Carl Nelson explains the work of Transform Minnesota
What does an evangelical network do?
We get asked this question from time to time. Many people have heard of Transform Minnesota and may have even attended one of our events. They outwardly see us sponsoring conferences like the Minnesota Religious Freedom Forum and Coming Together, public activities where we bring diverse audiences together around common ground or a biblical concept.
Or maybe they see a statement from us on immigration reform or the biblical concept of marriage.
However, there is so much more that goes into our work as the state’s leading evangelical network.
We like to use three concepts or “distinctives” to describe what an evangelical network does: Relationships, Resources and Representation.
As a broad coalition of churches, ministries and individuals, Transform Minnesota represents nearly 1/3 of the state’s Christians. We connect people and organizations so they can better accomplish their missions and God-directed objectives.
We were recently contacted by Kyle Martin of Revive Twin Cities, a group that is planning to hold a “mission trip” in the metro this summer. When the group arrived in the Twin Cities from Texas, I met with them and helped connect them with pastors and organizations eager to see revival sweep the Twin Cities. In fact, we are devoting our March TCAMP (Twin Cities Area Mission Professionals) meeting to connecting Kyle with even more churches, organizations and individuals excited about playing a role in this life-changing “mission trip.”
Through our conferences, publications, speakers and access to a broad membership base, we provide churches and ministries the critical resources they need in order to effectively carry out Christ’s agenda in their neighborhoods and to those who are in their spheres of influence.
We regularly sponsor the Coming Together conference as a way to educate and provide resources for those who want to reach immigrant communities. Pastor Jeff Groen of Evergreen Church in Bloomington attended one of these conferences looking for help in reaching the growing immigrant community around his church. He left the conference with critical resources to help Evergreen reach these new community members with the gospel. In addition, Evergreen now helps provide legal services for those with immigration issues and has also established a growing Latino group at the church.
“The Coming Together conference has had a big impact on me,” he told us. “Transform Minnesota has given us a chance to think outside our local church box.”
By providing an access point for evangelicals, Transform Minnesota creates a united voice on pivotal cultural, social and religious issues, including a biblical view of marriage, religious liberty issues, immigration reform and a host of other Kingdom-minded issues.
For the last two years, we have taken the lead in speaking out on behalf of biblical marriage. As the state—and the nation—have become embroiled in this debate, we have helped organize rallies, spoke at the Minnesota Capitol and wrote opinion pieces for newspapers. We did this as a way to offer a “united voice” on behalf of evangelicals around the state—giving one the power of many.
These three distinctive—Relationships, Resources and Representation—direct our daily work, whether it’s giving advice to a church on how to begin an ethnic outreach in their neighborhood; connecting people from various ministries so they can work together on important issues; or providing opportunities for diverse groups to speak as one.
As we near the end of our fiscal year on March 31, we look back and see just how busy and involved we have been on a variety of initiatives. We stretched our capacity this past year in order to grow our relational network, we hosted multiple conferences and resource events, and we helped create a united voice to represent evangelicals.
Transform Minnesota needs your financial support. We do the important work of an evangelical network so that together, churches can proclaim the Gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom—meaning lives will be transformed throughout our state.
There are two ways you can join us.
Donate online to help us meet our FY2014 budget.
Sign up to join the network – as an individual, church or organization.