Portfolio category: News

United in Freedom: Community and Confession

During the United in Freedom workshop in the fall of 2015, we took a look at how community and relationships are key to overcoming racial division in the body of Christ. The floor was opened up for public confession. Participants worshiped together through singing and holding hands, making promises starting with “I will…”

Newly Launched Initiative Equips Nonprofits in Ministry

Faith-based nonprofits often have a lot of heart and passion to do good works for the Kingdom of God; but their leaders can find they are lacking resources and time to think about the bigger picture. Transform Minnesota launched a new initiative in 2015, aimed at equipping nonprofits for evangelical ministry, called Ministry Equip.

Crafting a Clear Nonprofit Communication Strategy

In order for your compelling mission to be heard by donors, clients, and the public, you must have an effective communication strategy. It's importance that your organization understands its "WHY" mission.

Faith-Based Employment Practices, Stay True to Your Organizations Beliefs

On March 17, 2016, Transform Minnesota hosted a training at Gray Plant Mooty Law Firm on employment legal standards for faith-based organizations, churches and businesses. Esteemed attorneys Sam Diehl, Principal at GPM and Meghann Kantke, Associate at GPM, as well as a Transform Minnesota board member, shared what the legal landscape of religious organizations is like in today’s world.

Having a Biblical Theology of Sexuality in Today's Culture

In early April, 2016 Transform Minnesota and Bethel University hosted a church summit called “Holy Sexuality in Today’s Society.” Our Holy Sexuality in Today’s World Church Summit was so popular at Bethel University, it reached capacity, so we hosted a second summit in Cambridge, MN and had over 100 attendees. Evangelical scholar and psychologist from Regent University, Mark Yarhouse presented on how to unpack LGBTQ, how to understand gender dysphoria in our culture, and sexual identity from a Christian perspective. Biblical scholar Dr. Paul Eddy of Bethel University, presented on the Biblical theology of human sexuality, and the emphasis God puts on covenant relationships.

Fundraising as Ministry

Fundraising needs to be a proclamation that our loving God is in our midst, that His Spirit is moving to accomplish this plan, and that we get to be participants with Him. We invite people, and give them the opportunity to become a part of this movement that God is doing in our midst.

Black Clergy Launches Gang Violence Intervention Initiative

A coalition of African American churches launched a grand endeavor on Thursday June 16, 2016 to combat gang violence and high unemployment rates in the black community. At a press conference, dozens of faith leaders in the African American community committed $100,000 to employ youth workers to intervene at the street level, recruit job coaches, and train leaders in trauma and mental health services.

Community Prayer Service Fills Sanctuary with Lamentations and Prayers

It was standing room only at a community prayer service on Monday July 11, 2016, at Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis, in response to a week of deadly violence in our community and nation. More than 500 people came before God as a unified Body of Christ to lament, pray for peace, and to seek hope through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Rev. Billy Russell of Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church and Rev. Jason Meyer of Bethlehem Baptist Church called for a night of prayer and unity that resonated with many in our Christian community which can so often feel divided based on denomination, race, creed, age, gender or neighborhood affiliation.

How Covenants Show God's Heart for Relationships

Dr. Paul Eddy defines covenant as a committed, community-based, kinship-creating, agape love relationship. But he says it can be simplified down to two simple words: love formalized. Dr. Eddy believes studying covenants gives believers a better sense of God’s heart for how He shapes relationships. At his Covenantal Theology training at City Church on July 13, Dr. Eddy shared how we can improve our marriages by accurately viewing them as Kingdom-oriented covenants. Through that Kingdom-oriented lens, sex within a male-female marriage becomes the sign of the covenant. He urged church leaders to teach Kingdom Marriages, that put the Kingdom community and the imaging of the triune God at the center of it.

Launching a Ministry of Financial Leaders

Kimberly Stewart, Eagle Brook Church’s Executive Director of Development, taught a seminar on Engaging Financial Leaders in August 2016. She taught that, believe it or not, affluence is often a burden, and many with it are unsure of how to steward their wealth.

5 Tips to Being More Effective and Efficient with Email

5 Tips to Being More Effective and Efficient with Email from our Ministry Equip training with Audrey Thomas in November 2016.

Anti-Sex Trafficking "Super Run" Launches Saturday Before Super Bowl

A newly-launched Super Run 5k walk/run in Minneapolis is responding to the harsh reality of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation that is happening on our streets EVERY DAY - and as law enforcement prepares to see a surge in sex trafficking coming to our city on Super Bowl weekend 2018. Led by a group of churches, ministries, organizations and businesses, the Off the Streets Super Run is planned for the Saturday before Super Bowl LI in 2017 and Super Bowl LII in 2018, held in Minneapolis.

Founders Leave a Christ-honoring Legacy through Planned Giving

Quint and Rachel Alfors wanted to leave a legacy that outlasted their own lifetime. As the founders of our organization, Quint and Rachel Alfors encouraged giving at every turn; while Quint was President of GMAE he helped set-up a generous endowment for the future of our organization. The Alfors personally walked the talk, giving of their time and money, and they had the foresight to included Transform Minnesota in their planned giving. Even when times were tough, they modeled generosity in all stages of life; while working in ministry, in retirement, and while planning for a legacy after their own deaths. Through Quint and Rachel’s lifetime of ministry work and their generous financial contributions, the Alfors leave behind a Christ-honoring legacy at Transform Minnesota.

Martin Luther & His 95 Theses That Transformed the Church

As we celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, we encourage all evangelical Christians to reflect on the breadth of reforms in Christian teaching and practices that followed Luther’s bold actions. By nailing his 95 theses to the university door, Luther found himself leading a movement to reform the way Christians viewed salvation, scripture, and their relationship with God. Many of the beliefs and practices evangelicals revere in worship and prayer are a direct result of the Spirit-inspired revisions Martin Luther brought before the Roman Catholic Church in 1517.

Minnesota Evangelicals Still Standing with Refugees

Transform Minnesota calls upon President Trump to lift the ban on U.S. refugee admissions. The spirit of this Executive Order is based on fears that originate from incorrect facts about refugees, and is an action that runs contrary to our Christian moral imperative to shelter those fleeing violence and persecution. Among Transform Minnesota’s core values are the Sanctity of Life, Religious Freedom, and Mercy. These values, drawn from our evangelical faith and belief in the Bible, compel us to offer refuge to those who are suffering the most, to vigilantly defend each other’s religious freedom, and to protect the lives of refugees who are made in the image of God. We stand with refugees because God commands us to love, welcome and seek justice for refugees and other immigrants.

