First Lutheran Church

Since July 2023, we have been in partnership with Artistry Labs, our ministry partner in developing a strategic vision for the future. Following our Voter’s meeting approving the change to ‘The Sanctuary Lutheran Church”, Artistry Labs is walking us through our ministry and brand development. Our next team meetings with Artistry will be held online in February.

Below you will find regular updates, as well as our ethos, and a descriptive vision of the future we picture for our family of faith – the details completed so far through this partnership.

Check back here for more over the coming months.

April Sessions

This April, the Artistry Team met in Kelowna to dig in to thew next release of details, rebuilding our Church brand in meaningful ways. We were able to finalize our branding, sub-brands including kids and youth, our website, signage and environments, marketing materials, and so much more. We even started taking photos for everything we will be releasing.

We also hosted several ‘Labs’ – workshops focusing on teaching new methods to take our ministries to the next level. This covered sermon writing, service structuring, Guest experience, and more. We even had the opportunity to meet with our talented worship team to celebrate everything we can bring to The Sanctuary.

Work has already begun on signage, website development, marketing and more – all slated for a May release.

Make sure you join us in May as we rollout everything coming soon for The Sanctuary Lutheran Church.

May 5th – Our Mission

May 12th – Our Vision

May 19th – Our Values

May 26th – Our Pathways

January Sessions

Staff and Leadership spent two days in full-day sessions with the Team from Artistry Labs.  They continued to explore what is next for our church, including the following subjects.

  • The Sanctuary Lutheran Church – We reviewed the name change process and took our first look at branding concepts. This included colour palettes, fonts and logos, and signage.
  • Worship – The Lutheran Worship service is rich with meaning and tradition. We reviewed ways that we can improve connecting with long-time members and better connect with first time Guests.
  • Experiences – Parking, signage, coffee, and fellowship are just a few of the experiences we began redesigning to better serve our community.
  • Youth & Children – Nursery, Sunday School, Midweek Youth and Confirmation span a huge range of priorities for our Church. We discussed optimizing our experiences and programming, and brainstormed branding that would be compelling to all different ages.

What’s next? The Artistry Team have gone away with our feedback and are spending the next month finalizing our strategy for the list above. We will be reviewing this as a team in February with another meeting slated for the first week in April after Easter. At this time we will be planning to begin sharing what we have been working on with everyone through April and May.

Stay tuned for more information and God bless!

Our Ethos

Our ultimate goal as a church is to make it easy for people around us to believe, follow, and share Jesus—from generation to generation. At our best, we are the relevant, yet timeless Lutheran church, thriving in the nice neighborhood by the lake, where generations pour into generations with a compelling, grace-filled sense of God, creating heartfelt, lived-out devotion across all life stages and living beyond themselves to share Christ in a disarming way. As a result, the name should lean toward conveying this essence and fit with the values our church has demonstrated

Timelessly-relevant

We celebrate an ancient faith, practiced with meaningful sacraments and ceremony, that is fully alive and relevant in our modern world and daily lives.

Multi-generational

We find strength in being a church where generations actively pour into generations both older and younger than their own.

Heart-felt

We share God’s grace-filled love in a disarmingly compelling way to make it easy for everyone to experience Him.

Lived-out

We demonstrate devotion to God in authentic, real, and practical ways—allowing scripture to instruct us and God’s love to shape us.

Beyond-ourselves

It is not about us. We invest our time, talent, and treasure into lives around us in the hope that more might ultimately believe and follow Jesus.

Our Vision

A family moves into the Kelowna landscape. They are busy settling into work, school for their children, and the hustle and bustle of errands, shopping, children’s sports, and family activities. Life is good—but not complete. Church is not out of the question, it is simply out of focus.

A friendly coworker goes out of the way to make this new neighbor feel welcomed. In the midst of conversation, the coworker casually mentions an upcoming game night at a local winery with friends from his church—First Lutheran. It triggers a curious interest. A few weeks later, an unintentional drive down Lakeshore puts a pleasant picture with the name.

What caught their eye first was the monument that stood out and showcased a style that was attractive to where they are in life. The church shares a campus with a thriving school they had caught wind of. The building was visible from the road. It is large, relatively modern, with fresh touches of paint, modern contrasts, bold signage, accents of wood that added warmth, and pops of color that showcased an element of vibrancy. The campus looks relevant and smart—demonstrating a stylish confidence that draws the family to it. The prominent placement of the website made it easy for them to learn more.

