately 100 people.

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Outdoor Services

Summer of 2016 and Forward

During Sundays when we couldn’t rent the Sutherland Hall due to prior rental agreements, we held outdoor services in Willowgrove Square, beginning the summer of 2016. We concluded our summer outdoor services with a free BBQ & Play Day on the September Long Weekend. The CNBC helped to cover the costs of most of our September Long Weekend Outreaches. This tradition has continued to the present time.

Office/Meeting Space

August 2017 - Present

We began leasing office/meeting space from Baydo Development Corporation in Gateway Plaza in Willowgrove. 15:5 Church was responsible for the costs associated with transforming the cement shell of approximately 1,500 square feet of space into a useable facility for offices, meeting, ministry, and storage space. Under the supervision of Carman Dodman, volunteers and contractors transformed the cement shell into a wonderful place for ministry. With Carman’s help supervising volunteer labour, we were able to save tens of thousands of dollars compared to contracting this out. We have renewed the lease on 2 occasions.  The office meeting space is used for: Office Space; Meetings; Counselling; Alphas, Bible studies; Men’s Breakfasts; Women’s Meetings; Pizza Lunches; Special Events, and more. Baydo has not raised our rent since we began leasing from them, and they continue to donate $1,000 per month to 15:5 Church. Although our rent has not raised, our occupancy costs have almost tripled since we moved in to the space in August of 2017.

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Landmark Cinemas

July 2018 - Present

The Landmark Cinema allows us to rent space for worship and children’s ministries on Sunday mornings. They also allow us to rent a Bus Shelter poster in the lobby for $75 per week. Although we are not allowed storage, for a period of time, Landmark relented and did allow us to store certain items under the front screen.

 

Prior to Covid, we held a short coffee-break in the middle of the service. Children would leave at that time to go to their own Sunday School in another theatre. After the Covid pandemic passed, we discontinued the coffee break because of the amount of time that it took to set-up and tear-down tables, coffee-makers, etc.

 

We are currently renting 3 theatres for our Sunday Morning services – one for the main service and the other two for our children’s programs. Our rent also includes the use of one of the Birthday Party rooms which we are now using for toddlers.

Special Services

Christmas Eve, Good Friday, and Easter Services — Both Willowgrove School and the Landmark Theatre would not allow us to meet at their facilities for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Good Friday, due to release of blockbuster films, or school being out of session and greater attendance of school children at the Theatres. We have done a number of different things during these times, including joining with Elim Church for these services; renting hotel meeting room space or, using space at Elim Church and at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

 

We have held baptisms at Elim, Faith Baptist, Sutherland Hall (borrowed a portable baptistery from Lakeview Church), and a swimming pool at the acreage of church members.

 

We have held potlucks, Pizza Suppers, and Funeral Services at both Elim & Ebenezer Churches.

 

We have jointly held Hearing God Seminar and 2 Break-Free Seminars in partnership with Ebenezer Baptist Church. (January of 2023; Fall of 2023; February of 2024).

 

Every time 15:5 Church has moved in response to a need or opportunity, God led the decision. God provided for us, even before the money was in our budget or bank account for every move. Every previous move has seen growth in attendance, but currently we are seeming to plateau with the attendance at the Landmark Cinemas.

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Current Challenges

  • We have to set-up and tear down each Sunday for both the main theatre and for all 15:5 Kids areas. Some Sundays we only have 1 or 2 volunteers to help. This is difficult for Pastor Brad and for Diane with the Kids’ Ministry.

 

  • We have to finish our service by 11:30 to be out of the theatre by 12:00. This causes people to have to help tear-down and not to be able to chat with visitors.

 

  • The theatre is made to deaden sound. This prohibits people from hearing others around them sing. This inhibits corporate worship, rather than encouraging people to sing.

 

  • The lights in the theatre are either “on” or “off.”  This does not create a conducive atmosphere for worship.

 

  • People can only see those leading worship (including the pastors), from the waist up.

 

  • Our signage is attracting new people, but the atmosphere of the theatre is hindering many from returning (some don’t like the “theatre feel.”)

 

  • Due to the all-metal construction of the theatre, Internet is not reliable. Those who are housebound and watch our service online, experience very inconsistent Internet broadcasting on YouTube. We have pursued installing our own Internet, but that has been stalled by the Theatre.
     