Helping Faith-Based Nonprofits Navigate Private Foundations

Alisha Cora Soule taught a packed-out room full of nonprofit leaders in January, 2017 on how to Find Funding and navigate the landscape of grants in the U.S. and Minnesota. Soule is currently the Director of Grants and Strategic Projects for the University of Northwestern St. Paul. Read more on how to find private funding, the components of a grant, and how to position your faith-based organization for Christian funding and secular funding.

Insanity of God Authors Equip Those in Cross-Cultural Ministry

Nik and Ruth Ripken wowed 165 attendees at Transform Minnesota’s February Insanity of God conference. The sold-out 2-day conference at Celebration Church, Lakeville equipped those in cross-cultural ministry, by emphasizing the call of suffering on the mission field, whether in a participants’ own community or overseas in a persecuted region. Through their extensive travels, the Ripkens have absorbed invaluable lessons from over 600 believers in persecuted situations. Much of what they shared at the conference was communicated from the lessons the Ripkens gleaned from their work with the persecuted church. Read what some participants said about the powerful, practical, Biblical and affirming lessons taught by the Ripkens.

A Prophetic Call to Welcome the Refugee

As we seek to understand how Christians are called to welcome the alien in our midst at our March 2, 2017 Standing with Refugees event; be confident in our country’s screening process, knowing that refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of anybody who travels to the United States. But also put your confidence in God’s calling on our lives to remember our ancestors who were once foreigners (found as the Hebrew word GER in the Old Testament), and to show hospitality to the stranger (hospitality is a Greek compound word of phileo and xenia, meaning love of stranger found in the New Testament).

Inaugural Rural and Small Town Conference Encourages 300 Midwest Ministry Leaders

On March 11, 2017 a leadership conference for rural and small town churches called Grow! was held at Cornerstone Church in Litchfield, MN. Over 300 pastors and ministry leaders from across the Midwest attended the inaugural conference designed to provide church leaders information on how to minister effectively, encourage them to see their unique role in God's plan, and help them take the steps that can impact their world for all of eternity. Included is a Q & A with some Grow Conference participants engaged in rural ministry in the Midwest.

Sankofa 2017: Journeying Back, Looking Forward

Nearly 50 years after Dr. King’s assassination, 30 Twin Cities pastors kept Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream alive through Sankofa: Journey to Harmony. Sankofa is a Ghanaian phrase that translates as “go back and get it.” Our Journey to Harmony encouraged participants to go back and face our country’s roots in order to move forward.

Traveling Team Provides Minn. Churches with Ready-Made Vacation Bible School

Summer is quickly approaching. Does your church struggle to plan a week-long kids Vacation Bible School? Is recruiting volunteers a major headache? A traveling VBS is making stops all across the state, helping churches put on a high-energy, Gospel-focused summer day camp.Trout Lake Day Camps are open to all churches and denominations, and they still have some open weeks if your church is in need of a ready-made VBS program.

God's Spirit is Moving Inside Minn. Women's Prison

God is moving at the Shakopee Women’s Prison in powerful ways. Prison Ministry volunteers can attest to it: "I believe God is creating a revival inside the Shakopee Women’s Prison." Estimates are that over 350 women have been baptized inside the prison since baptism services started being offered a few years back. But it’s not a one-time event. Volunteers from churches and evangelical ministries are a constant presence inside the prison walls, church attendance has sky-rocketed, and the Shakopee Women’s Prison is one of the first prisons in the world to allow a weekly Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class inside for meetings. Evangelical prison ministry groups believe God has big plans for these inmates after they're released.

Design for Non-Designers

On April 19, 2017 at our “Design for Non-Designers” training, Jordan Sundberg, graphic designer and owner of Tin Cup Design in Duluth, MN shared her expertise on how new designers can start generating ideas and the importance of creating a concept.

The Timeless Call for Racial Harmony

In April, 2017 we launched a series of forums called Transform Ideas; conversations to help Christians explore biblical perspectives on important cultural issues. The theme for our first Transform Ideas forum was the Timeless Call for Racial Harmony held on April 27, 2017 at Hope Community Church. Four local speakers addressed 225 audience members with ideas relating to both our nation's history of racism and our present day reality of racial disparities in the Twin Cities. Our hope for The Timeless Call for Racial Harmony is to help Christians explore how they can pursue racial harmony, help rebuild, repair and find redemption from America’s sin of racism.

Responding to Officer Yanez Trial

There is no earthly justice that will bring back the life of Philando Castille. The world seeks justice as best it can, but even the world’s justice can’t turn back the clock and bring Castile back to life, or allow Officer Jeronimo Yanez to double check his instinctive reaction.

Spark Limitless Potential through Short-Term Missions

How do short-term missions trips produce results that go beyond a feel-good mini vacation? We asked a panel of missions pastors/administrators to share their best practices in crafting valuable and effective short-term missions trips. Find out how to honor the mutually beneficial nature of the church/missionary partnership. How dreaming big resulted in a 9,000% growth in missions giving at one church. And why it's best to seek out invitations from long-term missionaries before planning a trip.

Christian, Muslim Effort Leads to Minnesota’s Largest Food Pack

The hard-working hands of more than 19,000 volunteers packed meals for four-days leading to the most meals ever packed at one time in the state of Minnesota. Nearly 5 million meals are being shipped to the famine and drought impacted land of Somalia, due to a joint-faith effort between Christians and Muslims that was dreamed up and executed in just eight short-weeks. Together the group named, “Love Somalia,” inspired tens of thousands of volunteers to descend on the St. Paul River Centre from June 2-5, 2017.

Churches Tackling Foster Care Crisis, Caring for Vulnerable Children

There is a growing movement within the local Christian Church for families to support foster care and love on vulnerable children. In large part, the trend is due to a growing realization that there are modern-day orphans living in Minnesota. Many advocates for vulnerable children in the Christian community believe the Church finally is heeding its call to care for orphans, by attempting to care for the 1,700 Minnesota children who are wards of the state. Read how some churches and faith-based organizations are working to tackle Minnesota's foster care crisis. Plus resources on how best to respond to this growing need.

