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a publication for the new hope church family & community I volume 20.1 I spring 2013

God shows up in unexpected ways

One man recently shared his personal story of God’s life-changing work through Focus Groups: “Several months ago I joined a New Hope Church Focus Group to do just that, gain focus. I needed some new perspective on how God would want me to view myself and how I might better work with my emotions. I was looking for direction to work through these things, not a sharp turn, but surely some course correction.

sandy dahl

director of focus groups God is richly blessing people, healing hearts and transforming lives through the Focus Group ministry at New Hope Church. Having participated in and led, and now as director of Focus Groups, I have seen God work in my own life in incredible ways.

During each session we meet new friends, stay connected with old friends and share dinner and a time of praise and worship of our Lord. These are truly sweet times. But most importantly, we dig into God’s truth together. We “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

As I attended the Focus Group and studied the materials along with God’s Word, my journey started to unfold. I began to truly hear God’s voice and my heart softened in ways I thought unattainable. He worked in a miraculous way! How could this be? How could this come about so quickly, something I have been working on for years? I know that it wasn’t me, it was God! He was changing me, changing me to be more like him. What an awesome gift this is to me personally and to my family!” If you’d like to see God touch those deep places in your life, consider joining a Focus Group. Visit or call Sandy Dahl at 763-971-5118 to register. You too will find God’s grace, mercy and healing available to you. Groups include “Freedom in Christ,” “Organized Home–BalancedYou,” “Celebrate Recovery,” “Love & Respect” (marriage course),“Balancing Life’s Demands,” “GriefShare,” “Missing Link 101: the Journey to Emotional & Spiritual Health” and “Encouraging Single Moms.”

new hope church

this issue

Families… page 4

Care… page 7

EquipMENt … page 10


for more ministry information


Unfair Grace SEEDS

a publication for the new hope church family & community volume 20.1 I spr ing 2013


pastor david rodquist


pastor greg braly


pastor jeremy deck STUDENT MINISTRIES

pastor jeff mccourt


holly nimchuk


andrea tyson


lisa severson

EDITOR AND DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS resources/heartbeatarchives.php



1 Focus Groups 2 Unfair Grace 3 NHC Easter 4 Safe Families 5 Baptizing Children 7 Shoulder to Shoulder 8 Women’s Ministries 8 Rise & Pray 9 Disability Ministry 10 Men’s Ministries 11 Student Ministries



pastor steve goold

Most of us in the church family are amazed and happy out of our mind over the great work of the Lord through the Rich in Generosity Ministry Campaign. God took us so much farther than our monetary goal of $3.9 million. Yes, nearly $4.4 million raised or committed to be given over the next three years is astounding. But exceeding the goal is an outgrowth, the result of God’s transformational work in our hearts, a precious thing to experience. And God’s strong work within us allowed us to grasp the great purpose of Rich in Generosity– to expand our impact and increase our influence for him through new ministry.

So who wouldn’t be overwhelmed to be part of this incredible experience at this time and into the future of this great church family? Amen! Praise God!

But he isn’t done. He’s only just begun.There’s so much more.We’re just getting started. Don’t be satisfied. Be grateful, humble and thankful – but don’t be satisfied. Our journey of generosity is just beginning.And so are the blessings. So let’s press on to deeper things. Here’s what I mean.

We live among a “back scratching” mentality in this world that makes it hard to understand that Jesus calls us to respond to injustice with generosity rather than reciprocity.

Jesus said,“Forget the eye for an eye thing, or tooth for tooth. Don’t resist the one who treats you with evil that flows out of their heart, strikes you on the cheek, takes your coat, forces you to go out of your way, takes advantage of you. Go the extra mile with them, give, don’t turn away, love, forgive, pray, etc. If you love only those who treat you right, what good is that? Even the unsaved can play that kind of back scratching game.” You may

want to read Matthew 5:38-48 to get more than my paraphrase. But in either form it won’t sound fair and it doesn’t make sense.That’s because a wonderful part of our generosity journey is still ahead.

Jesus turned the fairness equation on its head– turned it into lavish generosity. He is not the one who treats us as we deserve. He offered grace and forgiveness not because we can give him something equal to his sacrifice, but because of his generous, overflowing love for us. He didn’t limit his generosity to what we deserve. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor so that you by his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

Jesus wants us rich in salvation, rich in heart, rich in giving and rich in good deeds. In fact, the reason Christ calls us to this level of generosity is that it reflects his character.

