Camps, Block Parties, and Patience: Chris Flora Uses All to Plant a Church in Calgary

Chris Flora and boy at camp

What does it take to plant a church in Calgary, Alberta? Pastor Chris Flora knows much is involved but patience is near the top of the list. “It seems to take forever to build trust,” he says, recalling 1 woman who finally accepted an invitation to attend church after 18 months of cultivating her friendship.

Multiply Church, named with the goal of being a church that plants other churches, currently has about 140 people. The members, who represent multiple nations including Lebanon, Liberia, Colombia, and the Philippines, gather in a movie theater each Sunday for worship.

But Sunday worship is only a small part of Multiply. In the summer, churches from the United States partner with Multiply to hold camps for children. More than 500 children attended last summer. Chris hopes they remember what they learned and come to church. This was true for Sonia, a 12-year-old from a Hindu family who came to a camp. Her mother was so interested in what she had been learning that she continued to bring Sonia to church.

Block parties are another way Chris and his church reach out, and they have found Canadians respond well to this type of community gathering. About 2,000 people have attended the parties, enabling friendships to develop.

Chris’s wife, Mindy, teaches exercise classes as an outreach opportunity. In addition to being very involved in the church, she homeschools their 4 children who range in age from 5 to 11.

Finances can be a struggle in Calgary. When a 2,000-square-foot house costs $500,000, it is a challenge to grow a church large enough to financially support a church staff.

“Grace enables us through normal things to share and do church planting,” Chris says. “When God moved us to Calgary, He took away security and identity. All we had left was Jesus, and He was enough.”


Kay Rollings is a freelance writer from South Carolina.

 

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