Wednesday, April 07, 2010

My new gig @ Hope Lutheran Church

by Tim K. Snyder

A couple of weeks ago I was offered a part-time position as Outreach Leader (kind of a "flat" sounding title, I suppose) at Hope Lutheran Church here in St. Paul, Minnesota.

It is a fairly small congregation where about a hundred or so gather for weekly traditional worship. It is a church that was born out of the growth of many neighborhood churches planted as the Baby Boomers returned home. Nestled in just blocks from White Bear Ave, the church has in recent years found itself in a neighborhood who's demographics are quickly changing. A growing Hispanic and Hmong population have made a significant mark on the surrounding neighborhoods. The membership reflects many mainline protestant congregations where the average age is approaching the 60's.

But what excites me about starting this week at Hope is that despite the reality of their situation...despite the lack of substantial growth, the loss of connections to their shifting neighborhood, the temptation to feel as if their best days have long past, and the almost complete lack of young families, youth or young adults this congregation has dared to dream about reaching out to the surrounding community and sharing what they've known to give them hope — the love of God found in Jesus. It's kind of a surprising twist actually. Most Lutheran congregations don't have professional lay ministers serving in the area of outreach, evangelism, discipleship, etc. And that is exactly what I will be commissioned to do. Both the pastor and the members I have met, so far anyways, have a deep passion for seeing the congregation be transformed into a congregation that both knows it's neighborhood and that it is known in return.

So, over the next several months I'll be spending lots of time listening, meeting with members one-on-one, leading/participating in some bible studies and some adult forums. I'll be creating an Outreach Team and taking the lead on a Mission Renewal process that is in partnership with the St. Paul Area Synod. It is a bold move for a small congregation, but it I am convinced that God has brought me to this special place to be transformed. I pray we'll both be transformed in our ministry together.

Posted via email from


Post a Comment

<< Home