Transform Minnesota Launches Generosity Initiative with Thrivent

Transform Minnesota is launching its generosity initiative to help build healthy churches across the state. We are happy to announce Thrivent as our official generosity partner. Our two organizations are collaborating around generosity, by hosting an Evangelical Leaders Forum on October 5, 2017 called, “Daring Generosity.” This free pastors’ luncheon will be held at Grace Church and will equip pastors and lay leaders in how to dare your church to be generous; while gaining tools to help church bodies experience the health of abundant generosity.

Evangelical Christians Denounce Bloomington Mosque Attack

As evangelical Christians in Minnesota we denounce the attack on Dar Al-Farooq Mosque in Bloomington and pray that the perpetrator will be quickly found and brought to justice. When one place of worship is attacked, all of our houses of worship are threatened. And so as evangelical Christians we stand with Minnesota Muslims to denounce this attack.

Help Anti-Trafficking Efforts, Make Your Church a Place of Restoration

On July 19, 2017 Transform Minnesota hosted 140 people at Wooddale Church for a seminar called “Uncovering Hidden Shame,” offering resources and expertise on the slippery slope of sin that leads to prostitution, the spiritual dimension of treating sexual addiction, and why evangelical Christians need to develop a theology of healthy sexuality in church. As many churches work to ramp up anti-trafficking efforts, make your church a place of restoration and redemption. We believe churches should resource and help restore men and women involved in sexual addiction, prostitution and pornography.

Restorative Worship Gathering

On September 10, 2017 Bishop Richard Howell Jr., of Shiloh Temple International Ministries and Pastor Matthew St. John of New Hope Church hosted ‘Harmony: An Evening of Restorative Worship’ at Shiloh. The intent in gathering was both to highlight the previous 2017 Sankofa Journey in February and the fruit that has since developed. This week, eighteen pastors from the trip gathered with members of the community for an evening of fellowship, unity, and a shared joy in the Lord.

Explanation of Our Support for Refugees

While we have seen a lot of support for refugees from evangelical grassroots and national leaders in recent months, others are asking important questions about the safety of refugees coming to America. We encourage you to use the following information to talk with fellow Christians about the real fears that some people have. It's important to our Gospel witness that Christians are seen as people motivated by the Bible and credible information.

Pray For Las Vegas

Carl Nelson writes, "Prayer seems inadequate. But that's how Christians instinctively respond to a Father who loves us."

Scripture, Science and Biblical Responsibility

On September 28, 2017 our second Transform Ideas forum focused on considering our biblical responsibility to care for the poor and vulnerable who often suffer the most from weather extremes. Over 220 people from the Metro and St. Cloud area attended to learn how they might become better stewards of creation, be equipped as thoughtful citizens of the Kingdom, and love their brothers and sisters in need around the world.

Daring Generosity

On October 5, 2017, Transform Minnesota hosted 'Daring Generosity': a pastor's luncheon at Grace Church in Eden Prairie. Designed to help churches establish a culture of generosity President of Transform Minnesota: Carl Nelson, CEO of Thrivent Financial: Brad Hewitt, and Lead Pastor at River Valley Church, Rob Ketterling, joined in presentation on the heart and spirit behind giving.

Stay Out of Hot Water

At our Ministry Equip training on November 9, 2017, attorney Julie Fisk shared her insights on how to best approach staff concerns or disciplinary issues within a non-profit faith based ministry. To help encourage healthy organizational accountability and growth, Fisk shared with local faith-based non-profit leadership shared some of the most effective strategies for managing and documenting the employee discipline process. She highlighted honesty, communication and intentional feedback, equipping those present to invest in lawful awareness and "keep your legal ducks in a row."

Loving Our Somali Neighbor

On October 28, 2017, Calvary Community church in St. Cloud hosted a one-day conference on how the church can better engage and love our Somali neighbors. The event was a collaborative effort between Transform Minnesota, Arrive Ministries, and the St. Cloud Evangelical Network for Transformation (SENT Network). Through various panel discussions and seminars, those present heard from a wide variety of individuals involved.

Church Security - We Can't Be Naive

Church leaders are double checking their security plans. Besides learning from other churches and seeking advice from law enforcement, many church insurers will help their clients create plans.

The Thriving Rural Church

While the vast majority of America’s land space is rural and a surprising number of ministry leaders in America have “served time” in rural churches, knowledge, vision and leadership for rural ministry is often overlooked in light of the need to reach the densely populated urban centers and suburban communities. The realities of poverty and isolation are closer to the truth of what the average small town community experiences today. Read more about how to grow and sustain a thriving rural church, and learn about a unique ministry opportunity, the Grow! Leadership Conference coming to Willmar, MN in March, 2018.

30,000 Baptists To Descend Upon Minneapolis for Historically Black Convention

The largest predominantly African American denomination in the U.S. is bringing upwards of 30,000 people to Minneapolis over Labor Day week 2018 for their Annual Session, to be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Organizers say expect the cities to be swarming labor day weekend as delegates arrive early to shop and site-see. The convention’s presence will be felt across the entire city of Minneapolis, with plans to do evangelism, crime prevention, employment outreach, and opportunities to serve the homeless. The week will offer high energy praise and worship with reputable speakers. The general public is invited to attend the National Baptist Convention, USA Annual Session.

Preparing Your Church for a Security Crisis

On January 24, 2018, a Crisis and Security Summit was held by AM 980 The Mission in Bloomington. This event was designed to help churches assess if they are prepared in the event of a crisis. Learn the warning signals before an act of violence is committed, how to protect your organization from a cyber attack, how to take advantage of current notification infrastructures during emergency situations, and ways to protect your organization from the increasing trend of mass shootings.

Top Evangelical Leaders Urge Action to Help Dreamers, Refugees, Persecuted Christians & Immigrant Families

We are proud Carl Nelson, President of Transform Minnesota joins 1,200 church leaders from all 50 states in sending this letter to President Donald J. Trump and Members of Congress urging action to help vulnerable immigrants and to stand with refugees. This letter was published on the back page of the Washington Post's front section.

