- The Meeting Place Church (Winnipeg)
. Mission statement aside, "The Meeting Place" is notable for its edgier Sunday morning experience and the relaxed dress code that sees everything from blue jeans to leather jackets and is also known for its use of sports cars and motorcycles on stage during the Sunday services, and for the freedom of attendees to bring coffee to the service—something unheard of and highly unusual for most churches.
History of the Church
"The Meeting Place" (commonly referred to as the acronym "TMP") was founded in 1991 by a small breakaway group of former attendees of another church [cite news |url=http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M448.html |title="The Meeting Place (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)." |author=Steiner, Sam.|date=Augst 1997 |publisher="Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online"] . The hope was that a new church home would be created with a focus and vision for making the church experience more comfortable for first time visitors along with steps and pathways to helping them grow in relationship with God.
"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. [cite news |url=http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M448.html |title="The Meeting Place (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)." |author=Steiner, Sam.|date=Augst 1997 |publisher="Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online"] Church services were held in a temporarily renovated area in the Smith Street basement while major renovations took place in the soon to be main auditorium. [cite news |url=http://www.mbconf.ca/mbstudies/holdings/mb/mtgplace1.en.html |title="The Meeting Place - Administrative History." |publisher="Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches"] Once the main auditorium began being used for the main weekend services, the basement was renovated to accommodate the Children's Ministry program. Subsequent renovations elsewhere in the building have allowed for a smaller theater to be built accommodating the Youth Ministry programs.
Due to growing weekend attendance and expanding midweek programs that saw TMP's numbers grown from just a few families to over 2200 attendees [cite news |url=http://old.mbconf.ca/mb/mbh3705/meeting.htm |title="A place to meet Jesus ABBOTSFORD, B.C." |author=Doug Barkman.|date=1998-03 |publisher=M.B. Herald Vol. 37 No.5] , staff offices were taken out of the Smith Street location 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.
"The Meeting Place" has seen its share of Christian recording artists on staff, most notably
Juno Awardnominee, and Covenant Award winner Jon Bullerand Covenant Award winner [http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=9549546 Drew Brown] . T"he Meeting Place" is also where future christian recording artist and Juno Awardwinner Amanda Falkwas discovered. [cite news |url=http://www.christiancurrent.com/prairies/2005/january/premiere.htm |title=Premiere release highlights talents of local musicians |author=Kelly Rempel|date=2005-01 |publisher=Christian Current]
Although the two are not officially affiliated, the former "Meeting Place" now known as [http://www.centralheightschurch.com/ Central Heights Church] [cite news |url=http://www.mbconf.ca/churches/detail_37_.en.html |title="The Meeting Place - Abbotsford" |publisher="Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches"] located in
Abbotsford, British Columbiawas fashioned after "The Meeting Place Winnipeg" [cite news |url=http://old.mbconf.ca/mb/mbh3705/meeting.htm |title="A place to meet Jesus ABBOTSFORD, B.C." |author=Doug Barkman.|date=1998-03 |publisher=M.B. Herald Vol. 37 No.5] , At the time of its initial beginnings, TMP Abbotsford invited some of TMP Winnipeg's senior staffers to visit and assist with some aspects of its startup as a church. [cite news |url=http://old.mbconf.ca/mb/mbh3705/meeting.htm |title="A place to meet Jesus ABBOTSFORD, B.C." |author=Doug Barkman.|date=1998-03 |publisher=M.B. Herald Vol. 37 No.5] Central Heights Church is also the location where the during an August 26, 2008concert featuring the music group Starfield, the floor collapsed sending many concertgoers into the basement resulting in many injuries. [cite news |url=http://www.canadianchristianity.com/nationalupdates/080501church.html |title="Church floor collapses during Starfield concert" |author=Peter Biggs.|date=1998-03 |publisher=Canadian INfo Society]
In September 2008, John Neufeld became the lead pastor. He had previously been the head of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Church's Leadership Development department [cite news |url=http://www.mbconf.ca/home/news_and_events/index.cfm?recid=99 |title="Canadian Conference seeks Leadership Development director"]
"To be a biblically-functioning community; leading people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ." [cite news |url=http://themeetingplace.mb.ca/contact.html |title="The Meeting Place ... Our Mission." |publisher="The Meeting Place Winnipeg Website."]
The Meeting Place has two areas of ministry focus namely the Weekend Experience and Life Groups
Weekend Experience "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"~Doug Barkman" [cite news |url=http://old.mbconf.ca/mb/mbh3705/meeting.htm |title="A place to meet Jesus ABBOTSFORD, B.C." |author=Doug Barkman.|date=1998-03 |publisher=M.B. Herald Vol. 37 No.5]
This focus on theme, dynamic and presentation is experienced at every level, from children to adult.
Life groups are a group of people who are committed to each other and intentionally meet for the purpose of growing personally and in their faith journey.
* [http://themeetingplace.mb.ca The Meeting Place official website]
* [http://tmpteachingcast.podbean.com/ The Meeting Place Teaching Podcast] - Listen to Sunday morning teachings online.
* [http://s252.photobucket.com/albums/hh27/TheMeetingPlace/ Photo album of The Meeting Place Church's early days]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LNkUMMCcNg Youtube] The Meeting Place Offices during renovation
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