Church attendance in metro churches during the summer months is always affected by people going up to their cabins. Transform Minnesota wanted to know what church is like on the flip-side, so for our Pastor’s Column we asked Pastor John Just, of Timberwood Church near Brainerd to write a guest column on church life in “Cabin Country.”
[dropcap]T[/dropcap] imberwood Church lies in the heart of the Brainerd Lakes Area, we are located in Nisswa off State Highway 371. Our campus is a short walk away from the shores of Hole-in-the-Day Bay, Gull Lake.
Timberwood is a church plant that started in 2004. The vision started 20 years earlier as a prayer for a church that would reach the unchurched in this area. To be sure, the first few years, the winters were long, and at times lonely.
In the summer months, when our regulars church members are on vacation, we observe an inflow of people vacationing in this area. On a yearly basis we see the first snow birds arrive in spring, and by mid-summer there are a whole flock of cabin owners as the area swells to 3x its year-round population. Then in the fall, when school starts, most of the cabins owners retreat to their metropolitan castles; and by the end of the year, the last snow birds fly south to complete their yearly migration.
We delight in seeing people come to church… whether for a summer, or for a life.
While it has been a tremendous benefit to have people who own cabins in the area attend Timberwood; the primary focus is to be a year-round church that reaches our community. Because in the midst of all of the guests who attend Timberwood, we have many folks who work and live and play in the area.
In many ways Timberwood is like a metro church. We have programming that runs throughout the school year. We attempt to reach those who exist in our sphere of influence. Certainly there are events in the summertime that involve boating, but our church programming is designed for the church as a whole, not for a specific group of people.
We continue to reach out with the gospel of Jesus Christ, because we do not know how long any of us have in any location. We delight in seeing people come to church and grow in their faith, whether for a summer, or for a life.
John Just is the pastor of Timberwood Church in Nisswa, MN