The Church Must Continue Anti-Trafficking Work After the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl has come and gone. Unfortunately, so has much of the hype surrounding anti-trafficking efforts in our community. So, we at Transform Minnesota are calling on churches and faith leaders to continue in the fight against sex trafficking in our communities. By harnessing the momentum of the Super Bowl in Minneapolis, we hope churches will launch this anti-trafficking movement forward, to have long-term impact on the lives of rescued victims, and in the restoration of local perpetrators.

Mourning and Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Rev. Billy Graham in Minnesota

We mourn the loss of Rev. Billy Graham while we celebrate his legacy and great influence in spreading the message and hope of Jesus Christ all over the world, especially right here in Minnesota. Graham was monumental in shaping the evangelical landscape of Minnesota through launching a Christian radio station, leading a local Christian University, founding the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association - long headquartered in Minneapolis, and leading four life-changing crusades in the Twin Cities. Rev. Graham's preaching about Christ’s free gift of salvation will continue to be spread for generations to come. We, at Transform Minnesota, are grateful for the life of Rev. Billy Graham, for his leadership, vision, faith and most importantly love of Jesus and others that he so freely shared with the world.

Assessing How to Best Help in Anti-Trafficking Efforts

“Typically people want to engage this trafficking problem in a really visibly meaningful way. They want to give themselves something to assess, report, measure, like recovering victims or mentoring victims. The problem with that thinking is that it generally means people want to be involved in the knee-deep place of pulling victims out of sex trafficking. Think about how impractical most of that work is for the majority of people," said Sgt. Grant Snyder of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Human Trafficking task force. Sgt. Snyder shared some assessment tools in how to best help in anti-trafficking efforts, including the importance of prayer and prevention work.

Entrusted with the Gospel in Rural and Small Towns

275 rural pastors attended the Grow Conference in Willmar, MN on March 3, 2018, hailing from a span of 800 miles across the Midwest. The Grow! Conference was led by a diverse array of denominations, church leaders, and speakers which evoked a unifying spirit in Christ. With a focus on the unique rural experience and how to whole-heartedly embrace the place God has called them, participants said the content was invaluable. Through Grow! we aim to encourage rural church leaders that God is with them and He will give them what they need to share His love and message to their small town.

4 Questions to Ask Ourselves Before We Start Doing Anti-Trafficking Justice Work:

4 Questions to Ask Ourselves Before We Start Doing Anti-Trafficking Justice Work. This list was presented by Sgt. Grant Snyder, of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Human Trafficking task force at our Anti-Trafficking: Post-Game Plan Breakfast on March 5, 2018.

3 Rules for Social Media Engagement

On March 20, 2018 Dr. Brian Stewart and Dean Bill Tibbetts of North Central University's School of Business taught our Ministry Equip seminar on "Strategic Social Media." In our ever evolving social media landscape, this seminar taught effective social media marketing tools for faith-based non-profits, including 3 rules for social media engagement.

7 Ideas on How to Become a Multi-Cultural Church

If your church is striving to be a multi-cultural church, here's a great place to start: 7 ways to reach different people groups. In Acts, Jesus commands us to make disciples of people, including people of a different ethnicity that live within our communities.

Dos and Don'ts for Churches Addressing Mental Illness

Dos and Don'ts List for Churches Addressing Mental Illness. Dos and Don'ts List Created by Sarah Gross with Nystrom and Associates

Awakening the Church to Mental Health

Nearly 400 people attended Transform Ideas: Awakening the Church to Mental Health at Hope Community Church on April 19, 2018. With a diverse line-up of speakers, this public forum offered a wide variety of perspectives; from the clinical to the personal and the spiritual. A mother shared about her son’s mental illness, and how the Church can better support her son. A high school guidance counselor spoke on the increasing rates of anxiety and depression among teenagers. A clinical social worker shared a powerful list of “Dos and Don’ts” for the Church; urging Christians to stop judging people with mental illness.

Sankofa 2018: An Exhausting, Rewarding Journey

Our second Sankofa journey took 28 Twin Cities multi-ethnic pastors to learn about civil rights and racial reconciliation the first week of May. It was an exhausting yet rewarding journey together, travelling through the South, visiting important sites of the Civil Rights era. As we grappled with past and present realities of racism, each stop forced us to bear witness to our country’s tragic history of racial terrorism. This powerful journey forever changed us, humbled us, grieved us, yet left us grateful and hopeful in the unity of the body of Christ.

Rethinking Incarceration

More than 350 people showed up to the afternoon and evening Rethinking Incarceration forums in May of 2018 to learn how Christians can help create a more restorative justice system. Dominique Gilliard taught about America’s history from slavery to Jim Crow to mass incarceration – a criminal justice system built on racial and social control. Gilliard urged the Church to harness their collective power and belief in the dignity of vulnerable people, and to advocate for the least of these by helping to transform the criminal justice system.

The One Thing to Consider when Dealing with People

Dr. Jeanine Parolini taught about emotional intelligence at the EQ Ministry Equip training on May 31, 2018. Parolini taught on the one thing to consider when dealing with people, and highlighted the importance of recognizing that most humans instinctively react out of our insecurities. She shared the importance of participating in a 3-phase movement of surrender to God, rather than reacting out of insecurity.

Two Steps to Creating a Workplace with Fully Engaged People

At our EQ Ministry Equip training on May 31, 2018, Dr. Parolini taught organizations, churches and business leaders the importance of recognizing that each employee brings their whole heart into the workplace. "If they check a part of themselves at the door, they don’t fully engage in the workplace,” said Dr. Jeanine Parolini. Plus the role of safety and trust in workplace relationships.

Welcoming the Stranger; a Biblical Perspective on Immmigration

On August 2, 2018 Arrive Ministries, the refugee resettlement affiliate of Transform Minnesota hosted a seminar called “Welcoming the Stranger." More than 350 people heard a message of compassion and justice for immigrants and refugees shared by Matthew Soerens, co-author of “Welcoming the Stranger.” When Jesus was asked “Who are my neighbors?” Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus’ answer is still instructing the American Church on how we should respond to foreigners. In today's culture, when answering who are our neighbors, Soerens teaches us that the Bible instructs us to love and have compassion on refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers.

