Pastor’s Column: Dreams for the Church – 2017 Milestones
By Carl Nelson, President of Transform Minnesota.
Best year ever!
As I look back on this year, I am filled with gratitude for the significant ways that Transform Minnesota’s ministry was able to serve and equip churches. And my faith is bolstered by the many Christ-centered, Biblically rooted churches connected to each other in a movement that is bringing peace, hope and justice to world that is hungry for real solutions.
Here are a few of the “firsts” that we are celebrating this year:
- We traveled the deep south with 30 pastors on our first ever Sankofa Journey to Harmony trip. Since then I have watched relationships across racial lines deepen, shared ministry emerge and both Black and White pastors saying, “This has been life-changing and transforming.“
- We saw 300 pastors and elders respond enthusiastically to the first ever Grow leadership conference for rural and small town churches. One pastor was encouraged by the reminder that, “lost people matter and ministry in rural settings is critical.” We are planning a second Grow conference on March 3.
- At a number of forums and our newly-launched Transform Ideas forum, we have led the discussion on “hot button” topics of our time – the refugee crisis, combating human trafficking, racial harmony, creation care and the persecuted church. Participants tell us, “I appreciate that you facilitate evangelicals dialoguing about tough issues.“
We’re going all-in on the Church
In a world where society is fractured by divisions, human suffering abounds and every tragedy seems more evil than the one before, we still have great hope in the Church and the Gospel hope we bear.
In fact the worse it gets the more I place my hope in Jesus, anchor my faith in the Bible, and depend upon the Church.
We care deeply about the Church because we know that it is the key to God’s plan to change and save the lives of people in our state. But the challenge to effectively communicate the Gospel grows more difficult every day.
So we are pressing on to provide training and leadership resources that will equip a movement of churches that creatively proclaim the Gospel and boldly serve their communities with the love of Jesus:
- March – Grow leadership conference for rural and small town churches
- April – Sankofa Journey to Harmony with Black and White pastors from the Twin Cities
- November – Bryan Stevenson will headline our Justice and the Gospel conference
- Spring & Fall – Transform Ideas forums exploring Christian perspectives on mental health, and prison reform.
I hope that you will join this movement in 2018. Be sure to get our monthly eNewsletter, attend one or our many conferences, seminars or forums, stay connected with us on Facebook, and do your part to energize a movement of churches bringing real solutions to a world hungry for answers.