Updated September 19, 2018
This article may not represent the opinion of VancityAsks.com but represents the opinion of the editor/writer:
There’s no such thing as a best church in Vancouver. When it comes to faith, it’s about family and it’s not a competition for the best or biggest church. While there is no such thing as the best church in Vancouver, there are many good churches in Vancouver and many choices available.
At VancityAsks.com we hope to help locals and tourists find the best of Vancouver. Since there isn’t such a thing as the best church in Vancouver, we’re going to share some things to consider for when looking for a local church along with five good churches for your consideration.
Perhaps, you’re new to the city and looking for a Vancouver church. Maybe you’re simply looking for a community to grow, we hope the following list can help you along. Enjoy reading.
If you’re non-religious, feel free to skip on to another article. If you’re looking however for a supportive community founded in Love, I hope you consider reading the list and stepping into one of these cathedrals (building, community centers, or theatre nowadays). It may be the missing piece you’re looking for to fill that emptiness or desire?
Note: The church is His body and I believe He cares about it. Shouldn’t you? It’s the longest living organization on earth that has planted schools, advocated for education, advanced science, and built/staffed hospitals. (Look at St. Paul’s if you need a local example) It cannot be under emphasized that if you’re a Christian, you should get connected and serving in a local church. I cannot think of a government or society group that has made as much an impact globally than the Church. I believe the local church is one of many ways that God uses to help humanity and add to society tangibly, an expression of His care and His love.
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” – Matthew 28:18
If you want to experience the full power of God then be connected to a local church; it’s the dispensation that it comes through imho. Much like how the feeding of 5000, the people set in groups (organization), and the disciples (church) distributed the food. The miracle was from the Lord, but the disciples were used and order was present. Order as you will find is very important for progress. Order such as the usage of gifts through the church.
How to find a good church in Vancouver?
As I mentioned, there is no such thing as the best church in Vancouver. There are many good options for community and fellowship. Here are some things I look for when trying to find a church in Vancouver. It’s by no means a definitive list but what I believe are important points.
Christ Centered church: Look for a church that emphasizes on the finish work of Jesus Christ and the second person of the God-head. You don’t have Christianity without Christ. It’s about God’s love towards humanity that He sent His Son; it should not be only about our frailties or God’s judgement.
Biblically based: A church should be grounded in the Bible. While I believe there’s an importance to relevance in society, it should be in context of the Word. Church goers did not go to church to hear what reader digest said about modern culture – they already do that in the washroom.
Triune God-head: It’s been said that how people live their lives are based upon (1) their view of God (2) their view of themselves. It’s been emphasized throughout the Bible the concept of the triune God-head. I believe it’s an important point that a Vancouver church acknowledges the triune God as it affects your view of God and hence how you live your life; it’s also a reflection of being Biblically based. (“Elohim” is a plural word with references in the Bible using “Let us” still further saying “the Lord is one!”)
New Covenant: In my humble opinion, it’s important that the church emphasizes on the New Covenant or grace. All books of the Bible are important for the full counsel is necessary and every word of God is profitable for teaching, rebuking, and training in righteousness. Let’s show the world love and grace because we have first been recipients of this love and grace from Him.
Community: Finally, community cannot be understated. We all have a longing to belong; maybe this branches to our desire to achieve, and to succeed. If Christianity is about a relationship with God then you would know your horizontal relationships matter as well.
Unfortunately by virtue that we’re humans and we make mistakes (sometimes wilfully), some people have been hurt by the church community itself. This should not mean that you put yourself at a distance from community always but maybe find another community.
Now that I’ve underlined what has been considered when creating the list of churches in Vancouver, here are some good churches for you to consider visiting.
Five Good Vancouver Churches:
Broadway Pentecostal Church Vancouver: Broadway Church in Vancouver is a modern church under the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada and shepherded by lead pastor Darin Latham (who was a former police officer in Toronto area and enjoys apologetics). Broadway Pentecostal plans their sermon series at the start of the year on different topics varying from money management to hung-ups; these effectively finding biblical answers to are life topics.
Broadway Pentecostal Church in Vancouver features a diversified international community comprising of many mature families (children in high school or universities) with elders and younger families. They don’t have a very active community group program at Broadway Pentecostal Church but feature other programs. Broadway Pentecostal church also runs various programs such as a day care and City Reach society (a separate non-profit association affiliated with Broadway Church) as well as contributing to the YVR airport Champlain program.
