Building Update


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Messages from Pastor Mark

Here is a message from Pastor Mark after our Special Congregational Meeting, where we voted to approve the building of a new Worship Centre at our Downes Road Campus. 

It’s with a great sense of joy and anticipation of what God is doing among us that I get to update you on the results of our congregational meeting this past Tuesday night. A strong representation of our members attended our SGM (Special General Meeting) and voted overwhelmingly (92%) to move forward with the construction of a new 2000-seat Worship Centre at Downes Road.

As we have been processing this decision for the past several months, I have reminded you again and again that the decision to build a new building is anchored to the mission Jesus gave us to “make disciples” and our vision to equip people as “deeply rooted followers of Jesus.”

We have talked much about our ministry priorities of making more and better disciples, training more and better leaders, and planting more and better churches. God has given us a mandate that is humanly impossible to accomplish but has also promised to give us everything we need to fulfill His purposes in our lives!

Last weekend’s baptism services illustrated how great the need for larger facilities at Downes Road has become, as both the Worship Centre and West Court were overflowing, and Centre Court had to be opened for the overflow crowds.

In the coming weeks, you will hear more about the next steps in this building process; a project of this size will take 2-3 years to complete. A key factor in moving forward is having the cash on hand for construction. Our Council of Elders and Senior Leadership Team are prayerfully optimistic that we can complete this $30M project without taking on long-term debt. To that end, we already have $15M set aside toward construction costs, and the decision on Tuesday (April 4) was that we would not begin construction until we had an additional $5M pledged. Ideally, we would like to see the entire $15M in cash or pledges over the next three years.

Would you pray about what part the LORD might have you play in funding this project, and more importantly, would you continue to pray for the thousands in our city who have no connection to a gospel-preaching church? Would you pray that God would use each of us and Northview together to have a great impact for the kingdom of God here in Abbotsford and Mission?

The families who founded Northview Church in 1980 did so with a clear vision to reach people for Christ. My prayer is that this original passion for the gospel would continue to be our central focus as we plan for the generations of ministry still ahead of us.  As the Lord tarries in His return, we have much work and many opportunities in front of us!

As one church that meets in four locations, we are also cognizant of our need to continue to pray and dream about each site’s future health and vitality. As we work together as a network of congregations to reach this city, we do so with the joy of knowing that “our labor in the LORD is not in vain!” 

1 Corinthians 15:58

Pastor Mark

“…the men of Issachar…had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…”

1 Chronicles 12:32

As we enter into a time of prayer and decision-making about building a larger Worship Centre – some may wonder about the long-range viability and importance of the church. I don’t share their pessimism, and here is why:

Church attendance is indeed declining in Canada, yet Jesus’ promise to build His Church has been and remains our anchor point. This does not mean that every local congregation will grow or prevail over time, but in the larger picture of the world population, the Church of Jesus is advancing, and the gates of hell will not prevail! (Mathew 16:18)

Yet, many voices are asking: “Is the church still relevant in our Canadian culture?” 

When we look at the Canadian landscape, specifically the Fraser Valley, it is very clear that far more people are currently NOT attending any church than they ARE attending! To use business language – there is a large market for the message of the Gospel!

As the culture grows increasingly dark and even hostile toward Christianity, the need for vibrant local churches that will share the love of Jesus winsomely remains incredibly relevant. As people awaken to the brokenness of their lives and are not finding satisfaction in the answers given by culture at large, the Holy Spirit awakens them to their need for the Gospel. As this happens, the role of the local church (the people of God) becomes critical.

As we equip our congregation to be “salt and light” in their spheres of influence, and as we all live intentionally “on mission” in our daily lives, the opportunities to share the love of Jesus will multiply.

Additionally, while many churches are declining (especially Mainline & Catholic churches), evangelical churches (especially those who have maintained conservative/orthodox doctrinal positions) continue to grow.  Several studies have shown that people are looking for churches with clear teaching and distinct biblical alternatives to what the mainstream culture offers.

If someone asks, “Do we need” more churches in Canada?” – my answer is a quick and resounding “YES!”.

So does this mean that Northview MUST have a larger Worship Centre?  Not necessarily.  But if we do NOT build, we must still face the question of “How will we make more and better disciples” here in the Fraser Valley? Our leaders believe that now is the time to press forward in faith. We invite your prayerful engagement in this process.

At the end of the day, however, with or without a new building, we know we have a vast mission field on our doorstep. Let’s all pray about how God might use us in our 24/7 lives.

Looking forward to what God has in store for us!

1 Corinthians 15:58

Pastor Mark




Total approx. project cost


Total Raised so far


Estimated time to completion





It's hard to be hospitable when you don't have a seat for everyone.


Throughout the week, every single room and venue is being used for ministry. Many classes and groups struggle to find a place to meet because there are no rooms or venues available.


