Photo: Pastor Blair Allen (second from left) leads a group in prayer at The Compass Church. (Photo provided by The Compass Church)
At 38, Pastor Blair Allen is one of the oldest members of The Compass Church, a fact that speaks to the vitality of his leadership and his background in youth ministry. The church meets every Sunday at a local elementary school in Regina, yet Allen will be the first to say that the Sunday service is only half of what the church is about.
“Sunday [is] the air mission … at the thirty-thousand foot level,” says Allen. “In an air mission you’re high up, you’re not engaged with the people. And what you do with the missional communities [small groups] that’s called our ground mission. We take the things that we’ve studied together and [ask] ‘what does that mean and how do we live this out in our lives?’
Heavily involved in outreach activities in Regina, The Compass Church works with immigrants from the thirty nations represented in the city as well as with those who are transient or homeless. Once a month members of the church operate a “Love Bus” providing food and a safe space to addicts, prostitutes, and people who live on the street. The church is also heavily involved with Athletes in Action at the University of Regina, the local pregnancy centre, and the Open Door Society.
Perhaps the most exciting outreach opportunity the church engages in is the Align ministry run by Murray Letzer, a founding member of the church. Align runs Friday night gym nights from schools in neighbourhoods with a high population of immigrants; many of the youth are from Muslim backgrounds and are being exposed to Christianity for the first time. Letzer’s motto, “I’m the youth pastor for the kids that will never have one,” perfectly expresses the commitment he brings to his ministry.
In the end, The Compass Church is about Christian fellowship in the urban environment. “I think the biggest missional need that’s filled within our body,” says Allen, “is the need and the desire for authentic, real, gospel community, where people are connecting with one another in a much deeper intentional way. So that there’s this picture of us locking shields together and pushing forward, and seeing that forward progress in our lives.”
The Compass Church and Pastor Allen request prayer for:
- Wisdom as the church grows and moves forward. “We desire to be a church that plants churches,” says Allen.
- Prayer for leadership. “We’re a young church,” states Allen, “and so we’re trying to navigate.”
Visit The Compass Church online at: www.compassregina.com
Paul Esau is a communications intern with CCMBC and the MB Herald.|