Connect at a Deeper Level

Posted on: February 7th, 2012

North Haven Church, St. Paul. MN       Pastor Darrell Benhardus

When our vision team at North Haven Church completed the Retool Pathway three years ago, God gave us a new vision. Our distinctive vision can be summarized in one word: Connect.  God has called us to connect at a deeper level

  • To Christ by intentionally pursuing a growing relationship with Him
  • To each other by purposefully building loving relationships
  • To our community by actively working together to introduce families to Christ

To fulfill our vision for connecting to Christ at a deeper level, we have implemented two strategies.  The first is Intentional Living Cohorts.  These groups meet together once a month for nine months learning about and practicing a variety of spiritual disciplines.  So far, seventy-three people have been part of this learning experience.  The second strategy involves One-on-One Discipleship.  A trained discipler leads a disciple through a series of lessons on the basic doctrines of the Christian faith.   At this point, we have thirteen trained disciplers.

A Care Connects Ministry equips people to visit the homebound from our congregation. This is one of our first steps in fulfilling the second part of our vision, to connect with one another at a deeper level.  We have also launched a team of Connectors who identify new attendees, intentionally interacting with them and helping them to connect with other people and ministries at North Haven.

The third part of our vision, connecting to our community at a deeper level,  has yielded amazing results.  North Haven’s Connect to the Community Ministry Team has been working hard to fulfill our vision in the community.

  • We have developed a partnership with an elementary school just a couple blocks from our church.  We provide weekly backpacks of snacks and non-perishable food items for homeless students to take with them on the weekends.  Seven percent of the students in this school are homeless.
  • Families from our church donate these items and gather once a month to pack these backpacks.
  • The families receiving these backpacks are invited to a Thanksgiving dinner.
  • This ministry team has also provided clothing for a clothes closet at the elementary school.
  • Members of our church have the opportunity to volunteer as reading buddies for children at this school.
  • Our Wednesday club and youth programs are growing in number.
  • Community outreach events like Summer Festival  and Fall Festival are reaching more people in our community.

This ministry to the elementary school has energized our church in fulfilling our God-given vision to be a church that cares about kids and families in our community.  Even new attendees quickly realize that North Haven’s vision is to connect to our community in tangible ways.

We are now seeing the numerical fruit from the Retool process.

We are grateful for the vision God has given us.

Connect: To Christ. To each other. To our community.