School & Church Partners, a Match Made in Heaven

The school is the hub of any community. This Back to School season, many Minnesota churches are partnering with local school districts to meet the needs of their neighbors. Read about the ways these churches and local organizations are showing the love of Jesus through serving their schools. And find out ways your church can experience the vibrant people and cultures of its community, by stepping inside its local schools.

The Divine Dance of Spirituality and Sexuality

On Thursday August 23rd, 2018 we launched our fall “Reexamining Sexuality” workshop series with teachings on reexamining our view of God (Imago Dei). In the first (of three) workshop session, Becky Patton lays the foundation for the interwoven nature of spirituality and sexuality.

Keeping Quality Staff Happy: 3 Elements to Employee Retention

The 3 elements to employee retention that will keep employees satisfied, engaged and loyal. When managers at non-profit organizations and churches think about how to retain quality employees, their main complaint is they don’t have the funding to increase pay. But when people are asked why they do what they do – pay is NOT at the top of the list.

Transform Ideas Expands to St. Cloud and Rochester, with Mental Health Forum

Transform Minnesota is thrilled to expand the reach of Transform Ideas across the state by bringing our thoughtful and engaging public forum to St. Cloud and Rochester. Nearly 300 people from the St. Cloud area attended the first Transform Ideas St. Cloud on September 25 at Calvary Community Church; the topic was mental health and the church. We are excited to announce we are also bringing Transform Ideas: Awakening the Church to Mental Health to Rochester on November 29th at Rochester Covenant Church. Read a full recap of Transform Ideas St. Cloud, plus a compilation of resources and referrals.

Reexamining Sexuality as a Gift from God

Before we could start reexamining sexuality, we examined the value of having a healthy view of God: as the creator of sex, desire, gender, mind, body and spirit. Next, we focused on reexamining our views of ourselves and others as image bearers of God. Finally, we embraced God’s good design for having a healthy view of sexuality and of being sexual and spiritual beings. Transform Minnesota believes in the power of diving into the complex issues surrounding sexuality in today’s society. It is only through having a healthy view of God, ourselves and others that our society can hold a healthy view and experience of sex.

What It Means to Be Pro-Abundant Life

On October 4, 2018 our fourth Transform Ideas forum looked into how Christians can be pro-abundant life, rather than just anti-abortion. Our inspiring panel of speakers challenged the audience to seek the goal of working toward a healthy flourishing society, as we aim to have a consistent pro-life witness. Plus how seeking value and dignity in the unborn and already born means we should advocate for foster care and affordable housing.

Slow Your Scroll: Effective Social Media Strategies

In October of 2018, Dr. Brian Stewart, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at North Central University, presented on four ways to effectively use social media to engage others at our Slow Your Scroll training including: building effective facebook ads, utilizing facebook analytics, and creating valuable facebook content.

Do Justice Conference with Bryan Stevenson

Fifteen-hundred people from Minnesota’s faith communities attended the Do Justice Conference with Bryan Stevenson on November 8, 2018, and An Evening with Bryan Stevenson later that evening. Stevenson is an acclaimed civil rights attorney, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, and author of Just Mercy. He gave two addresses to a packed sanctuary at Christ Presbyterian Church on the need for Americans to pursue racial justice and reconciliation in our country. Stevenson encouraged the Church to work to change the narratives of our society and to stay hopeful, while challenging people of faith to position themselves in inconvenient and uncomfortable places.

Just Church, for All People

At the “Just Church” workshop on November 8, 2018, Pastor David Myles, of New Hope Church and Christopher Brooks, of MERGE Twin Cities spoke on the Biblical foundations for being a church for all peoples. How we can be committed to fulfilling the Great Commission while also leading change in places of need, where the Lord has called us. Myles opened with the Biblical Mandate of why we are doing this for all people and Brooks finished with specific strategies for realizing this mandate.

What It Means to "Be In Christ"

Dr. Kenneth Young presented a compelling workshop called “What it Means to “Be In Christ” at the Do Justice Conference on November 8, 2018. Dr. Young is a systematic theologian at UNWSP. The workshop took an anthropological and sociological approach to looking at how the body of Christ is made up, and what it looks like when it is functioning for all people.

White Supremacy Distorted the Biblical Narrative

Dr. Karen McKinney, Biblical Studies professor at Bethel University taught the workshop “White Supremacy Distorted the Biblical Narrative” at the Do Justice Conference on November 8, 2018. She taught how the Anglo-Saxon Myth was born and how it impacted America's grand narrative. Dr. McKinney dug deep into four Biblical distortions used to propagate white supremacy ideology, and the construction of Whiteness. And offered actions steps for the oppressors and the oppressed.

America’s Education Inequality

America’s Education Inequality-Addiction was presented by Don Samuels at the Do Justice Conference on November 8, 2018. How America's bias mentality harms the education of African Americans. The history of withholding education from African American children, and other exclusionary measures that lead to inequality in America's education system. Plus what can be done to bridge the education gap?

Four Common Mistakes in Leadership Succession Planning

On November 15, 2018 Natalie Ackerman, president of Cornerstone Consulting, presented at our Succession Roadmapping training. This Succession Roadmapping training shared the importance of making sure every person in your organization is prepared to transition to a place of greater leadership and responsibility when a leader is replaced. Learn the Four Common Mistakes in Leadership Succession Planning. The top questions to ask yourself about your organization’s succession plan and the top questions to ask others when looking at their leadership potential.

Committed to Equipping Churches in Rural Communities

Transform Minnesota is committed to connecting and equipping church leaders in Minnesota communities; large and small. We are offering more conferences and forums geared toward churches in rural and small town communities, with plans for expanding our influence in the rural evangelical community in 2019.

14 Security Best Practices to Get Secure

Security best practices taught at our Get IT Secure Ministry Equip training on Jan. 16, 2019. Including five tips to block phishing attacks via email and nine tips to strengthen password security.

Engaging Generations Through Generosity

In partnership with Thrivent Financial, we hosted two Engaging Generations Through Generosity seminars in January 2019, that took a deep dive into research Thrivent commissioned Barna Group to conduct around the generosity of self-identified Christians.

Three Starting Principles in the Dismantling Racism Process

Dr. Ruben Rivera shared that most dismantling racism efforts stall or never get off the ground. At our first Dismantling Racism workshop, held at Mercy Vineyard Church on January 24, 2019, Dr. Rivera offered 3 principles when embarking on racial reconciliation work.