Since Broadway Pentecostal Church Vancouver is such an inter-generational church, they have elected to run three services with different styles of worship. The 9 AM service features the traditional worship service, the 11:15 AM service features a contemporary worship service and the 6 PM service features an emerging worship service (with loud music, and free food targeting young adults)
Address: 2700 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5M 1Y8
Willington Church Vancouver: Willington Church Vancouver is another Mennonite Brethren church just outside Vancouver in Burnaby by Metro-town area. It’s headed by pastor Mark Loewen and one of the largest church in the Vancouver area.
The community is once again very multicultural. The church also takes on various ministries for the betterment of their members and the city at large. The Willington Mennonite Brethern church has a strong emphasis on the gospel and prayer with open invitation for prayer on their website. Here’s their statement of faith:
I have not personally visited this church so don’t have much further information about it but I have had many friends who attend this church and enjoy the diversified community of people.
Address: 4812 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby, BC
Coastal Church Vancouver: Coastal Church is a non-denominational church in downtown Vancouver right in front of the Trump tower. The church’s lead pastor is Dave and Cheryl Coop. Coastal Church in Vancouver likes to ensure their sermons are relevant to modern living and the hub city of Vancouver (where people regularly transit in and out). Their self-professed mission at the church is to make the city of Vancouver a better place.
Coastal Church has a strong emphasis on community with life groups running throughout the year in cycles on different topic or sermon. Congregation is comprises a lot of students and working adults and couples in downtown Vancouver. The church also encourages entrepreneurship and positive thinking. They have a strong online presence and social media team which is unusual for a church.
Services run weekly on Saturdays at and Sundays at 9 AM, 11 AM and 12:30 PM for about 1.5 hours, an introduction followed by a brief 45 minutes sermon between worship. Coastal Church is built in a historical building on 1160 West Georgia Street where you can see drawings of the old architecture of the building pinned in the hallways. They provide free coffee, apples, and snacks after service and also have a kiosk that serves ice cream, fresh squeeze orange juice at a nominal cost.
Address: 1160 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 3H7
TBD: This is kept in the faith that another church will come to Vancouver that will contribute to the local community J
More Churches in Vancouver:
Here are many other churches in Vancouver.
West Coast Christian Fellowship: WCCF was suggested on our Facebook post. They are a non-denominational church affiliated with Salt & Light Ministries (http://www.saltlight.org/international/). Their statement of faith can be found here. Services start at 11:30 AM on Sundays.
“We believe God has called us to be a Christ-centered, Word-based, Spirit-led Family.” – WCCF website
Address – 3198 E Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V5K 2L1
Website – http://wccf.ca/
Salvation Army Cariboo Hill Temple: Located in Burnaby, Salvation Army Cariboo Hill Temple was suggested as well on our Facebook post. I was not able to find mentions of their denomination but I would assume affiliation to the Salvation Army? Their statement of faith can be found here. Services run on Sundays at 10:30 AM and 6 PM.
They value, “People, Word of God, Growth, Spiritual Gifts, Relationships, Service, Prayer” – http://www.cariboohill.ca/our-values
Address – 7195 Cariboo Rd, Burnaby, BC V3N 4A6
Website – http://www.cariboohill.ca/
Bethel International Church: Bethel International Church was suggested from someone on our Facebook page. Services appear to be at 10 AM on Sundays. Not affiliated to Bethel music.
“We desire to make a lasting difference in people’s lives in the city of Vancouver and beyond. Our vision is to be a community of transformation: where people disconnected from God experience fullness of life through knowing Jesus.” – Bethel International Church website
Address – 739 33 AVE E, Vancouver, BC
Website – http://bethelinvancouver.com/
Redemption Church: Formally Point Grey Community Church which was joint with another church to form Redemption Church. They are a Pentecostal church with affiliations to the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Services run on Sunday at 9 AM and 11:15 AM.
“To follow our Redeemer and King Jesus in bringing his love and salvation to every person we can. To be a church that loves others in a generous, gracious, and joyful. To make disciples who are obedient to Jesus in thought, word, and deed. To bring the transforming and renewing power of God into the city and the world.” – http://www.redemptionchurch.ca/about/
Address – 3512 7 AVE W, Vancouver, BC
Website – http://www.redemptionchurch.ca/
Relate Church: Relate Church was suggested by several on our Facebook page as well. Otherwise known as Victory Christian Centre, this congregation was renamed to Relate Church in 2009. It appears that Relate Church is affiliated to Hillsong Churches (Pentecostal) and have adopted a similar vision with the “Church that I see”. Services are on Saturdays at 5:10 Pm and Sundays at 9:40 AM along with 11:40 AM.