  • There are occasionally severe technical issues with the theatre’s projection and sound. Theatre employees on duty rarely know how to fix the situation, and will not let our Associate Pastor in the sound booth to help unless a manager is available to accompany him.
     

  • The office has become too small for Pizza Lunches after the Church Service. People are literally jammed into the office space and there is no room for children to play. We began holding Pizza Suppers at in the evening at Ebenezer Baptist Church beginning in November of 2023, but numbers have been much smaller due to weather issues and being an event to come back to late afternoon, as opposed to immediately after the Church service.
     

  • Parking has become an issue at the Baydo Office and Meeting Space. We are only allotted 4 spaces, plus non-electric post spaces on a first-come, first-served basis.  This has made parking difficult for meetings like Alpha. One Alpha guest received a $50 Parking ticket, which 15:5 covered.

Possible Answer

Ebenezer has been extremely generous in allowing us to use their facilities on multiple occasions.

 

Sometime in 2023, one of the co-Lead Pastors from Ebenezer Church approached Pastor Lou about using their facility for services on Sunday afternoons to allow us to save money for a future facility of our own.

 

Lou was very aware that Sunday mid-afternoon services do not tend to work well, based on experiences of other churches in Saskatoon. We thanked Ebenezer for their offer, but felt it wasn't a good option for 15:5 church at this time.

 

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On Monday, February 12, Pastor Lou was praying about our Sunday worship meeting situation. The Theatre seems to be a limiting factor in our growth. Renting Real Estate in the general vicinity of where we feel called to be is cost-prohibitive. After another wonderful experience of partnering with Ebenezer for Break-Free that weekend, the thought came into Lou's head: “I wonder if Ebenezer would be open to us renting Sunday evenings, instead of Sunday afternoons.”  Lou didn’t know if that was just his own thoughts, or something from the Lord.  

Ebenezer feels a growing partnership with us, and their staff loves working with us, as we do them. They are excited about seeking the Lord with us to see if using their facility on Sunday evenings might be a possible solution to our meeting needs.

Should the Lord lead, the plan would be to re-evaluate the agreement after a year, with a 3–5-year time-frame, or even longer.  Lord willing, either 15:5 would have enough people and finances to move to the Brighton or Aspen Ridge areas in that time-frame, or decide to stay at Ebenezer for a longer time. Of course, we want to be obedient to anywhere the Lord leads us in the future.

Challenges of a Move

  • Sharing a building with another church might be confusing to some.

 

  • Most people are used to attending church on Sunday mornings. This would be a lifestyle change for church members to switch from morning to evening.

 

  • Some parents might find it difficult to feed & prepare their children for bed with church on Sunday evenings.  (We would be flexible for service start times, referencing the input from surveys we will conduct).

 

  • Leaving the Theatre might cause it to be unavailable if we leave and want to return.

  • An early evening service might be undesirable for some who don't want to drive to church at night.

 

Blessings of a Move

  • Much easier to set-up and tear-down, needing fewer volunteers.

 

  • The use of Ebenezer’s Sanctuary for worship and other rooms for Kids’ Ministries would be a very different and positive feel. We have experienced worship in the Sanctuary at Ebenezer for Good Friday services and it was wonderful being able to hear others sing around you. More rooms would allow for eventual growth and further age-divisions for children during Sunday School. 

 

  • Conducive to build a prayer-ministry, as people can be prayed for in another room. Also, people can be praying during the service in the balcony or another room for the actual service.

 

  • Being at Ebenezer would make it easier to hold fellowship building events like potlucks and Pizza Suppers, either immediately before or after worship.

 

  • Coffee Bar and Hospitality Room are both available now at Ebenezer, right across foyer from Sanctuary.

 

  • The late afternoon or early evening service could be attractive for people who don’t attend church because Sunday is their only morning to sleep. There are also people who can’t attend Sunday mornings due to work schedules. We might reach people who don’t go to church because church usually meets on Sunday morning.

 

  • Financial Savings. This money can be used for a future facility, to hire more staff hours, as well as for more ministry opportunities.  

 

  • We could continue to do outdoor services at both Willowgrove Square and possibly Brighton Amphitheatre.

 

  • Our moving to Ebenezer would allow working even more closely with Ebenezer staff to continue to build and strengthen our relationships.  

 

  • It may be easier to find guest speakers when Pastor Lou or Pastor Brad are not available, as other pastors are committed to their own churches.

 

  • This could be a great witness to the community that two churches are sharing building space.

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