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News of Hope Intimacy with God Community with Other Believers Redemptive Relationships within the World

Hope Community Church PO Box 193 Glenwood, MN 56334 320-634-3001

May/June 2014

Mission Spotlight: The Pankratz Family

Jeff and Anna Pankratz with their sons Justus and Jason

Greetings to our church families who are excited about bringing the gospel to the St Cloud metro area, and making disciples among the 200,000 plus people in this multiethnic, regional culture. We introduce the St Cloud metro area this way for two reasons; 1) The largest unreached segments of the metro include young families and those of other ethnicities. 2) The St Cloud metro, by percentage of population, is the most unreached in Minnesota. Only 8% of the entire population identifies themselves as "Christian"- with the likelihood of the number of true followers of Jesus being less than that. As we begin this quest into the heart of central MN - the heart of our great state - we are asking ourselves three big questions. 1) Who are we?

2) Who is St Cloud? 3) How does Jesus want to bless the city? Let me encourage you to contact me directly in the next month, so I can give you more detail, as we are hoping this leadin article will create a thirst in you to join us in this work. In Matthew 13:24-33 Jesus shares one parable among many about how His Kingdom would grow. He describes it as a wheat field that multiplies good seed and good wheat, while living among weeds of the field. People often describe St. Cloud as a

Who are We? Anna and I recently drafted our latest 'Family Identity Statement'. We believe before you have a mission statement, you need to know your identity...what makes you, you! Here is ours; "We are a family sent to serve our cities, welcoming others to follow Jesus." We get our DNA, or roots, from the very identity of God. The Bible says God is a holy and loving Father, a sacrificial Son, Jesus, and a sending or empowering Spirit. We want to allow the identity of our Triune God, to shape our identity. So our family identity statement reflects the heart of our Triune God. Who is St Cloud? This gets tricky because we first, through many conversations, needed to determine the answers to these five questions: 1)Power: Who are the power brokers and what do they do in St. Cloud?

Baby Silas Pankratz is 10 months old and loves his big brothers.

“weedy field” or an unattractive place. We say it is ripe for a “Good Seed” movement, where Jesus and His laborers plant the gospel, the good seed, and see a “mutliplicational” movement take place - multiplying disciples, multiplying leaders, multiplying simple churches....multiplying everything!

2) Pennies: What economic values does the city of St Cloud have? 3) Parties: What do people celebrate or love to do in St. Cloud? 4) Pain: Where is the brokenness and pain in St. Cloud and it's residents? 5) People of Peace: Who are the people God has placed in our lives in St. Cloud? Continued on page 2

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Again, we don’t have room here for all our findings about this city (please contact me for details,) but we can share our thankfulness to The Lord for the six People of Peace in our area who will be our co-labors in this vision for multiplying disciples, leaders and churches!

gatherings, and building a city network like Paul's teams. “In all of these things, we know full well, and we celebrate, that is only Jesus who builds His

How does Jesus want to bless the city? With these St. Cloud friends, we have three starting goals to spread the Good Seed of the gospel, gather Jesus-followers, and send out more leaders: Goal (1) to plant our home this summer in a key missional neighborhood, in order to welcome new friends, to share a church-asfamily model in our community and to multiply. Goal (2) for Jeff to continue to work a bivocaional job, integrating into the culture of the city. Goal (3) to build a network of multiplicational leaders, with varied backgrounds, to bless the city together. Our model is from the second chapter of Acts, with churches meeting in homes, occasionally in larger 'temple'

transforming gospel message that we bring to our every conversation, every simple church gathering, and every training of new disciples/ leaders. As Jeff Vanderstelt of Soma points out, “we all must be ‘gospel fluent,’ eager to listen to others and invite them into His Kingdom family through His Son's sacrifice.” We highly recommend their teaching; resources/watch/gospel-fluency/ Please contact us directly for more information about our mission and, especially, how you can join us in blessing St. Cloud.

Jeff has been ministering to veterans recovering from addiction at the Eagles Healing Nest. Our missional community has met there for sweet times of fellowship

church.” (Matthew 16:18). In this passage, Peter is affirmed by Jesus to build His Kingdom, because Peter rightly confesses the core of all ministry and church-planting - Jesus is the Messiah! Jesus is Lord! It is this heart-cry for the simple, yet

We would love to visit with you either in person or online using Skype or Google Hangout. Both Anna and I look forward to the next time we can join you in fellowship and worship of our King Jesus! Sincerely,

Jeff and Anna Pankratz Justus (6), Jason (4), Silas (1)

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