Inviting God into Sexual Struggles

On Sunday, February 24, 2019 over 450 people packed Substance Church’s downtown campus to hear world-renown Christian speaker Sy Rogers at the “God, Sex and Culture” evening forum. Sy Rogers spoke about the sexual brokenness and temptations of all humans. And offered an assuring message of the hope that God is our redemptive advocate when it comes to our struggles. The sanctuary was full of people from all ages and stages. Many youth leaders said they felt more equipped to tackle subjects of sexuality with their youth groups.

Minnesota Evangelicals Condemn Attack on Muslim Worshipers

We raise our voice against all kinds of religious intolerance and hatred – regardless of the particular faith of the victims.

Encountering Sexuality as the Church

Sy Rogers, world-renown Christian speaker and communicator brought a message of encouragement to Christian leaders on February 25, 2019 on how to tackle the subject of healthy sexuality and responsible stewardship of our sexual desires in the Church. Attendees left the God, Sex and the Church leadership conference inspired by Sy’s depiction of God, and His redemptive advocacy, especially in areas of sexuality.

Three Hats Worn by Church/Ministry Board Members

On March 14, 2019 at our Effective Board Practices training, Carl Nelson, president and CEO of Transform Minnesota taught about three hats church and ministry board members need to wear, and the appropriate times to wear those hats for effective board involvement.

Maintaining Healthy Board Relationships

At our March 14, 2019 Effective Board Practices training, Pat Mazorol, the board chair at Transform Minnesota, and Carl Nelson, the President and CEO at Transform Minnesota discussed how to navigate all of the relationships and various roles of board members in their church or ministry setting.

An 8-Point Checklist for Responding to Sexual Harassment Reports

On April 2, 2019 Transform Minnesota presented a ministry equip training for churches and Christian nonprofits called "Fostering Dignity in the Workplace" with Virginia Cronin, attorney at Henningson and Snoxell. When designing the policies and procedures a church or nonprofit will use to conduct intake reports of sexual harassment, this 8-point checklist is a good place to start.

In-Group Bias - It's In the Church Too

In-group bias in Christianity is all too normal. Dr. Ruben Rivera taught at the second Dismantling Racism training at Wooddale Church on March 21, 2018 on how Christians are often regularly, however subconsciously bias. Dr. Rivera taught about the dangers of making our view of Jesus captive to our in-group culture. Dr. Rivera showed how Jesus blew up in-group/out-group bias, and continues to empower His followers to take in-group love and give it to the out-group.

Draft a Rock Solid Employee Handbook

The number one rule when drafting an employee handbook, is to tailor it specifically to your organization. If the handbook is not tailored to meet your organizations needs and specific legal requirements, it will become a legal liability. At Rock Solid Employee Handbooks training on June 13, 2019, Attorney Ginny Cronin taught the three starting steps to take when drafting an Employee Handbook.

Being a Trauma Informed Church

At our Trauma Informed training on June 26, 2019 held at Sanctuary Covenant Church, we looked into how Christian communities can heal unseen wounds. The Church is uniquely positioned to be a healing presence for the growing number of trauma survivors we serve in our communities.

A Tragic Anniversary: August 1619 and the Beginning of a 400 Year Legacy

Four hundred years ago this month, in late August 1619, a destructive and evil idea was introduced to the American colonies.

Love Them First: Documentary Inspires As God Works Through Brokenness

At an elementary school in North Minneapolis God is bringing hope and transformation through the lives of two godly principals and their teaching staff.

Practical Approaches to Conflict Resolution

“Conflict resolution skills are the final result of years of effort combined with the experience of application”; in other words—we frequently miss the mark and it takes time.

Solidarity in Education Equality

As a proud member of the NAE, Transform Minnesota is committed to addressing the crisis of education inequity.

Transform Minnesota Partners with Bless Your Pastor Campaign

Transform Minnesota is encouraging Minnesota churches to participate in Pastor Appreciation Month this October.

Walter Kim Succeeds Leith Anderson as NAE President

The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) Board of Directors elected Walter Kim as its president, effective January 1, 2020. He will succeed Leith Anderson, who has served as NAE president since 2006.

Damascus Way Announces New Executive Director

Damascus Way Reentry Center has announced a new Executive Director, Tierre Webster, to join the organization in November.

Education Equity: Church Advocacy

On October 18th, Nicole Baker Fulgham spoke at a Transform Minnesota breakfast hosted by Bethel Christian Fellowship.

Fighting Racial Injustice and Understanding Racism in America

This October, several hundred gathered for Transform Minnesota’s Understanding Racism in America event with speakers Jemar Tisby and Laurel Bunker.

Rooted in Scripture, Motivated by Love

Transform Minnesota hosted president of the Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender, Preston Sprinkle for two sold out events early this November.

Transform Minnesota's Vision for Holy Sexuality

Our heart is to equip the Church in steadfast scriptural foundations while encouraging compassionate, Christ-like navigation of today’s more challenging topics.

Pastor's Column: Follow Up to Sankofa

"My largest takeaway from the trip was hope—hope that I would be able to apply what we had seen and make a difference in our community."

Building a Vibrant Church Culture

On November 21st, River Valley Campus Pastor Kirk Graham spoke at a Transform breakfast on creating and developing vibrant church culture.

Encouragement for 2020

I know that God’s hand is on the Twin Cities here in Minnesota. Jesus is changing lives! I met with hundreds of pastors from various evangelical denominations in 2019 and heard unique stories of the Gospel at work.

Abundant Life from Conception to Natural Death

This January, Transform Minnesota remembers and grieves those lives lost to unnatural causes, including abortion and physician-assisted suicide. We believe that because God has created each of us in His image, that every life holds dignity and purpose, regardless of life stage.

Pastor's Column: 'Tuko Pamoja': We are Together

Emily Hamilton shares her heart for global mission engagement and relationships.

Remembering the Lives of Elias, Elmer, and Isaac

June 15th, 2020 marks the 100-year commemoration of Minnesota’s own egregious Duluth lynchings and the loss of three innocent lives.

Sexual Identity and Labels: A Testimony by Rachel Gilson

Rachel’s testimony begins with a secular family in a conservative area of California and ends with a radical understanding of God and His holiness.

