The Meeting Place (Church)

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The Meeting Place Church Logo

The Meeting Place (commonly referred to as TMP) is an evangelical Christian church located in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is a member of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches and the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba.

The front of the Meeting Place Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Meeting Place's mission statement is "to be a biblically-functioning community leading people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ." Based on this truth, in June 2013 the membership established a vision statement to encourage and challenge the church to be about both experiencing and expressing compassion: Reordering our lives for the compassionate cause of Jesus in our friendships, our city, and our world.

The Meeting Place is about a casual and inclusive Sunday morning experience. There is no dress code, and all are welcome to attend. The services sometimes include drama, dance, and visual art as ways of allowing people connect with God, and feature relevant and understandable messages of about 25-minutes that are most often part of a teaching series. The worship band occasionally plays songs from popular music. There is a cafe at the back of the meeting space and attendees are permitted to enjoy food and drink during the service. All of this is done in order to create an atmosphere in which both people who have attended church much of their lives, as well as those who have maybe never attended church, can feel comfortable, but also be challenged to believe the Bible and live according to what it teaches. Most weeks from September through June there are two services of just over an hour each Sunday morning at 9 and 11am. During the summer, TMP offers one service at 10am.

History of the Church[edit]

The Meeting Place Church service held in basement during 1991 renovations.

The Meeting Place was founded in 1991 by a small group of former attendees of Portage Avenue Mennonite Brethren Church, as well as a few people from other church backgrounds.[1] The hope was to create a new church with a focus on making a Sunday morning worship experience more comfortable for first time visitors and offering them identifiable steps and pathways toward greater spiritual growth.

The Meeting Place Church offices located in lower level of the building seen here on the left next to the main building.

The Meeting Place was originally located in a small office building on Maryland Street prior to moving in 1993 to its current location on Smith Street in what was previously a night club.[2] Church services were held in a temporarily renovated area in the Smith Street building basement while major renovations took place in the soon to be main auditorium.[3] Once the main auditorium began being used for the weekend services, the basement was renovated to accommodate the Children's Ministry program. Subsequent renovations on the top floor have allowed for a theater to be built to accommodate the Youth Ministry programs. In addition, staff offices have been moved around a number of times. Initially these were in the Smith Street building when it was first acquired by the congregation, but were taken out and moved to an office building one block away on Broadway Ave and remained there for a couple of years until once again being relocated to a basement office on Smith Street next door to the main auditorium building.

Over the years, The Meeting Place has seen both increases and declines in attendance. At its peak in the late 90s and into 2000, over 2200 attendees were coming on a weekly basis.[4] Currently, 800 or more people attend on a weekly basis, with as many as 1500 people indicating they would call The Meeting Place their home faith community.

The Meeting Place has seen its share of Christian recording artists on staff, most notably Juno Award nominee and Covenant Award winner Jon Buller, and Covenant Award winner Drew Brown. The Meeting Place is also where Christian recording artist and Juno Award winner Amanda Falk was discovered.[5]

In September 2008, John Neufeld became the lead pastor. He had previously been the head of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches' Leadership Development department [6]

Ministry Activity[edit]

In addition to Sunday program for both all ages, The Meeting Place offers various other spiritual growth opportunities. Alpha, which is a multi-week program for people who are exploring Christian faith, is offered twice yearly. There are also water baptism and membership preparation classes, mid-week groups for those dealing with divorce/separation or bereavement, and parent training and equipping events. There are also Life Groups, which are small groups of people who meet weekly or semi-monthly for Bible study, prayer, and an opportunity to get to know and care for each other. These met at the church or in various homes across the city and on all nights of the week. In addition, Youth programs are offered on Friday evenings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steiner, Sam. (August 1997). "The Meeting Place (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada).". Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 
  2. ^ Steiner, Sam. (August 1997). "The Meeting Place (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada).". Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 
  3. ^ "The Meeting Place - Administrative History.". Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. 
  4. ^ Doug Barkman. (March 1998). ""A place to meet Jesus ABBOTSFORD, B.C."". M.B. Herald Vol. 37 No.5. 
  5. ^ Kelly Rempel (January 2005). "Premiere release highlights talents of local musicians". Christian Current. 
  6. ^ ""Canadian Conference seeks Leadership Development director"". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°53′21″N 97°08′21″W / 49.8893°N 97.1392°W / 49.8893; -97.1392