I remember lying in bed late at night sometime in the fall of 1997. My mind was racing. My heart felt like it was going to burst. “What’s wrong?” my wife, Heidi, asked me.
“I don’t know why. I don’t know how. I don’t know where. But I think God wants me to start a church.”
And so our adventure began.
Truly not knowing how, my first attempt failed.
Then I joined my ministry mentor in helping him start a church. By “helping,” I mean that I showed up on Sundays and tried a bunch of other stuff that failed. But I still couldn’t shake this nagging desire to venture out on my own with the vision that God had placed in my heart. So after two years in the new plant, having figured I’d learned some valuable lessons and made some notable connections, I decided it was time to try again.
Then armed with an arsenal of failures, my denomination unleashed me on a 100 year-old church in a rural community of 65 (and that was after my family of five moved to “town”).
And that was where I learned a valuable lesson.
People matter to God.
Not just yuppies, hippies, hipsters, Gen-Xers, or city-dwellers. But ALL people.
See, up until 2006, I thought the city was where I was called to serve. I thought the city mattered the most to God. I thought the city needed God the most.
But what I learned from being around broken, hurting, messed-up people in my little town of 65 people was that
EVERYONE NEEDS JESUS!
Still reluctant to embrace this epiphany, God dragged us kicking and screaming to help plant a new church in the frozen tundra of Northwest Minnesota.
In 2008, we launched Epiphany Station in a gas station in downtown Thief River Falls. And what do you know? It has worked! Despite myself.
In fact, it is working so effectively at embracing outsiders that God said,
“It’s time to GO and expand the reach of My Kingdom.”
So in the fall of 2016, we moved 50 miles to the southwest to launch our 3rd church, Grand City Station, in Grand Forks, ND!
Three years into this new church plant (and 18 years into church planting), God called me into a new season of ministry where I can use my knowledge, skills, gifts, and experiences to help other churches thrive!
Now I help churches – new and established – through coaching, consulting, bookkeeping, and payroll. Check out churchplantsolutions.com to find out more!