Sharing Our Story

Meet the Network Church

Authored by: 
Lisa Williams
The Network Church Neighbourhood BBQEach day Devon and Meredith Wagler ran to classes or to the grocery story, came home, and closed the door to their home for their evening. People moved in and out of their apartment building all the time and no one seemed to know each other. ‘There has to be more’ is what their hearts told them.

“When we move into a house, it is going to be different,” they decided. “We are going to know our neighbours and be involved in people’s lives.” Upon moving into their Kitchener home, they began to envision a different type of church and community.

When The Network Church first began, they wanted to be involved in the community. “I was terrified to go into the downtown,” Devon admits. “I forced myself to go with a bunch of food cards in my pocket. We met some people living on the street, gave the cards, and talked with them. Doing that helped to change my mentality about individuals who live on the street and what God’s work in the downtown might mean.”

Now a group of up to 25 people, The Network Church is currently meeting at Queen Street Commons, a downtown Kitchener restaurant. “We envision multiple house churches who are all working together and meeting for corporate worship,” says Devon Wagler, pastor. Now that they have a common meeting place, they look forward to initiating new house churches.

“We came to ReLearning Community already on board with some of the principles, namely focus on God, focus on community and focus on others,” says Devon.

While in ReLearning Community, Devon and Meredith were in a huddle with four other faith groups. Although each group functions differently from each other, they came together as one group to encourage each other, learn from each other, and hold each other accountable. “It worked well to come together. The diversity was such a strength. I think the other groups [that were made up of only one congregation] may have missed out!” remarks Devon.

Devon and Meredith have transferred the huddle model to The Network Church. He explains, “The whole idea behind the discipleship model is to create disciples who know how to create new disciples. It is very leadership development oriented.” Through the huddle format, they hope to equip leaders who will disciple others and run new house churches.

Huddle: A discipleship vehicle for leaders that provides support, challenge, training, and accountability