The governance of Southside Bible Church is based on the New Testament norm in which there was plural leadership in each church through the appointment of elders rather than an elder/pastor who was the single leader (see, for example, Acts 14:23; 15:22; 20:17).  We believe a plural leadership of co-equals provides a range of gifts, accountability, mutual support and encouragement, and greater effectiveness in church ministry. 

In contrast, we believe that the "pastor-lay people" or "clergy-laity" divide has tended to create isolation and a hierarchy that has been to the detriment, spiritually, emotionally, and pragmatically, of both the pastor/clergy and the lay people/laity. Elders are not "over" other people but are simply fellow servants called by God and elected by the church to lead, to ensure things are done in a way that brings glory to the Father, to protect, to encourage, and to be agents of unity as all are being knitted together in Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

An elder is called to oversee or shepherd, a function that includes keeping watch over the needs and direction of the church and church ministries and over the congregation. Elder Governance at Southside Bible Church means "elder-led," not "elder-rule," that is to say, the congregation plays a direct role in decision-making through congregational meetings. Thus, the form of governance can be summarized as "elder-led congregationalism."

scroll down to meet our leadership team

lead elder/ greg unruh

Greg was raised just south of Winnipeg in Steinbach, MB. After graduation Greg went on to study at Millar College of the Bible where he recieved his Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Ministries. From there, Greg spent 7 years in Youth and Music Ministry and has then spent the past 3 years as a lead pastor. He is passionate about God, discipleship, the Church, and marriages, and is continuing his ongoing education through Briercrest Seminary to one day have his Masters in Marriage and Family Councelling. Greg married his wife Shayla in 2009. They have a son named Smangaliso who is of Zulu decent and was born in South Africa. Smanga came to his forever family in 2013. Greg, Shayla, and Smanga love the outdoors and spend lots of time hiking and exploring. They also love playing tennis, and having crazy adventures. As avid board game players, they are always looking for others to come and spend time having fun over a good game. Greg's passion for discipleship is what lead him to Southside Bible Church where the leadship has empowered him to "Go and make disciples of all nations..." Matthew 28

adrian ashcroft

Adrian was born in Norther Ireland where he lived until the age of 12.  He spent the next 5 years in the United States, covering most of his teen years.  The rest of his life has been spent in Canada.

He feels that these three vastly different cultures have taught him a lot about human nature.  Coming from a strong Christian family Adrian has been a believer since early childhood and can't really remember it being any other way.  His teen years and into his 20's were a time of weaker dedication to the faith but he never departed from it.  Since attending Southside Adrian has occasionally contributed to the Sunday morning messages.  

Adrian and his wife Nancy love to travel together, and in recent years with another couple.  Adrian and Nancy met just after their last year of high school and have been together ever since.  Cats have shared an important place in their home for most of those years.  

Adrian spent his professional career in the information technology field, most of those years being at the University of Manitoba.  Never considering himself a stereotyped computer person, Adrian has always been involved in other activities and studies.  He has studied languages at the U of M and at the University of St. Boniface, and still studies at the latter.

Adrian is also passionate about self study and psychology, genetics, and nature, and never intends to stop.  He also used to write articles for the University newsletter and taught English one on one as a volunteer during lunch hours.  Working part time as a volunteer for Air Search and Rescue was a favourite  activity for many years.  Adrian has also done many wilderness canoe trips.

After taking an early retirement from the University, Adrian currently works as a volunteer at the FortWhyte Alive (nature centre), where his new love is guiding and teaching children school programs such as nature, cultural history, and weather and navigation in both English and French.

karl friesen

Karl was born and raised in Winnipeg, is very happily married to Judith for 35 years, is the father of 3 fantastic children and grandfather to 3 wonderful grandchildren.

Karl played professional hockey (goalie) for 16 years, 14 years in Germany, and 2 years for the New Jersey Devils/Maine Mariners organization. As a dual citizen, Karl played for the German National Team for 11 years, competing in 6 World Championships, 3 Winter Olympic Games, and 1 Canada Cup (1984). He is a 4X German Champion, and a 2X League MVP.

Karl returned to Canada in 1998 and has been involved in business since then.

Karl and Judith have attended Southside Bible Church for over 10 years. In addition to serving at Southside, Karl is involved with Hockey Ministries International, in the area of chapel programs in Manitoba (Junior/University/Pro), and helping organize and run the 1 week long Christian Hockey Camp in the summer.

Karl tries to live by Colossians 3:23; “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”