Worldview and Political Polarization

Kyongmin Song teaches classes on Christianity, culture, and politics with an emphasis on reconciliation; he shared some of his thoughts with Transform Minnesota.

Health Officials Brief Minnesota Church Leaders

The MN Department of Health briefed denominational leaders on March 17 to provide guidance on how churches should plan to respond to the Coronavirus emergency.

Employee Classification: Simplified

On February 27th, Transform Minnesota hosted a Ministry Equip with Virginia Cronin, who spoke to a full room on the importance and nuance of properly classifying employees.

The Crisis That Could Strengthen Churches

President of Transform Minnesota, Carl Nelson, shares hope and ways God may strengthen the Church during this unprecedented time.

Rally Call to Christians: A Surge in Generosity

Christians in centuries past risked their lives to help others during pandemics. What can we risk to help small businesses, frontline charities, and our own churches in this pandemic?

Arrive Ministries Announces New Executive Director

Transform Minnesota is excited to announce Mike Bergman as the new Executive Director of Arrive Ministries.

Transform Minnesota's Statement on Churches Reopening

Transform Minnesota issues a statement on balancing the reopening of church worship with the needs of public health.

Considerations for Churches as They Move to Reopen

Transform Minnesota encourages caution and compassion as Governor Walz announced new executive order 20-62, allowing for public worship gatherings beginning May 27.

Yet Another Black Life Devalued and Disregarded

George Floyd's personhood and dignity were met with violence and his last breaths were handled with a cruel lack of basic human care.

Urgent Call to the Church

The Church holds great responsibility to lead with immediate and committed action. While critical, it is not enough for the Church to simply call out racism and reject it as evil and divisive.

One Fund. One Year. One Million Dollars.

The African American community in the Twin Cities is facing extensive physical, emotional, and spiritual trauma surrounding the death of George Floyd and the disproportionate effects of COVID-19.

Engaging With Grace and Compassion

Our witness should continue to be a priority even in the face of fears, concerns, and disagreements with others.   

Transform Minnesota Message on Community Involvement

The Church can put our weight, energy and finances towards established organizations that are actively engaged in addressing the root issues that created the current pain in our cities.

Racial Disparities and Covid-19 - VIDEO

We were grateful to have Jemar Tisby, president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, rejoin us to share why the pandemic is highlighting racial inequities and creating uncertainty for the African American church.

Minding Minnesota's Education Gap - VIDEO

Transform was glad to welcome back Dr. Nicole Baker Fulgham, president of the Expectations Project, to shed light on why the achievement gap in Minnesota is worsening, and the Church's role in moving forward.

Damascus Way: Innovation and Expansion

Executive Director of Damascus Way, Tierre Webster, shares an update on their new location in Golden Valley and practical ways for the Church to support this new residence.

Transform Minnesota’s Call to Racial Justice and Reconciliation

Transform Minnesota is committed to helping evangelical Christians pursue racial justice and reconciliation from a distinctly biblical perspective.

Refugees and Our Response - VIDEO

It was helpful to have Jenny Yang, VP of Policy & Advocacy on Refugee Resettlement at World Relief, join us for a webinar to share a biblical perspective on welcoming refugees and immigrants.

Gospel Empowered Civic Engagement - VIDEO

We were so blessed to partner with Justin Giboney, president of the AND Campaign, for a webinar on how the Church can lean into and lead the way in civic engagement.

Statement from Transform Minnesota on US Capitol Riots

Transform Minnesota is grieved by the recent mob violence that transpired at our nation's capitol.

Gen Z and the Church

Savannah Kimberlin, Director of Published Research at Barna Group, hosted an interactive webinar for a group of Minnesota pastors and ministry leaders. Savannah shared from Barna Group’s 2017 and 2021 data, and together we learned about the complexities and opportunities in discipling Gen Z.

Real Justice, True Peace

The upcoming trial for Derek Chauvin requires the Church to be united together in word and deed, prior to, during, and after the trial. Transform Minnesota has partnered with a leadership group of Black and white pastors. Together, we are asking believers across the state to join us in intentional prayer and unity, regardless of the trial’s outcome.

Open Letter to the Church: Gen Z Biblical Theology Student

In conjunction with our Gen Z + The Church webinar series, Transform Minnesota is featuring Gen Z voices in open letters to the Church.

Open Letter to the Church: Gen Z Pastoral Studies Student

In conjunction with our Gen Z + The Church webinar series, Transform Minnesota is featuring Gen Z voices in open letters to the Church.

Open Letter to the Church: Gen Z Student

In conjunction with our Gen Z + The Church webinar series, Transform Minnesota is featuring Gen Z voices in open letters to the Church.

Transform Minnesota's Statement on the Derek Chauvin Verdict

It is critical for the Church to remain committed to the transformational work of seeking peace and pursuing biblical justice in our communities. 

Lament for Justice

Pastor Matthew R. St. John, Senior Pastor at New Hope Church, shares his prayer of lament that he shared at a live prayer event after the Derek Chauvin verdict.

Transform Minnesota on Celebrating Juneteenth

As we continue to be committed to racial justice, we acknowledge that part of pursuing reconciliation is knowing and understanding our complicated history in the United States.

Announcing New Partnership with American Bible Society

Transform Minnesota is honored to partner with The American Bible Society to bring Bible based trauma healing to the Twin Cities.

The Church and a Native Perspective in Minneapolis

Transform Minnesota desires to listen and lean into the experiences of our Native American brothers and sisters and interviewed Pastor TJ Valtierra to learn more about his ministry.

Why We Believe in the Roles of Church & Scripture in Trauma Healing

American Bible Society desires to look at how hardships and traumatic experiences affect relationships with God, self and others, as well as how the Bible offers hope.

Letter to the Church from a LGBTQ Christian

A LGBTQ Christian shares their personal story of being an active part of the Church.

Skepticism and Racial Justice: Dr. Ed Uszynski and Nina Barnes

In July we had the honor of hearing from Dr. Ed Uszynski and Nina Barnes as we unraveled more conversation surrounding racial justice.

Part 2: Letter to the Church from a LGBTQ Christian

In this second letter in the series, a LGBTQ Christian shares his personal experience with the Church.

Trauma Healing Convening Sessions

On September 15 & 16, Transform Minnesota partnered with American Bible Society to host two Trauma Healing Convening Sessions to introduce the Trauma Healing Initiative to the Twin Cities.

