Why I love my home church!

5 05 2016

2016 EBC _ SLP STAFF

Front Row

Rachel Otterness (Kids Pastor) Sandi Hawks (Senior Adult Pastor) Megan Czech (Leader Kids Ministry) Carrie Rassmussen (Campus Executive Pastor) Steve Whicker (Campus Pastor) Jenna Sederstrom (Video Director)

Back Row

(left to right): Josh Dekker (Music Pastor) Paula Johnson (Campus Support Coordinator) Nancy Sackett (Pastor of Serving) Mike Cole (Pastor of Groups) David Schussman (Pastor of Student Ministries) Russell Munson (Service and Events Producer) Mark Sackett (Facility Manager) Ryan Jamieson (Audio Engineer)

Bottom Left:

Marcia Johnson (Facility Assistant) (left) Kim Obrycki (Retail Supervisor)

Bottom Right:

(left to right) -Vicky Frandsen (Facility Coordinator) Brian Shields (Facility Assistant) Sarah Norton (Retail Services Supervisor)

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March 2008 marked a defining moment in the lives of Linda and me as we were introduced to our new Home Church, Eagle Brook Church -Spring Lake Park campus, in Minnesota.

We had just attended a conference in Florida conducted by the International Orality Network and were fired up about the possibilities of taking the Gospel to the nations, using the “heart language” of people, the language that they communicated in on a day to day basis.  We were challenged by the fact that 70% of the world population, even in societies that were literate, were gaining their knowledge and information through stories and the oral media.

We were at this time making a transition, and as we visited Eagle Brook Church, we saw how God had been “setting us up” the last few months from December 2007 to March 2008 to make this move to start attending Eagle Brook Church at Spring Lake Park, Minnesota.  Let me highlight some key factors.

The driving force and desire of Eagle Brook Church was to reach the unreached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ using every method and means, being relevant and relational.

First, the Teaching pastors of the Church were using narrative and communicative language which enabled every person who heard the message to be able to understand the message of the Gospel in a very clear and relevant manner, so that they were able to apply it to their lives in a day to day basis.  There was no need to use dictionaries and concordances and previous background in “churchianity” to understand what was communicated each weekend.

Second, it was a Megachurch with a small church feel!  Eagle Brook Church is the largest church in Minnesota, yet from the time a person pulls into the parking lot of the church and is greeted by the parking lot volunteers, to greeters at the doors and ushers and children’s workers and throughout the church, a person feels welcomed but not intruded upon.

This is made possible at Spring Lake Park as over 60 percent of the attenders, also are actively involved in volunteering in some capacity of their giftedness, and claiming a “sweet spot” to serve in.  Each person is encouraged in their volunteering by staff and team members, and also by the knowledge that as they serve, they may be reaching out to someone, for whom ‘this service is the first time at the church’, and maybe even the first time of having the opportunity to hear and respond to the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Third is the music and the time of worship.  The worship pastors and the rest of the staff are focused and challenged to make the complete experience of each service, effective, efficient and appealing to make each person enter into a time when each person who walks through the doors will have a meaningful experience, where they will know that they have been met and ministered to by God in a personal and intimate way.

Many times I am reminded that as a young Youth Director in the 60’s we were challenged in trying to make the music relevant to bring in the youth of our generation, to hear the Gospel message.  At Eagle Brook Church, the Worship Pastors each weekend accomplishes this same challenge, of reaching the attender in a relevant way, and then leading them into an atmosphere of worship, and the preparation of the heart to hear the message of the Gospel as it is presented by the Teaching Pastors.

I have tried to use my Home Campus, Eagle Brook Church – Spring Lake Park to illustrate what is also duplicated with personal touches and nuances in the five other campuses which make up Eagle Brook Church – campuses at Lino lakes, White Bear Lake, Blaine, Woodbury and Coon Rapids.  It is a picture of the church in a nutshell.

The picture of the staff of Spring Lake Park, show the catalysts of what God is doing with a group of people who are dedicated with the desire to reach everyone in the community with the saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the power to transform and redeem lives in miraculous ways.