Lakeside Church

Discovering Lakeside
Session 3

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For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace… Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. – 1 Corinthians 14: 33, 40


1989 – Lakeside Church begins through the sacrificial efforts of 40 families who desire a church community that is distinctly different. They want to be a church community where the key focus is sharing the life-giving message of Jesus with those who are not part of any church community. They want the presentation of the life-giving message to be creative, relevant and practical for everyone who attends. They raise the funds and build the first facility on 95 acres of land just north of the city. The first service is held in that brand new facility on Sunday, Oct. 24.

1996 – The church continues to grow, many people’s lives are impacted, and multiple services are added, but people and facility resources are taxed to the max. Growth is being constrained because of the facility, so once again people sacrifice, money is raised, and a large facility expansion is added, doubling the size of the main auditorium and adding significant space for a growing children’s ministry. As happened previously, people’s lives are impacted and additional services are added to accommodate this growth.

1998 – David Booker, the founder and senior pastor steps down from his role and a team is established to search for a new Lead Pastor.

1999 – David Ralph begins his ministry at Lakeside and God brings about growth again. Lives are impacted, new ministries are established and multiple services are again introduced. First there are two services and then three. Each time a service is added the auditorium continues to fill up, which eventually puts a strain on children’s ministry space.

2001 – A small addition is made to the children’s ministry area which includes a small auditorium and additional classroom space. The square footage of the entire facility is approximately 25,000.

2007 – Facility space begins, once again, to restrain growth in weekend services, children’s ministry and the various ministries throughout the week. People once again sacrifice, the funds are raised, a mortgage is arranged and an additional 35,000 square feet is added. This includes a 1,000-seat auditorium and the necessary space for a “multi-venue” approach to ministry which includes a cafe, a warehouse-type meeting room and a chapel.

2011 – The leadership team at Lakeside approaches the congregation of Norfolk Street United Church about the possibility of purchasing their building. With declining numbers in membership, Norfolk is open to the idea, although the building is not on the market.

2012 – On June 29, the Norfolk Street United Church building is purchased for $1 million and Lakeside’s community care ministry moves its operations downtown to serve the tangible needs of those living in poverty. After months of planning, negotiations, and fundraising; with 1700+ volunteer hours; more than 250 gallons of paint; 230 school backpacks donated and distributed; and 2 tonnes of food collected to stock the shelves in the Food Market, Lakeside HOPE House officially opens its doors on Sept. 8.

2013 – With the early departure of the Norfolk Street United Church congregation, a church planting team is formed under the direction of Pastor Graham Singh, and a second campus, Lakeside Downtown, begins to take shape.

2014 – On Jan. 5, the first service is held at Lakeside Downtown.

2015 – In September, the Lakeside Child Care Centre opened its doors at the Guelph Lake site. It is a fully licensed Christian daycare for children 18-48 months.

2017 – In June Lakeside’s lead pastor Dave Ralph transitions out of Lakeside and Jeff Groenewald is appointed as Interim Senior Leader.

2018 – On March 25, Lakeside partners overwhelmingly affirm Marc Gagnon as the new teaching pastor, and on April 9, Marc begins his ministry at Lakeside.

2019 – Lakeside partners affirm Jeff Groenewald as Lakeside’s Executive Pastor. Daniel Bell becomes the new Site Pastor of Lakeside Downtown.

2020 – The building at 75 Norfolk Street is sold to HOPE House with an agreement that Lakeside Downtown will continue meeting in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings.

• We have many of the people who attend finding genuine community in a small group.
• We have strong recovery ministries that help men and women with hurts, habits and hang-ups, through the pain of divorce and those grieving a significant loss in their lives.
• We have hundreds of children who are well cared for and ministered to in age appropriate ways while their parents attend our weekend gathering.
• We have a student ministry helping both Junior High and High School students maneuver the maze of student life.

As we continue to grow it is our hope that we continue to help people be impacted and find life change through the message of Jesus.


The structure of the church should not be determined by culture, business practices, or even denominational traditions. The nature of the church determines structure.

1. The church is a community.

They continued steadily learning the teaching of the apostles, and joined in the fellowship …
– Acts 2:42 (JBP)

A top priority in a fellowship is harmony and unity.

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. – Ephesians 4:3

So let us concentrate on the things that make for harmony and the growth of our fellowship together.
– Romans 14:19 (JBP)

ANY attitude that causes disunity is SIN.

Psalm 133:1; Proverbs 6:16, 19; 17:14; John 13:24-35; Romans 12:16-18; 15:5-6; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 14:33; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Philippians1:27; 2:1-3; 4:2; Colossians 2:2; 3:13-15;
2 Timothy 2:14, 23; 1 Peter 3:8

Implication: A good structure promotes unity and downplays differences.