Our Downes Road Campus is the engine from which our multiplication efforts run.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Studies have shown that Sunday morning is the time where most growth happens. Other times/days can supplement Sunday, but will never be seen as “optimal” times for newcomers. Canadians (even unchurched) still think of “church” as happening on Sunday morning.
  • We are open to adding more service times and venues but are also aware of the price our staff and volunteers pay in multiple-service models. Some surveys have shown that more than 4 services are not sustainable over the long-haul in terms of staff capacity.
  • It will be renovated to provide much needed mid-week, and multi-purpose space.
  • The plan at this point would include a 500 seat chapel and a large multi-purpose room and classrooms (although these plans are not yet finalized).
  • Renovation won’t happen in the current Worship Centre until the new one is built. That gives us more time to assess what the need will be for that space going forward.
  • A church the size and generosity of Northview could practically handle a large mortgage. However, the Elders don’t want to burden future generations with debt, so our desire is to fundraise the full project amount and build with little or no mortgage.
  • If a smaller mortgage is required to complete the project, the plan would be consistent with Northview’s history – to pay off any debt as quickly as possible.
  • Yes we can, and as the LORD leads us, we are open to these possibilities, but new weekend services in rented facilities actually ADD more pressure to the mid-week space crunch at Downes.
  • In the past, as we have planted campuses, Downes Road has always filled up again.
  • There are not a lot of worship spaces for sale that aren’t wildly outside of what we feel is reasonably priced. Not a lot of churches are looking to gift their facilities to us and waiting for gifted buildings is not a growth strategy.
  • Rentals can work, and though we have great partnerships with our current landlords, they are not ideal long term solutions. When we rent from other churches, we both need the space at significant times, (Sunday mornings, Christmas Eve services, Easter services, etc). When we rent from schools we need the space midweek to operate, which makes midweek ministry much more challenging.
  • The primary issue with more services, is that it’s very taxing on staff and volunteers. Even though it allows us more seating, when we ran 3 services on Sunday, we found that the middle service was overflowing and the early/late service ran around 50%. Running multiple Saturday services only helps if people move to attend on Saturday. We can do either one of these options, and in fact, we might have to over the next few years, but that reasonably only buys us a few years, which is how long it’ll take to build anyway.
  • Renovation of the current Worship Centre will certainly relieve some of the midweek pressure we currently experience – hopefully for many years.
  • However, the dream is to continue to grow! And so as God blesses, we may face space issues in the future as well.
  • That has never been the intent of Northview. Movement of people happens all over Abbotsford churches.
  • In reality, unless you were born and raised at Northview, we all have come from other churches at some point.
  • People seeking the truth will go where it is being taught, whether that is Northview or another church, but we don’t feel it is right to turn people away who are seeking.
  • We want to teach the truth regardless of how it affects our attendance.
  • Reaching “already Christians” is not our main focus – but reaching the unchurched and de-churched majority of our valley.
  • This is not an either/or question. We will continue to look for opportunities to come alongside other churches in partnership to reach our city. Current examples:
    • Questioning Christianity will be hosted at Central Campus meeting in Mill Lake Church.
    • King Road intern who participated in the Northview Institute program.
  • The question assumes that other churches want our help and this is not always the case.
  • We should also define what “help” means. Is it finances that help other churches stay afloat? Teaching – do they want our sermons? Many churches don’t love some of our theological nuances. Or is it congregants – sending Northview members in mass to other churches doesn’t seem to be a reasonable solution.
  • We are ready and willing to assist churches that ask for help, but responding to requests for help is much different than showing up to offer unsolicited help and of course, we continue to pray for sister churches in our community either way!
  • Our elders and pastors are in unanimous support of this project. It is a large-scale project that we dare not enter lightly, but we believe this is the direction we should go and that the Lord will provide what we need.
  • The permission we have to build is based on an old application to build from years ago – new applications are not being accepted. This opportunity the ALC has given us is here today, but we shouldn’t assume it will be here forever.
  • After this building is completed, we will have functionally maximized what Downes Rd can provide us. It is very unlikely any expansion will be possible at that site after this project.
  • As in the example of TriCity and Mission Campus, when church buildings are “gifted” to Northview or in those examples, sold at the cost of existing debt, those are great opportunities we want to be ready and willing to take on, but waiting for these opportunities isn’t a growth strategy.
  • Purchasing existing churches would require them to be for sale and require the seller to consider a significantly reduced sale price for it to make economic sense to us.
  • If buildings are gifted (Like Northside-Mission, or Hyde Creek-PoCo) then multiple campuses can be a cost effective way of expanding. However, if buildings have to be purchased at market value, it is a vastly different story. In these cases we are competing on the open market.
  • There’s a 200-seat church for sale in Abbotsford that was recently listed for sale. The asking price is $6.9M and it needs substantial renovation ($2-3M estimate). “All-in” price may come to $50,000 per seat (purchase + renovations). Comparatively, the 2000 seats at Downes will cost $13,500 per seat – around 1/4 of the cost per seat! Strictly from a cost per seat assessment, there really is no question which makes more sense financially.