“We exist to build the church by developing flourishing relationships with God and people.” – Relate Church Website
Address – 6788 152 St, Surrey, BC V3S 3L4
Website – http://www.relatechurch.ca/
Trinity Central Church: This church was also recommended by someone on our Facebook page. It’s a new church in Vancouver seeking to impact this city with the message of the gospel. They are part of Newfrontiers family of churches. Trinity Central Church meets in the Vancity Theater on Sundays at 10:30 AM.
“We’re a community that’s all about loving God and loving people. Our vision is to reach and influence Vancouver by building a Christ centred church that changes mindsets and empowers people to lead and transform society in every sphere of life.” – Trinity Central Church website
Address – 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2E8
Website – http://www.trinitycentral.org/
Think for yourself – I’ve heard it spoken before, “do not leave your brains at home when you come to church”. Remember to think for yourself. Church is not a place where you ignore logic or thought processes; God created your brain as much as he created you.
Do not let anyone else think for you; esteem the teacher but do not regard anyone more highly than you ought. Christianity is not a brainless religion; that’s a cult. Christianity is about relationship between a Holy God and humanity saved by grace and love. Many of the greatest philosophers and individuals in academia are Christians.
Adding or Taking – Be careful when people make deviations from the Word. There are minor and major disputes as in life there are disagreements of opinion and interpretations although the crux of the gospel and the God-head should not be disputed neither should the instructions in the Bible be contradicted.
I believe God has made us all with an intuitive desire for worship and community. This leaves room for error when the desire is abused. In my opinion, this is why Cults and religions can catch on so successfully when people add or take from the Bible for their own profit. For example the “children of god” cult that abuses the name of Jesus for sexual exploitation but completely ignores the Bible talks about sexual purity and lust.
Be careful when leaders knowingly make a deviation from the Word for their own intents or profits. If someone takes the frame and fills it with their own opinion and junk, take caution. Learn but judge and do your own fact checking. Acts 17:11
Compromises – This last caution may be subjective. I believe a church should never compromise on their convictions and their faith. It should not be bended to societal influence or what is “acceptable” to man. This applies to what is good, just, and true. Accepting a lie doesn’t make it anymore true and any less hurtful. One should not accept compromise in their faith or conscience. However neither should we expect everyone to agree with our convictions or believes and neither should we force such believes upon others unwillingly. God gave man free will, shouldn’t we respect their free will as well? (1 Peter 3:15)
Living in society with different believes requires acceptance but not compromises. Yes, compromise is necessary in daily life for a cohesive society though compromises should never be about Truths or facts.
Every individual is unique and different. Take the metaphor of plants, one plant may grow better in red soil with higher iron while another plant may grow better in soft, fertile soil with a lot of peat. I hope you find a good church in Vancouver and you enjoyed this article.
Note while denomination should not be a divisive factor, we have noted it because denomination represent slight differentiation in interpretation of certain scriptures or preferred style of worship. I find you may be more familiar or comfortable with a church that matches your denomination (upbringing or preference) enabling for fellowship in your community.
The purpose of this list is to help new Christians in Vancouver find a church they can get connected to and begin living life, growing, and serving the community and city at large.
Here are some previous text which was removed or updated; I am placing a reference of this for transparency…
- The following recommendation was removed on September 19, 2018:
Westside Church: A Christ-centered Mennonite Brethren church right in the heart of Vancouver pastored by pastor Norm Funk. This church has a history of going through books of the Bible for sermon series with relevance to modern living. It’s a great church that you can be sure is giving sound doctrine.
The community is friendly comprising of yuppies, young families, young professionals, and students. Westside also has a church in North Vancouver headed by pastor James Bonney. They run life groups throughout the year allowing for more tightly knitted fellowship in small groups.
Services throughout the year meet at 9 AM and 11 AM on Sundays though only one service per week during the summer at 10 AM on Sundays as well. The congregation is fairly large – may be the largest downtown Vancouver church with several thousand members. The Vancouver campus also features a cool café serving tea and pastries before and after service. It’s definitely one of my favourite churches in Vancouver.
Address: 777 Homer St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2W1
March 27, 2018 – I have some concerns personally regarding Westside Church’s doctrine and cultural values, while listening to a few audio sermons and have temporarily removed it from our five good churches list while prayerfully considering the matter. Cultural and doctrinal concerns. For such reasons, I cannot in good conscience recommend the church for the benefit of the Church.
May 15, 2018 – I will be keeping Westside Church off our recommendations for churches in Vancouver in good conscience. Didn’t actually take a month to decided but was reluctant to change anything on this article because it was written after a time of prayer (inspired thereafter to write this initial article as above which was finished in an hour – typos and all Haha).