[Often] your meetings do more harm than good.…I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you. – 1 Corinthians 11:17-18

Voting tends to create division and disunity.

At Lakeside we only vote on:
• Appointment of Elders
• Calling the Senior Pastor
• Changes in the Church Constitution

2. The church is a family.

You should be like one big happy family, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds. – 1 Peter 3:8 (LB)

Galatians 6:10; Hebrews 2:10-12; 1 Peter 4:17

So: We operate on the basis of relationships not rules.

Don’t reprimand a senior member of the church, appeal to him as a father. Treat the young men as brothers, and the older women as mothers. Treat the younger women as sisters. – 1Timothy 5:1-2 (JBP)

[An elder] must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.
(If anyone does not know how to manage his family, how can he take care of God’s church?)
– 1 Timothy 3:4-5

3. The church is a body.

1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23; Colossians 1:18; 2:19

We are a Body — not a Business!
We are an Organism — not an Organization!

Therefore: We function on the basis of gifts not elected offices.

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts according to the grace given us. – Romans 12:4-6

At Lakeside we have a simple structure so we can maximize ministry.

[God] gave some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. – Ephesians 4:11-12

• The people are the ministers
• The leaders are the equippers

4. The church is a flock.

John 10:1-30; Matthew 25:33; 26:31

Therefore: It is cared for and led by shepherds.

Jesus asked Simon Peter…“Do you really love me?” “Yes Lord,” Peter said. … “Then take care of my sheep.” – John 21:16-17 (LB)

To the elders I [say]…Be shepherds of God’s flock, serving as overseers. – 1 Peter 5:1-2

Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. When they arrived he said to them…“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God.” – Acts 20:17-18, 28

See also Titus 1:5-7; 1 Timothy 5:17

Lakeside is a leader led church with input and feedback from the congregation.

Lakeside Church Bylaws (2020)

Women in Leadership


The difference between attendees and partners can be summed up in one word: commitment.
At Lakeside we recognize the need for a formal partnership.

1. The church is important to God.

Christ…loved the church, and gave Himself up to death for her. – Ephesians 5:25 (Wey)

2. We need to know who is a committed partner at Lakeside.

Every team must have a roster. Every school must have an enrollment. Every business has a payroll. Every army has an enlistment. Even our country takes a census and requires voter registration. Partnership identifies our family. Only partners can vote on the affairs of the church, and certain ministry positions require partnership—elders; small group leaders; committee chairs; trustees; etc.

3. We all need a spiritual home.

The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth. You cannot be accountable when you’re not committed to any specific church family.


At Lakeside we never ask our partners to do more than the Bible clearly teaches. We only expect our partners to do what the Bible expects every Christian to do. These responsibilities are spelled out in the Partnership Covenant.


Having received Christ as my Lord and Saviour and being in agreement with Lakeside’s statements, strategy, and structure, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with the Lakeside church family. In doing so, I commit myself to God and to the other partners to do the following:

1. I will protect the unity of my church.

• By acting in love towards others.
• By refusing to gossip.
• By following the leaders.

So let us concentrate on the things which make for harmony, and on the growth of our fellowship together. – Romans 15:19 (JBP)

Live in complete harmony with each other — each with the attitude of Christ toward each other.
– Romans 15:15 (LB)

Have a sincere love for your fellow believers, love one another earnestly with all your hearts.
– 1 Peter 1:22 (GN)

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs. – Ephesians 4:29

Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. – Hebrews 13:17

2. I will share the responsibility of my church.

• By praying for its growth.
• By inviting those far from God to attend.
• By warmly welcoming those who visit.

To the church…we always thank God for you and pray for you constantly. – 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2 (LB)

Go out into the country…and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.
– Luke 14:23 (LB)

So, warmly welcome each other into the church, just as Christ has warmly welcomed you; then God will be glorified. – Romans 15:7 (LB)

3. I will serve in ministry of my church.

• By discovering my gifts and talents.
• By being equipped and empowered to serve by my pastors.
• By developing a servant’s heart.

Serve one another with the particular gifts God has given each of you. – 1 Peter 4:10 (JBP)

[God] gave…some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. – Ephesians 4:11-12

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…[who took on] the very nature of a servant.
– Philippians 2:4-5, 7

4. I will support the testimony of my church.

• By attending faithfully.
• By living a godly life.
• By giving regularly.

Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other.
– Hebrews 10:25 (LB)

But whatever happens, make sure that your everyday life is worthy of the gospel of Christ.
– Philippians 1:27 (JBP)

Each one of you, on the first day of each week, should set aside a specific sum of money in proportion to what you have earned and use it for the offering. – 1 Corinthians 16:2 (GN)

A tenth of all you produce belongs to the Lord’s, and it is holy. – Leviticus 27:30 (GN)


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