For the lead pastors of Rose Church, a years-long dream is about to come true as they launch their new church plant this weekend. However, when they began to plan a new church they had no idea they'd be planting during a pandemic.
Mark Roslund, along with his wife Roberta, have dreamed about planting a church together since they met in Bible college. Mark is the former youth and young adults pastor at Riverwood Church in Winnipeg. He and Roberta announced last fall that they were starting a new church. They also welcomed their first child, Rome, earlier in September.
"This has been the craziest journey," Roslund says. "We had no idea that we would be planting in a pandemic and that Roberta would get pregnant and that we would have a baby. You know, God has been so good through it all. He's been so near and He's been so clear with His leading."
When COVID-19 first arrived in Manitoba and restrictions on gathering sizes began to roll out, Roslund says they weren't sure what to do at first. They considered pushing their launch day back but felt called to continue moving forward with the original date, and launch online.
You can watch the live-stream of the service at 10 a.m. on rosechurch.ca
Listen to the full interview:
Called to minister in Winnipeg
The Roslunds moved to Winnipeg from Edmonton a few years ago, and they say from the moment the plane landed and they drove through the city for the first time they fell in love with Winnipeg.
When asked by friends from back home when they'll move back to Edmonton, Roslund says "We're not. We're going to die here. Like, we are called here, we have been created to do ministry in this city."
There's something about Winnipeg that Roslund says he just appreciates, from the architecture to the friendliness of the people and the 'get it done' attitude that people have. "I just love that. That's a bit of my personality. We're just so, so in love with the City of Winnipeg."
Why another church?
When hearing about a new church plant, Roslund says the question many people ask is "Why another church?" It's a question Roslund says he loves to hear and loves to answer.
Winnipeg, he says, has anywhere between 300 and 500 churches. "That's a pretty wide gap, but that's what they say. If you do the math, if every single church in Winnipeg had 1,000 people, we still wouldn't be reaching half of our city."
To Roslund, that means we still need plenty more churches. "The reality is, that we actually need another, we need to double, at least double, the amount of churches that we have in our city. And so, we need more churches. We need Rose Church, we need this church and that church, we just need more communities."
According to research, the best way to also reach unchurched people, and people who do not have a relationship with Jesus, is through church plants.
"It's something about the energy of the team, the urgency of the team, the eagerness of the team, and just the hustle and bustle of the team. People take notice."
Creating their own worship music
The church has also put out their own worship music before the launch of the church.
Rose Worship released 'Change My Heart' in the summer.
Karli Quigley (Bold as Lions) wrote most of the song's lyrics and brought it to the group.
"The team began to really pray about and seek God's will and His heart for the song," Roslund says. "It is an absolutely amazing song written by some absolutely amazing people."
The church's decision to intentionally create worship music was important for Roslund as a Canadian. He says the church discovered that there was a lot of worship music coming from outside of Canada, but they wanted to change that.
"We just felt the conviction that Canada needs to rise up, that God has given us a unique perspective... and that it was time for Canada to stop shying away and to begin declaring, with boldness, our sound."