If we are going to reflect the character of Christ, we must continue to grow in the reality that our level of investment in those around us cannot be determined by what is fair. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ isn’t fair grace, but unfair grace.That is its power. We can never fully understand Christ’s love and generosity until we give up the expectation to receive as much as we give. May we be increasingly generous people who joyfully sacrifice what others wouldn’t in order for God to accomplish what we couldn’t. What a journey!


Easter at NHC Family Easter Event

March 23 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Palm Sunday

March 24

8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Good Friday

March 29 7:30 p.m.

Easter Resurrection Sunday

March 31

8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Easter Resurrection Baptism

March 31 5:00 p.m.

For more information on Easter at NHC

“May I put it quite simply? If you understand those two words – ‘but God’– they will save your soul.” –JAMES MONTGOMERY BOICE To the left of those two words in the Bible is sin, rebellion, darkness, despair and disobedience. BUT GOD intervenes to save and to rescue. The jeff mccourt Cross, and all it represents in Christ’s atoning death and triumphant resurrection, is where those two words have their greatest impact and their greatest power. “We were weak and unrighteous ... BUT GOD demonstrates his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ROMANS 5:8 “Jesus was dead and buried ... BUT GOD raised him from the dead.” ACTS 13:30 “We were dead in our sins ... BUT GOD made us alive together with Christ.” EPHESIANS 2:4 To better understand the transforming power behind those two words: READ THE BOOK New Hope Church is reading Casey Lute’s book, “But God . . . The Two Words at the Heart of the Gospel” as we prepare together for Easter. Copies are available for a $5 donation. The reading schedule begins on March 17 and continues through the week after Easter.

JOIN THE WORSHIP! Powerful Worship Celebrations are being prepared for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Come eager. Come expectantly. And bring a friend!




Making a difference in the lives of children facing crisis AT

What do you do when crisis strikes? Many of us reach out to relatives or our church family for support. Unfortunately for some, those safety nets aren’t available. Problems such as drug addiction, domestic abuse, incarceration or illness can be debilitating, making it impossible for parents to care for their children. And the current state of the economy seems to be increasing these at-risk situations. Many New Hope Church families have responded to the needs of these vulnerable children over the past few years through “Safe Families for Children.” This organization has offered sanctuary to thousands, minimizing the risk for abuse or neglect and giving parents the time and tools they need to help their families thrive. The ultimate goal is to strengthen and support parents so they can become “safe families” for their own children.They do this by certifying families as refuges for children who need temporary safe homes.

The Wrights are one such NHC family who felt God leading them to open their home to children in crisis. Marissa Wright (Ken and Laurie’s 18-year-old daughter) learned about the “Safe Families” organization from a Student Ministries “EDGE” speaker. She excitedly shared her enthusiasm with her parents. After a lot of discussion, prayer and finally being certified, her family received their first child a year ago. That child remained in the Wright’s home for three months. Marissa shares how her entire family learned a great deal through that experience:


“I’ve learned that to grow and gain rewards from a situation, I must be

M A R I S S A W R I G H T encouraged her family to

consider becoming a “S AFE FAMILY ” after learning about the organization in Student Ministries. willing to make sacrifices. Most teenagers wouldn’t want to add a toddler to the family because it means giving up some free time and becoming tied down. I knew that I would lose some of my personal time, but I also knew that this decision would help someone who really needs a stable place. My house may not be the biggest or have the best toys, but it was an open and safe place. I was willing to give up some things since I knew a child’s life would be changed as a result of what my family was able to do through the Safe Families organization.”

The Wrights have since taken in four other children in the past year. NHC families like the Wrights have made an impact in the lives of over 40 children in crisis since getting certified through “Safe Families.”

Is God moving you to help make a difference in the lives of others this year? Safe Families might be just the vehicle he’ll use to work through you and your family.

For more information, contact: NHC Family & Children’s Ministries 763-536-3240 Safe Families

QUESTIONS It’s a question I’m often asked. Because our Easter Resurrection Sunday baptism is just around the corner, I thought it might be helpful to provide a few guidelines that you may find useful in the decision making process.

