Getting into ministry was never the goal for Connor Gerbrandt, who has been leading the youth group for the last few years at Anchor Point Church at 1400 Pembina Highway. 

"I remember my wife and I had had a conversation where she had recognized some of the gifts of ministry in me, which I hadn't yet. She said, 'Just so you know Connor, you're not allowed to ever become a pastor.'"

That was no problem for him, as he had no desire to become a pastor at that time. 

"As He so often does, the Lord had other plans," Gerbrandt shared. 

After volunteering as a youth leader when the youth pastor went on maternity leave, he stepped into the role for what he thought would be a short time. 

Although he never went searching for it, there was a sense of peace in taking on new responsibilities. "All of a sudden I just felt this gravitational pull towards ministry," which he thought was strange.

"The youth ministry that I inherited was obviously in rough shape because of the pandemic. We had probably eight consistent kids coming at that point."

It has been an uphill battle at times, but Gerbrandt says that seeing the fruit come out of the teenagers in the community and nearby Vincent Massey has been extra special.

"They (students at Vincent Massey) all walk through our back alley every single lunch hour and I remember looking out the back window, seeing hundreds of high school students walk by. I say, 'Lord, how do we harness this energy? Probably almost none of these people know You. How do I present You in a way that's appealing and truthful?'"   

As he was praying to find a way to reach the high schoolers, a friend from Church of the Rock reached out to him asking if he wanted to help run a club at Massey called Solid Rock. Seeing it as an opportunity to reach the teenagers, they got right to it. 

For the first meeting, only three kids showed up, causing them to pray for four kids the following week, and five the week after.  

"We felt the strategy from the Lord was to invest in the kids, pray into them, pray for them, show them what their spiritual giftings are. They're awesome! These are my all-star youth kids. They're the kids leading the worship and the one's going on missions. It's crazy to see where they've come spiritually in the last couple of years."

All stemming from a small group of five out of an English classroom out of a desire to invest in the community.

Anchor Point

That continues with the map on the wall inside the sanctuary. With streets around the church painted green, showing that a member of the congregation is praying for it every single day. 

"The moment that our church community embraced our local community and began to pray for it, this is when stuff is happening. Immediately, this prayer fueled a move of God. It was a couple of weeks later that we had a massive spike in Jesus Club attendants," Gerbrandt shared as now they have 20-30 kids come regularly. 

"If our church congregation and our church building disappeared overnight, would anyone in the community notice? If the answer is no, then I don't think that we're doing church the way that Jesus would desire." 

Gerbrandt shares that showing God's love to the community is really what it's all about. 

"When Christ walked this earth, His mandate was to look after the most vulnerable, the orphans, the widows, and love your neighbour as yourself. If we're not doing that, we're not living in the way of Christ. We're getting in the way of Christ."