Helping the Church Become a Resource

Heather Drew, MA, LPC recently wrote an article for Trauma in America, on the value of the Church being a resource for those who are suffering with trauma.

Exciting News for New Life Family Services

Transform Minnesota is proud to highlight an exciting update with our affiliate ministry, New Life Family Services as they are building a new center in the South Minneapolis, Phillips neighborhood!

What Does the Gospel Say About Race and Racism?

Transform Minnesota continues their partnership with OneRace as this week, the second class in a series of five, Reconciliation 201, is coming to a close!

Helping Others Heal From Trauma

Late last month, Transform Minnesota partnered with American Bible Society to host the Trauma Healing Equipping Sessions as an opportunity to build a more trauma-informed church in the Twin Cities.

Holy Sexuality Resources and Resolutions

A list of helpful resources as follow up to our Sexuality, Gender and the Church conference.

Southern Justice Experience - A Review

Transform Minnesota continues their partnership with OneRace as this week, the second class in a series of five, Reconciliation 201, is coming to a close!

Arrive Ministries' Statement About Ukraine

One of Transform Minnesota's affiliate ministries, Arrive Ministries, recently made a statement on the events unfolding in Ukraine.

Engaging in Biblical Justice

Transform Minnesota hosted two events with Justin Giboney surrounding the conversation of engaging in the work of justice and upholding absolute truth.

A Woman's Perspective on Leadership

Choua LeMay, Director of Student Intercultural Programs at the University of Northwestern- St. Paul, spoke about the value her identity as a woman of color brings to leadership.

Christian Leadership Amid Cultural Conflict

Transform Minnesota and Anselm House hosted Dr. Russell Moore for a lunch-time gathering with over 250 ministry leaders and pastors.

Time to Prove our Pro-Life Ethic; Transform Minnesota's Response

Today the US Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe vs. Wade, a decision that Transform Minnesota and many pro-life Americans welcome in our passionate commitment to promote human dignity and protect the sanctity of life.

Jesus in the Secular World

Sold-out Jesus in the Secular World workshop teaches how to present the Gospel in a post-Christian culture.

Spreading the Gospel in a Post-Christian Culture

As our culture shifts, Transform Minnesota is committed to helping Christians find new ways to share the gospel.

The Future of the Trauma Healing Initiative

Transform Minnesota is excited to extend its partnership with the American Bible Society and the Trauma Healing Institute into 2023.

Damascus Way Leads the Way

Damascus Way is providing leadership in reentry services by bringing purpose, healing, and community to those they serve.

New Life Celebrates Sanctity of Human Life Month

To kick off Sanctity of Human Life month, our affiliate New Life Family Services teaches us about the importance of a holistic pro-life ethic.

Honoring the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Recognizing the Church's continuing need to combat racism and pursue justice on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Trauma Healing and Participatory Leadership

Local ministry leaders learned how Trauma Healing Groups can be implemented in their ministries, and how to engage the content themselves.

Learning to Intentionally Engage Spiritual Conversations

Spiritual Conversations for the Non-Religious workshop shows the radical shift needed to spread the Gospel to a new generation.

Discipleship Lessons Across Communities

Pastor Dave Mergens shares what rural and suburban pastors can learn from each other when building discipling relationships.

Continuing to Rally for Life

Transform President Carl Nelson joined the United for Life rally, part of a multi-pronged approach to demonstrating a pro-life ethic.

Conversations About Biblical Sexuality

Transform Minnesota remains committed to equipping leaders to apply a biblical sexual ethic to questions they navigate within their ministry.

Dialogue About God-Honoring Identity Language

A discussion about finding God-honoring identity language which describes the experience of individuals who experience same-sex attraction.

An Invitation to Welcome the Stranger

Arrive Ministries tells us about their work in refugee resettlement and the biblical invitation to welcome the stranger.

Applying a Biblical Sexual Ethic in Community

Dr. Greg Coles explores how the Church can apply a biblical sexual ethic for gay and straight members of church community.

Employment Law Changes Affecting Churches

Minnesota Employment Law Changes webinar provides nuanced explanations for why some regulations now apply to religious organizations and churches.

OneRace Training Helps Leaders Engage the Story of Race

Training with OneRace Movement helped participants begin to know, own, and change the story of race and racism in the United States.

The Effective End of Affirmative Action

The work to address historic injustice in education continues as affirmative action programs are effectively ended.

Racial Justice Resources and Resolutions

Select resources from past speakers for further education and awareness on the topic of racial justice and reconciliation.

Building a Culture of Formation

Dr. Walter Kim encouraged leaders to adopt a comprehensive Gospel that promotes formation and cultural flourishing.

Answering the Questions of Each Generation

Rev. Dr. James Choung provided insight on ways to reach different generations with the message of the Gospel.

Law Changes Still Affecting Employers

Churches and ministries need to continue preparing as the implementation of multiple employment law changes nears.

Sankofa at Home

Join us for a self-guided trip through sites related to the history or race and racism in Minnesota with Sankofa @ Home!

Sankofa Reflection 2023: Following the Thread

Shani Johnson reflects on her experience of following the thread of history through the 2023 Sankofa journey.

Posture Shift Brings Model of Inclusion

Two Posture Shift Intensive Courses offered participants a model for inclusion and care of LGBT+ individuals within their ministries.

Sankofa Reflection 2023: Learning From the Past

Bishop David E. Johnson reflects on the platform Sankofa provides to confront painful historical truths and work toward a more just future.

Sankofa Reflection 2023: I'm Responsible

Pastor Carleigh McCormick discusses the feelings of responsibility that came from in-person interaction with the past during Sankofa.

Sankofa Reflection 2023: Go Back and Get What?!

Jon Willis reflects on continuing to go back with Sankofa and the new personal understanding he took from this trip.

Building a Community of Belonging in the Church

Pastors and leaders worked to understand sexuality and gender beyond personal identity and learned more about fostering belonging in churches

A Call to Restore Religious Exemption to Minnesota Law

Pastors have signed on to a call for the restoration of a religious exemption to the Minnesota Human Rights Act

Renewing our Public Witness with Civic Revival

More than 250 leaders learned new ways to approach the election cycle through Civic Revival and the Church Politics podcast.