Frequently Asked Questions
What denomination are you?
We are a non-denominational church. Though we don't belong to a denomination, we are part of a network of churches called Salt & Light Ministries, and as a result, our beliefs and practices have similarities to those of other churches in that network.
One might describe our style as traditional charismatic evangelical.
How is the leadership at West Coast structured?
Our church is led by a team of seven elders, headed by a senior pastor and an associate pastor. The various ministries at the church are led by volunteer leaders, who are accountable to an overseeing elder for that ministry.
How are elders appointed?
In a process that usually takes between six months to a year, the existing elders pray for God's guidance and seek the input of the congregation before they invite candidates. After a meeting with the congregation to question the candidates and private meetings with the elders and advisory elders, new elders are ordinated on a Sunday morning.
To whom are the leaders of the church accountable?
The elders are accountable both to each other and to their personal pastors. Our elders are cared for by elders from other Salt & Light churches.
Our whole church and the team of elders are also overseen by Ron MacLean of Gateway Church in Winnipeg and Steve Thomas of Oxfordfordshire Community Churches in England, which are churches of the Salt & Light community. This includes input from them, as well as accountability to them.
What are the requirements of membership?
We don't have official membership in the sign-a-form sort of way; if you attend regularly and consider West Coast to be your home church, then you're a member.
What is personal pastoring and
why does West Coast encourage it?
Because we only have so many elders, and most of them have day jobs that limit their available time, personal pastoring is our way of making sure that each member of the congregation gets regular personal input and accountability in their lives. The elders and their wives personally pastor who they can, and those people in turn pastor others, who may in turn pastor others. Our elders, in turn, are pastored by elders and pastors of other Salt & Light churches.
What's the level of interaction between you and other Salt & Light churches?
We have the most regular contact with the Salt & Light churches in BC, then with those in Canada and the US, and then occasional contact with those in countries around the world, particularly a handful in England, Burundi, and Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to simply visiting each other's churches, there are annual leaders meetings for East and West of North America, and biannual gatherings of leaders worldwide.