Citizen Action Monitor

What’s the hell’s up with this fast-growing Evangelical church targeting Toronto millennials?

And what prompted three prospective members of the church to change their minds and drop out?

No 2783 by fw, October 3, 2021

Evangelicalism, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvation by grace alone, solely through faith in Jesus’ atonement. Evangelicals believe in the centrality of the conversion or “born again” experience in receiving salvation, in the authority of the Bible as God‘s revelation to humanity, and in spreading the Christian message.Wikipedia

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“Go inside a fast-growing church where ‘Pastor Sam’ spreads his message of 21st-century salvation to hip, millennial churchgoers as they work their way closer to God. C3 is an Evangelical church that opened in Toronto in 2013 and quickly amassed a large following among the city’s young, hip and tattooed. #Blessed offers an intimate look inside this fast-growing millennial church, following the process of selling salvation in the 21st century. As pastor Sam Picken and his team grow the church from two locations to three, we explore the lives of some of its young members.”CBC DOCS POV #Blessed

The above passage is from my repost, below, of an embedded 44:16-minute You Tube video of a CBC documentary, along with a brief accompanying introduction. (Not that it matters, but I think “#Blessed” is the title of the documentary series and not the title of this particular episode.)

Note: Although the documentary refers to the C3 College in Australia, it is not made clear what the relationship, if any, is between the Toronto Evangelical church and Australia’s C3 College. The latter describes its role this way:

C3 College (Creative Arts and Bible College in three campuses across Australia and Online throughout the Earth) desires to see people discover what God has called them to and we offer courses to suit whatever that call may be. You could be a creative person wanting to improve as an artist or performer, whilst also wanting to learn in a Christian environment. Maybe you’re wanting to figure out God’s calling for your life but you’re not sure where or how to start. Or perhaps you know you’re called to leadership and you’re looking to be equipped for a life of ministry. Whatever your situation looks like, we’re confident that with our various courses (Internship Program, Bible + Theology, Music + Worship, Film + Media and Online), there is a course perfect for you.

To watch the You Tube version, which may be interrupted with ads, click on the following linked title. Alternatively, a link to the CBC video is provided at the bottom of this repost.

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This hipster evangelical church is taking Toronto millennials by storm , by CBC Docs POV / You Tube, July 23, 2020 (44:18 min) [Suggestion: Read the accompanying text below the video first].

Cast of Key Characters

Go inside a fast-growing church where ‘Pastor Sam’ spreads his message of 21st-century salvation to hip, millennial churchgoers as they work their way closer to God.

C3 is an Evangelical church that opened in Toronto in 2013 and quickly amassed a large following among the city’s young, hip and tattooed. #Blessed offers an intimate look inside this fast-growing millennial church, following the process of selling salvation in the 21st century.

As pastor Sam Picken and his team grow the church from two locations to three, we explore the lives of some of its young members:

+ Aspiring pastor David works on a new and chaste relationship with his girlfriend Mona as he prepares to go to C3 College in Australia for a year;

+ Former party girl Aimee does a 180 as she turns away from drugs and ends a relationship with a woman to embrace a church-centred life; and

+ Conan throws himself deeper into the church community while struggling to believe.

Tying all these stories together is Galen, a young academic who is fascinated by the church’s pull but questions its tactics.

Much like other viral church startups of the 21st century, C3 is tapping into something very real and apparently much needed in the hearts of many millennials. While Picken and his team have given church a modern rebranding, it becomes clear as the characters’ stories unfold that what these youth are searching for is not new at all. It is, in fact, fundamental: the age-old need to be part of something bigger than oneself.

But how will C3’s new converts react to the conservative Christian values hidden beneath the church’s shiny new packaging?

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Link to the CBC Video

CBC DOCS POV #Blessed : Description: Go inside a fast-growing church where ‘Pastor Sam’ spreads his message of 21st-century salvation to hip, millennial churchgoers as they work their way closer to God. https://gem.cbc.ca/media/cbc-docs-pov/s04e02 (44:09 min)

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