Remember that we practice “believer’s greg braly 1. baptism” at New Hope Church.That is, we only

baptize those who have made an open commitment to Jesus Christ and show the fruit of following him. Use these questions to help you think this through:

• Has your child placed his/her trust in the saving work of Jesus? • Do you see spiritual growth in your child?

2. Ask yourself and your child why he/she desires to be baptized. Use these questions to help you think this through:

• Does your child want to be baptized to please you? • Does your child want to be baptized because his/her friends want to be baptized? • Does your child want to be baptized because it is his/her personal decision?

3. Does your child understand what baptism means?

• Does your child know baptism isn’t necessary for salvation? • Does your child know baptism isn’t for getting God’s favor? • Does your child know that baptism is an act of obedience that declares to the world their identity with Jesus and a commitment to follow him?

about baptizing children 4. Can your child share clearly what it means to be a follower of

Jesus Christ and why he/she desires to be baptized? One powerful part of the baptism experience is the public testimony of an inward reality. If your child is not able to do this, then wait until they are ready.

May I also encourage you to do the following if your child does decide to be baptized:

• Perform the baptism with me. It is a powerful thing for children to say that their parents helped baptize them.

• Consider arranging a family gathering after the baptism. Find a way to celebrate this step of faith.

• Give them a symbol of their baptism.You might give them a new Bible or a token of remembrance. Use it to help cement the importance of this event in their minds.

Our next baptism class is on Sunday, March 10 at 5:00 p.m. in Sandberg Chapel. For more information, contact Sue Johnson at 763-536-3235.

Other Family & Children’s Ministries Events • March 8-9: Sacred Marriage Conference. • April 13: Three-part Parent Training

1) “Passport to Purity” trains parents how to have a purity weekend with their child. 2) “The Power of 4th grade is a workshop on the importance of the 8-9 year old period in a child’s life. 3) “What I Wish I Knew at 18” trains parents in how to prepare a child for life after the after high school years.

For information on parenting, call 763-536-3240.


shoulder to shoulder care ministries helping people through times of struggle

by Mary Reilly Care Ministries Coordinator 763-971-5123

Is life more than you can handle right now? Is your health, attitude or relationship suffering? Are you adjusting to a drastic life change? Maybe you just need a listening ear. Whatever the journey God has us on, he does not intend for us to walk alone. He desires us to be in relationship, first with him and then also with others.

Coming Alongside I once heard a teaching message where a pastor referred to a time when his friend “propped him up on his leaning side.” In other words, instead of letting him fall, his friend came alongside him, helped him up, and walked with him until he was strong enough to stand on his own.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Shoulder-to-Shoulder The Shoulder-to-Shoulder ministry is built on the foundation of this calling from Galatians. Its vision is to assist in the restoration and recovery of those strug-

gling under life’s challenges by praying, listening, encouraging and helping them consider options. We all need that kind of support at times.

My Story I have a personal testimony to the blessing of having a Shoulder-to-Shoulder mentor. It was a number of years ago when I was overwhelmed by the circumstances in my life. I really just wanted to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed. I knew that was not what God wanted me to do, but I was struggling with keeping my focus on his plan and sovereign provision for me.

My Shoulder-to-Shoulder mentor called me and prayed with and for me. She met with me monthly to listen, encourage and help me remember not to let myself become consumed by circumstances, but to choose joy. I am not only grateful to my mentor but I am also grateful for the Shoulder-to-Shoulder ministry and would like to encourage others to consider calling Care Ministries to find out how they too could be blessed by the ministry of Shoulder-to-Shoulder.

Mentors We understand that struggles are present in all of our lives. We can all use a helping hand at times. Care Ministries has male and female mentors who are answering the call with “Here I am God, use me.” Contact us this week to learn more about receiving a mentor or becoming one!

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Colossians 3:12


together to lead:

A movement of ordinary women andrea tyson

“... let your manner of life be wor thy of the gospel of Chr ist, so that ... I may hear of you that you are standing fir m in one spir it, with one mind str iving s i d e b y s i d e f o r t h e f a i t h o f t h e g o s p e l .” PHIL IP PIA NS 1 :2 7

There’s a movement underfoot. A movement of ordinary women who are embracing God’s command to become disciple-makers. This year NHC women are being invited to receive encouragement and training to come alongside another woman to help her love and trust Jesus, even while they continue to learn themselves.