Online, First Lutheran comes across as a clean, modern, and style-savvy church that brings the old and new together. Design is very modern, while at the same time bringing out a sense of liturgy and timelessness in an authentic way. It makes the church feel like it is about something bigger. The website is immersive with its photography, sense of heart-warming community, and mission.

As they browse the site, they see windows into the church culture, with photos of real people just like them and other generations that they can do life with. The church speaks their language in a way that is down to earth, yet compelling. It is relevant to where they are in life as a mid-thirties family, yet they recognize the rich presence of multiple generations.

As parents, they appreciate a strong emphasis on intentional children’s programming as the website guides them into planning a visit with their kids. They find highly visible service details, and a sense of what to expect in a disarming way. They can see the church has worked hard to do the thinking for them—making it easy by taking the burden off them to figure it all out.

And because their friend had mentioned the church, it was even easier for them to give it a shot.

The family is ready. They prepare for a visit. It is an unusual Sunday morning for them, having grown used to sleeping late without church in the routine. As they drive towards the church, they recognize connected branding from the website, follow signage to parking, and easily find their place in the bustling lot.

The church entrance provides accents of color that increase anticipation for what is inside. They see smiling faces walking in and greeting people at the entrance. The greeters are a variety of ages and are relaxed, yet infectiously friendly—as if willing them to smile back. They hear, “Good to see you this morning!” in a way that feels refreshing. They felt seen and known by a community that treated them as if they already belong.

As they enter the lobby, coffee is front and center in a warm environment whose interior style has the vibe of a modern coffee house. The style affirms the church gets them and plays against the timelessness of stained glass. People are hanging out and fellowshipping, adding to the sense of relaxed, outgoing community. Signage for children’s first-time check-in is easy to see and impressive. The early hints of what they see for kids is professional but fun, and shows that the church is really investing into families.

Their experience at first-time check-in is easy and gives them peace. They sense that the kids ministry is well-managed by people who care and go the extra mile. The volunteer from children’s check-in is full service—not only taking them to their child’s classroom, but helping them understand the church’s bigger plan for walking with parents to help them build up families. The volunteer becomes a friend, getting to know their names, making a big deal about their children, getting on the kids’ level, welcoming them to the class, and building the confidence of the parents at every turn.

Back in the lobby before the service starts, they grab a cup of self-serve coffee as a relaxing on-ramp into the service. People nearby are fellowshipping and an outgoing couple their age greets them to chit chat and show them value. Fellowship continues until a clear service transition starts the flow into the sanctuary. Before they even make it into service, they feel they have met friends.

As they walk into the sanctuary, they receive a simple, well-designed, half-page bulletin from a smiling volunteer. They see modernized styling balanced with a sense of tradition and timelessness. They recognize around them a variety of generations engaged in worship.

The worship experience is more than they expected, not only in quality but in heart-felt participation. The worship leaders are happy, engaging, and reflect where they are in life. They did not expect to get wrapped up in worship, yet they did in a comfortable and appealing way. The songs were easy to sing along to—and a sense of authentic passion put them at ease and drew them in.

A man/woman dressed in smart casual attire gets up, introduces him/herself, and shares announcements. He/she makes events sound fun and the announcements enhance a sense of community. He/she speaks in terms they understand. There is a brief time given to greeting a few people around them, and they meet outgoing people that treat them like everyone else—making it easy for them to fit in quickly. They say to themselves “Now I know why people are talking about this place.” Church is drawing them in long before the preaching begins.

A scripture reading and prayer is shared in a very heart-felt way that nods to tradition while at the same time is quite meaningful. There is something about it that appeals to their need for elements in their lives that transcend the modern age.

The pastor introduces himself, giving them the sense that new people must come all the time. He is a great communicator. His style brings several worlds together at once. It is a delivery that they did not expect from a modern church. His communication style is somewhat timeless while his attire is very today. The pastor engages the audience intellectually and spiritually at the same time. The couple gets glimpses of where he is going as he draws them to a point of introspection.

This was not what they were expecting. They were being affected deep within their souls. They valued how it brought them to a time a place to settle very important things within their hearts they rarely find time for. Pastor, in essence, made faith easy and included them in it.