I will be keeping Westside Church on the other churches in Vancouver list. Westside Church has at various times taken a stance again nationalism; while I believe, ultimate allegiance is to Christ, I don’t think it is beneficial but rather divisive to take such a stance against nationalism. (Not intending to bring race into the matter but I think it’s easy as a majority Caucasian leadership with North American origins to overlook this matter but those who have grown up in Asian heritages are taught the importance of remembering those before and of heritage, respect, and honor. “Christianity is the religion by which I live my life, but I continue to draw insights from and be guided by Chinese philosophy. Harmony is the goal of Chinese philosophy. It stresses harmony with oneself, harmony with nature and harmony with humanity” – David Lam) The Bible says every nation and every tongue – there is still a distinguishing between nationality and language but a unity in the body of Christ. They also take an unusual stance against commerce that Christians cannot accumulate any wealth but I would much rather see my brother with the wealth properly stewarded than not. I have several other observations that resulted the decision but I am very very cautious about what I write negatively of any church (not to say my opinion matters per say). I am also inclined to think they believe in replacement theology but the Bible says the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable further saying “God has not forgotten His people”. I also observe concerns about some sermons which have suggested believers visit temples and shrines for the “cultural experience”. As someone growing up in Singapore, where religious and racial harmony is emphasized. where Buddhist temples are common, I am not at all against temples or other religions however I find it hard to imagine reading the Bible about how God chastens the children of Israel not to learn from the Baals and to shun idols that it would say “when you go into the land I am giving to you, seek it out, observe their idols, and learn from their temples for cultural experiences for you will worship me as they worshiped their gods” (the Bible doesn’t say it – it actually says the opposite).
Further with regards to nationalism, Paul intently spoke, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.” There are different fractions, nationality, and races of society – to each one is called to one… remain as you are called and be whom the Lord has called you to be. I do not think it beneficial to necessarily white-wash every individual to be bland and boring where nationalism is frowned upon in the church (in Singapore, many church pastors choose to honour government for a cohesive society). I for one, am thankful and glad to say I’m a Canadian emphasizing on Canadian cultural values. People are better reached when there are mutual ground, to be void of all nationalistic identity (or heritage) removes opportunity for connecting with others (or to seek the good of the country). It is not good for the Body and not good for the country of which the Bible says to seek the good of where you are. (both old and new testament) Nationalism is necessarily for nation building.
I suppose both concerns go hand in hand, when you remove something good it can easily be replaced with something perverse (unintentionally presumably). When you remove the cultural experience learning from heritage and history, you suggest replacing it with learning “cultural experience” from idolatry. I personally think error comes when we ignore the old testament as it was written. The Bible has both the new and old testaments and both are equally important to learn from. I believe there is grace and we live in the new covenant but I believe that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The same character and jealously (good jealously – one that is jealous for His people, that is good for His people) that we see in God is the same God today. Although we don’t sacrifice sheep and oxen because the Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world to take away our sins and to know that salvation is in no other name than the name of Jesus. Simply by believing in His finish work and calling Him Lord have we received the salvation, freedom, liberty, and forgiveness that is found in Christ… By grace we have been saved through faith and not of ourselves so that no man can boast. (There is a measure of sovereignty in this whereby anything we do, it is permitted by God or it would not happen.)
I also have observed a lack of brotherly love and community at Westside Church as a few might attest to. The warmth of family; there will always be cliques in any society group however it seems very important to have a wide variety for a broader audience to belong somewhere; why I would also recommend people see out nationality churches like Indonesian Church with Indonesians or Korean Church with Koreans if that is their preference; a direct connection and belonging but ultimately all under Christ as head.
I am convinced it is also very socialist to the point of weakness (socialism works in places like Acts – within family context of which the Church is also family) however to suggest in a sermon that once your business starts making money to give the money away – (1) you will not be able to grow the business larger and (2) you are weakening the body collectively if it is stewardship and (3) it is not equality that the Bible teaches. You do not know the risks and things which an individual goes through which God teaches and trains an individual to handle His purpose. Such blanket statements/instructions are not ideal in my opinion. It is like saying once you build up a church, divide the members and go to another country – you shouldn’t have churches with more than 100 people. (not the case – there is no specific indication in the Bible about what sizes churches should be. Two person is a church if Christ is in the midst, 1000 is a church. In today’s context with society, I think mega churches have a role if their are doctrinally sound, strength in numbers with ability to impact the world greater.)
So alas, this is the lengthy discourse I wanted to write about why I have removed Westside Church from our recommended churches, not with spite, but in due consideration and prayer. This is a personal article which I hope will help new believers and this is a personal writing not void of errors so please share your opinions civilly bellow if you disagree. I am no theologian nor Bible student, just one who reads the Bible and knows Christ as Lord and Savior. As Elihu said in the book of Job, it is God who gives understanding.