Church Planting Internship

Church of the Ward is excited to announce that we are in search of a candidate for a two-year Church Planting Internship. 

The internship will be for the purpose and desire of training an individual to plant a church at the internships completion. 

A full internship description is available at the following link

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Matt at or by phone at 519-400-0348.


Today marks transition; a new school, a new school year, a new grade, a new job, a new lifestyle, or a new routine.  

Transition is scary and often we get lost in the midst of it. 

Today marks a transition for Church of the Ward, today marks transition for me (Matt). 

David's words about God in 2 Samuel 22 remind us of God's constancy. 

Truth and constants are important in transition, they keep us grounded.  

Here are some foundational truths to be reminded of through whatever transition you find yourself in.

"The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save m e from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies." v1-4

"he rescued me" v18

"the Lord is my support" v19

"he rescued me , because he delighted in me." v20

"For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness." v29

"he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him." v31

"God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless."v33

"you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me." v4

God never changes - He is constant - and He isn't going anywhere. 

As you approach today and this week, here and pray these words of an old common prayer: 

"Lord, help me now to unclutter my life, to organize myself in the direction of simplicity. 

Lord, teach me to listen to my heart; teach me to welcome change, instead of fearing it.

Lord, I give you these stirrings inside me. 

I give you my discontent. 

I give you my restlessness. 

I give you my doubt. 

I give you my despair. 

I give you all the longings I hold inside. 

Help me to listen to these signs of change, of growth; help me to listen seriously and follow where they lead through the breathtaking empty space of an open door."

Be blessed and respond with your transition and how you are getting through. 


Prayer Requests for COTW:

  • much transition for all members - please pray Phil 4:7 peace and for reminders of God's constancy
  • a couple of members are still waiting to "move in" - pray for homes to come available that suits these families needs
  • pray for Andrea Naismith who is in the Dominican Republic on a Dental Humanitarian trip
  • pray for receptive hearts of those around us  

Gideon The Underdog: Why His Story Matters To Us

We all love a good underdog story. You know the kind - a person with low odds of succeeding actually succeeds.

Gideon is a bit of an underdog, an unlikely hero of sorts, one we read about in Judges 6-7.

When we first meet Gideon, he is beating wheat and feeling completely defeated by the Midianites (the nation in power over Israel at the time). 

Upon hearing God's direction and call Gideon doubts God's presence, his own ability, and then his families heritage. Later on, Gideon asks God to prove himself by giving him signs. And even later, when God tells Gideon to send all the fearful men home we find out Gideon is still fearful. Imagine that - the leader is scared while the followers are not - God is hilarious!

At the end of the day, Gideon and his army of 300 men defeat the Midianites,  a nation with as many camels as the sand on the seashore (I'm serious, check out Judges 7:12).

And so, what can we learn from Gideon's story:

1) God is with you

2)God will use whomever he wants

3) God will use weakness to show his strength

4) Welcome doubt - it gives God another area in your life to prove Himself faithful

4) Imperfection is God's breeding ground for perfection

5) God does not need us - He wants us and we need him

6) Discomfort is healthy and necessary for living life with God

As we(Church of the Ward) or any of us live our lives, we must keep the above truths from Gideon's story at the forefront of our minds. We may appear unlikely and be huge underdogs but that's exactly what God wants! 

Recent Happenings

Hello Friends,  

As the Fall grows closer and as the 'official' launch becomes more of a reality, here are some things that are taking place and areas to pray for:

1) CORE Team Hangs: This past Sunday, our CORE Team(ie.planting team) had our first 'official' gathering. We spent the afternoon at the Italian Festival located in our neighbourhood. I have said this before but in order for us to invite people into loving Christian community we need to be one. These ongoing hangouts are opportunities for us to grow closer.

Please pray for these opportunities and for God to bring us together as a family.

2) Networking and New Connections: We have been amazed at how word has travelled about Church of the Ward. We have received names and email addresses for people in and out of the neighbourhood who are encouraged and interested in being involved.  

Please pray for these people and for us - pray for God's discernment, wisdom, and direction. 

3) Fundraising: This is completely new for me (Matt) and the challenge is a welcome one. Despite the newness of it, God has completely blown me away in the ways He has already provided.  

Please pray for continued financial provision.

4) Neighbourhood Connections: We have already met so many people on our street and much openness has been expressed regarding our vision. 