  • Bottom line? We want to reach more people in this valley for Christ and we believe a new building will help us.
  • We want to set Northview up for the next 40 years of effective ministry.
  • We need a strong “home base” from which we multiply outward.
  • Finally, our current building is maxed out pretty well 7-days-a-week, and new people keep coming.
  • The people who started Northview were constantly looking into the future as they planned, purchased, and built. We reap the rewards of their foresight and vision. We also want to look forward to the ministry needs of the next generation. If the Lord tarries, there is much work yet to be done in Abbotsford. We are not only building for us today – we are building for our kids and grandkids!
  • Only the Holy Spirit will cause people to respond to the Gospel and become a part of the body of Christ! However, we certainly have to continue to commit to some core practices. Those include:
    • A firm commitment to God’s Word – regardless of how it affects our numbers.
    • Intentional investment in the next generation – children, youth, and emerging leaders.
    • Prayer and evangelism alongside intentional discipleship strategies.
    • Engaged members who are winsomely active in the city, and serve sacrificially in the church.
  • More community & foyer spaces.
  • More multi-purpose rooms for smaller groups and midweek meetings.
  • Opportunity for more food options on weekends.
  • We certainly could – but we have capacity challenges now. In fact, we’ve had capacity challenges for years, COVID aside. Our Sunday services at Downes are full. Building will take 2-3 years – so the longer we wait to start – delays occupancy and inhibits growth.
  • Additionally, the cost to build doesn’t seem to be coming down. Though material costs have levelled out or are coming down, inflation and labour costs are only going up. What costs us $27M to build now, might be in the $30M if we wait too much longer.
  • There will never be a “perfect” time to build. There’s always uncertainty and potential reasons not to build. If we wait for the “right time” we will never build and never grow beyond what we are.
  • The annual budget will still reflect the needs of the various ministries. While there would be added costs around maintenance and utilities in the new building, and possible debt services for a small amount of debt if it’s necessary, our hope is that ministry budgets would not only stay the same, but grow.
  • How will they grow with the cost of a new building? While it sounds very corporate, the reality is that a new building with more seats provides the opportunity for more people to call Northview home and become deeply rooted disciples of Jesus. More disciples who give generously means a larger operating budget to do the things we’re really excited about – like discipleship, evangelism, missions, and leadership development.
  • 18 months would be the most aggressive timeline – from first shovel in the dirt to completion. More reasonably would be 2+ years.
  • Very much depends on the scale of the renovation but it is reasonable to expect it’ll take around 1-2 years for renovation of the current worship centre.
  • It could conceivably be used for concerts, conferences, graduations, emergency response situations (ie. Apologetics Canada sells out our current worship centre space and is considering looking for a larger alternative location).
  • Our building project is not being built on the hopes we grow – it’s being built on our immediate needs. Our attendance across all Abbotsford campuses regularly exceeds 4000 people, and Downes Rd sees over 2600 regularly.
  • Even if the catastrophic occurs and we lose 50% of our average weekend attendance, and let’s assume as a result if the attendance drops, we consolidate all our Abbotsford campuses back to Downes Rd – we still would require two services in the new building to accommodate those who would still attend. One service would be overflowing – and that’s if we dropped by 50%. Really, we would have to see our numbers drop by 75% for us to feel like the building we’ve constructed is too big. Is that possible? Perhaps, but it doesn’t seem wildly irresponsible to make plans assuming that won’t happen.
  • The floor closest to the stage is flat and can seat up to 800 people in rows (around 500-600 seated around tables).
  • It could be used for banquets, round-table type meetings, etc. The plan and design is that this building will be more versatile than just a 2000-person theatre style seating space.
  • Prayer is the key. We must seek God’s wisdom and direction. We don’t want to make decisions without prayer.
  • This is a challenge but we will keep recruiting and encouraging Northview attenders to become involved.
  • Not specifically, but it is an on-going conversation about how to expand the kitchen to meet our needs going forward.
  • Part of the role of the elder board is reviewing and planning for leadership succession. This includes both short-term planning – should the need arise in the short term, but also long-term planning. Discussions around Pastor Mark’s future and any transition steps have been and will continue to be something that Mark and the elders review and plan out.
  • Northview has already fulfilled all the road improvements needed.
  • Flaggers on Downes Road at peak service times.
  • Continue to work with the city on solutions.
  • A few moments delay in getting off the parking lot may be a small price to pay for continued growth in numbers. Besides, patience behind the wheel is a good test of the fruit of the Spirit!
  • To other churches – God is moving in Abbotsford. The potential for shared conferences and city-wide events increases.
  • Abbotsford has far more people than churches can seat, and our city is still growing.
  • To the city – very practically, there is a 2000 seat auditorium (air conditioned) available for large events. We would much more reasonably be able to rent out the space to the community. Today in our current facility, it’s rarely available to rent out as it is.
  • No firm plans at this time, but we are certainly aware of the need and are looking for solutions that can work.
  • There is not a specific room set aside but there will be quieter areas to pray with people.
  • No. Many people have made the Saturday service their home.
    Different service time options will remain on the weekends.
  • We are in contact with the builder to see what can be done to work towards this.  

Darcy Kuhn

Pastor - Growth & Development
Email us atquestions@northview.organd a staff member will respond shortly.