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Why Build?

As a community, we want to do all we can to find our place in God’s dream for our city. We believe that dream is for all Calgarians to have the opportunity to be surprised by the Jesus life.

The focus of Westside has always been those who sit outside the reach of a typical church experience, and who want to ask the big question in ways that reach past clichés and superficial answers. This has included skeptics, intellectuals, the over-churched, the never-churched and people who may not see their lives as ‘neat and tidy’.

Westside is about presenting the Jesus life, building community, touching poverty and changing lives. We seek to do this on three levels. Serve Westside speaks to our activities within our own community. Serve Local speaks to our efforts to make an impact within Calgary. Serve Global speaks to our projects further afield.

 So why a new building?

Our facility has served us surprisingly well over the past 20 years. In some ways, it has even been ideal because it is unassuming, unconventional and approachable.

However, our building has a limited capacity to help us achieve our vision in at least three ways. First, on a very practical level, we are running out of room. Second, it is an aging facility faced with escalating costs as it approaches the end of its useful lifespan. Third, and most importantly, our facility was never designed with our vision in mind. We have that opportunity now.

 Growth and capacity

Since early 2013, we have taken two significant steps to help accommodate our growth. We introduced a third Sunday morning celebration time and helped plant two churches. These steps have helped somewhat with the issue of capacity, but only temporarily.

 Cost and functionality

Our current facility has significant issues that are becoming increasingly expensive to deal with. Certain repairs and modifications occur each year to buy us more time. Despite the size of these investments, our current facility does not – and can not – meet our programming needs and provide us the opportunity for expansion and growth.

 Growth and discipleship

The final challenge is more difficult to address. While our vision is based on the formation of community, our building resists this in several important ways:

  • Incoming families and individuals are interested in our large gathering in the West Hall, but we have limited space for their children and high school students, and the space we do have is not ideal.
  • They may be interested in Westside as a spiritual home, but when it is time to get married or say farewell to a loved one, our facility forces them to go elsewhere for these important faith moments. As well, our facility offers no opportunity for quiet prayer, contemplation and reflection.
  • Our message is about community, but our facility will deny them meaningful opportunities to respond and participate. There is no space to stop and talk on a Sunday before the next wave of attendees arrive, and we have next to no mid-sized gathering spaces for other kinds of programming or training through the week. In all these ways, we are attracting more people than we can integrate in community. Our message from the front is, “Be part of community!”, however, the constraints of our facility mean we can only offer a limited experience.

Until we address these internal bottlenecks and compromises, we will not be able to realize our full place in God’s dream for our city, and our world. Now is an ideal time to reflect on our twenty year track record of growth and begin to put in place the investments that will make it possible for us to do more.

Together we have the chance to make decisions that will transform the future of our church and our ability to be the gospel in our world for decades to come. Why not begin to pray about the part you could play?