Pastor’s grace-filled sense of what God is doing in all of us inspired and became believed by them—even though they were not quite sure where they were in their walk with God. They experienced the sermon like the washing of their soul. They longed to come back again next week to remove another layer.

The pastor ends the sermon by making himself available after the service in the Welcome Center to get to know those he hasn’t met—showing a genuine, unexpected accessibility. He then transitions into a time of communion with a clear explanation of its meaning along with a practical description of the process. It becomes a culminating point of the message by providing a time to pray and settle things in the heart that came out in the sermon.

The host who did the announcements gets back up to wrap the service and challenges those who haven’t taken their next step of growth within the church to get started with a series of classes called Starting Point—referenced as the fastest way to get connected into the life of the church.

The offering is also mentioned in a positive and gracious way, pointing to offering boxes at the back and online giving, while affirming the generosity of the church and removing any sense of obligation for visitors. The service host shares that part of what is important to us as a church is our time together, appealing to the congregation to hang out and enjoy coffee and donuts together after the service. The host shares a final dismissal, and the congregation returns to fellowshipping as they make their way back to the lobby where coffee and donuts abound.

The service was over. It almost felt too short. It was easier for them to feel closer to God than they had imagined. As they walked out of the sanctuary they were engaged by people around them who were friendly without being awkward.

They grab some coffee and donuts for a few minutes as the couple that chatted with them before service remembered their names and picked up where they left off. The wife went to pick up their children who, with excitement, share about their experience and their hopes to come back. The teachers say positive things about their children.

The family were back together in the lobby as their children talked with other kids their age and parents wrapped up a brief time of fellowship. Walking to the car, the couple doesn’t even have to say it—they know they have found something special. They had felt seen, known, and heard.

The family is blown away by what they just experienced. Church was meaningful and efficient on content and rich on relationship. It was real, authentic, and relevant. This is what their family needs. Church met them where they are as a young family, yet it ministered to their hearts in a way they were not expecting—cracking open the door for them to fully know Christ and experience a changed life.

They visited again and this time met pastor, his wife, and other church leaders and their spouses in and around the Welcome Center. They found them to be genuine and down to earth people who they knew were for them.

They had found their church—a place they could be excited to go. They came back time and again, engaged in Starting Point, then in a small group, winery game night, volunteering, and community outreach. Along the way they found relationships all around them, as people actively extended their community to them. They plugged into programming that helped them be more of the parents they wanted to be and build the strong family they knew God wanted for them.

They found getting into church to be much easier than they had expected. It was easier to see God as loving and open to them. It was easier for them to make friends than they had imagined. As a matter of fact, church was so meaningful that they quickly could not imagine life without it.

They valued having friends at church that were their own age as well as older couples who relationally adopted them whom they could glean wisdom from. They began to see God at work in their lives. They saw their children know and follow Christ in children’s and student’s ministry and develop lifelong friendships. They engaged in Family Confirmation and invested into God’s plan for their children. Their lives began to reflect the life they learned about at Starting Point: Believing, Following, and Sharing Jesus. They were giving and knitting their hearts deeply into the work of God. In doing all these things, they were becoming more and more like Christ and more impactful in the world around them.

A difference had been made in their lives—now they were making a difference in others’. They found open doors all around them to share Christ and their church with friends and co-workers as their love for people continued to grow. As a result, many would follow them to find First Lutheran to be the church that it is: “The relevant, yet timeless Lutheran church, thriving in the nice neighborhood, where generations pour into generations with a compelling, grace-filled sense of God, creating heartfelt, livedout devotion across all life stages and living beyond themselves to share Christ in a disarming way.”

This is the vision of First Lutheran Kelowna: to deliver on this promise, this experience, time and time again, and thereby multiply disciples to impact the world. It is to build momentum through consistency, a focus on people, a reliance on prayer, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

This is how we become who God has called us to be. It requires us to be focused. It requires us to be thinking about the “one” and not satisfied by being a part of the ninety-nine. It puts us, as members and stewards of a church, on mission with Christ to seek and save that which is lost, within our walls and beyond. It is what it looks like when we are fulfilling our purpose as a church… to make it easy for those around us to believe, follow, and share Jesus—from generation to generation.