Please pray for more connections and of first importance, relationship. May no one feel judged and may those who hear be open to our presence.   

 Thank you for reading this, keeping in touch, and for praying - we could not do this without you. Check back regularly for more updates.  

Much love,  

Church of the Ward


Support and Newsletter

To my family in Christ,

I hope this letter finds you well. 

In December of 2011, God revealed a call on my life - the call to plant a church. At the time, He did not reveal the where, the what, nor the when - He was just saying, “Get ready.” 

This past October, my wife Andrea and I attended Catalyst Conference in Atlanta. While there, I attended a break-out session called “Leading from the Difficult Places.” Assuming it was about challenges in leadership I attended and was completely surprised when they started talking about missional communities and high needs neighborhoods. At the end of the session, a man raised his hand and asked the question, “How do you get people in your church to live missionally?” The presenter replied “You lead them missionally - you do it first.” It was at this moment that I knew God was asking Andrea and I to sell our house, and move to a high needs neighborhood. That night I told Andrea and she felt the same call. Over the next two months we prayed that God would reveal the neighborhood we were to move too, and He did - St.Patrick’s Ward.

According to a June 2010, survey titled “Sustainable Neighborhood Engagement Framework, St. Patrick’s Ward or ‘The Ward’ is home to over 3700 residents and growing. Some of the greatest needs in the neighborhood are; people living alone (17% of population), homes in need of major repair (13% of homes), low incomes, childcare, low child health, and low involvement in recreation.

The Ward has an extremely high rental market of 45% and the median household income is the lowest of Guelph’s neighborhoods at $45,000. Low income in the neighborhood is driven by many single-parent homes and low education levels (30% have not completed high school). Unemployment rates are higher than average at 6.8% and as a result of these incomes, 19% of children in the neighborhood are living below low-income cut-offs. 

The Ward is one of Guelph’s oldest neighborhoods. The “physical needs” are great but so are the spiritual needs and the area is not being specifically targeted by any other churches at this time. 

The call God has given Andrea and I is to plant a church in the centre of this neighborhood. It aligns God’s call on my life to plant a church and our call to move to a high needs area of our city.  We desire to plant and birth a community of Christ, called to follow his name and make disciples and our goal is to launch this September. Our vision is to demonstrate and declare the gospel of Jesus by moving into neighborhoods with gospel intentionality. All of us have fallen short and therefore we build relationships knowing God has redeemed our fallenness in Jesus. 

In March, Andrea and I sold our home on the East end of Guelph and bought a house at the heart of The Ward. We ‘officially’ moved in this past weekend and have already been getting to know our neighbors. 

In April, with the desire to serve our neighborhood, I sent an email to our local neighborhood group and ended up being asked to join the leadership team where I have been serving for the last three months. It is amazing how many pieces the Lord has brought together, since we took the step of faith and listed our house. 

We feel so blessed to be supported, encouraged, and coached by FEB (Fellowship Evangelical Baptist) Central, as their heart and desire aligns with ours of seeing people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and live on mission with Him! 

To accomplish and respond to God’s call in The Ward, Andrea and I, ask you to partner with us. The definition of a partner is “someone who takes part in an undertaking with another or others” and this is exactly what we are asking you to do with us.

Please partner with us by praying for us.  Pray for God’s guidance, protection, direction, peace, and saving message to echo everything we do. 

You can partner with us financially by making a one time donation or on a more regular basis.  To donate online go to, click on ‘Donate Now’ and on the following page, in the ‘Message/instructions’ box indicate the money is for ‘Church of the Ward’ or ‘Matt Naismith.’

You can also fill out one of the provided forms, attach a check and mail it to FEB Central at 175 Holiday Inn Dr., Cambridge, ON N3C 3T2, indicating in the Memo line ‘Church of the Ward’ or ‘Matt Naismith.’

And lastly, you can support us by investing in your neighborhood by spreading the love of Jesus where God has placed you. 

The church will be called “Church of the Ward” as our desire is to redeem the word “church” as Christ intended it and for the church to be a collection of people “of” the Ward. This is why all of our core members (those who feel called to plant with us) are all required to move “into” the neighborhood. 

Please feel free to give me a call, send me an email, or arrange a time to meet for coffee, as I would love to answer your questions. 

In Him, 

Matt & Andrea Naismith

P: 519-400-0348


“Praying for God’s kingdom to come in The Ward as it is in heaven”