“Together To Lead” takes an interactive approach to learning.You don’t need a title to be a leader. Let’s continue to grow together in being women who influence others with our lives and words in a way that reflects Jesus’ heart and mission.

I love what Nathan Creitz said: “You may not be a ‘Super Christian’ (whatever that is), but there might just be someone in your family or on your block who is far from God. Maybe, just maybe, God wants to use you to reach that one person. ... Jesus knows you can do it with his help! Just stay connected to him.”

Don’t expect to find “Super Christians” at Together To Lead. But you can expect to find women like yourself who want to live out their faith one step at a time. Sign up at no charge online at

Together to Lead

Tuesday, March 12 • 7:00-9:00 p. m.

women’s retreat

Friday, April 26-Sunday, April 28 Looking for a way to connect with other women, build into your relationship with Jesus, and get away for a weekend? You’ll find details for this year’s women’s retreat posted online at:


Andrea Tyson, Women’s Ministries Director • 763-536-3273

Thursdays, 6:30-7:00 a.m. NHC Welcome Center All are welcome to join in persistently calling out to the Lord together as the church family. 8

“I was afraid of the people who I would be ministering to” pastor mitch bankes

disability ministries

A couple of years ago when God opened the door for me to become Pastor of Disability Ministry at New Hope Church, I have to admit that I was afraid. Not about being a pastor or working in a large church.The truth is, I was afraid of the people who I would be ministering to. Up to that point in my life, any interaction I had with the special needs community was always at a “safe,” comfortable distance where I would look, but never interact. And like most people, when we don’t make the effort to understand and get to know someone we often become fearful, indifferent or calloused toward them.

I chose fear. I wondered, “What if I can’t communicate with them? What if they don’t like me? Is it all right to shake their hand or give them a hug? Will they understand me? Will I be able to understand them? Will we have anything in common? How do I challenge them with the Gospel? Will they be able to grow in their faith? What if I say the wrong thing? I don’t have the right training. I don’t have any experience.” And on and on my list of fears grew.

But what I found when I finally stepped “out of the boat” and onto the water (Matthew 14) was that people with disabilities have hopes and dreams just like I do.They struggle with sin and shame just like I do.They laugh and make jokes just like I do.They want to know Jesus in a deeper way just like I do.They want love and acceptance just like I do. What I really discovered in the past couple of years, is that we are more alike than we are different. People with disabilities may have more barriers to overcome in some sense and face more difficulties, but the truth is, disabilities don’t define who any of us is. God has already done that.

Pastor Mitch and his wife, Deb, lead the NHC Disability Ministry. Friendship Class meets most Sundays,11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., in the gym, beginning the second Sunday of September through the end of July. Christian Glory Club meets most Tuesdays, 7:00-8:00 p.m., in the Family Center, beginning the second Tuesday of September through the end of May. Call 763-971-5117 for more information.

n ew h o p e c h u rc h m n . o r g / d i s a b i l i t i e s

photos: katie leighton

David wrote in Psalm 139:13-14, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” In a world saturated with the superficial and frightened by what is different, how crucial it is for us to be reminded that all of God’s works are fearfully and wonderfully made. And like David, I’m just beginning to know that full well.


equipped to disciple EquipMENt MEN’S MINISTRIES

by Darius Teichroew and AJ King

The apostle Paul, writing to Timothy, gave the reminder to train for godliness. He said that while physical exercise has some value, spiritual discipline (or godliness) has value in both this life and the life to come. So often in today’s world, we are told that self-discipline isn’t necessary and may even be dangerous. We’re cautioned with, “It could lead toward the slippery slope of legalism. Doesn’t God want us to be happy and comfortable, rather than filled with the drudgery of a bunch of do’s and don’ts?” Better to be lukewarm than a Puritan, right? At least, that’s what we tell ourselves to assuage our seared consciences as we overlook apathy toward prayer and the Word.

But if we review the words of Paul, we see that godliness isn’t something that just happens, just as winning the Olympic gold doesn’t just happen. We must work for it, breaking a spiritual “sweat” while building these disciplines into our lives until they become part of our spiritual character.

These areas of discipline include (but are not limited to) prayer, worship, relationships, integrity, the tongue (speech), evangelism, fatherhood and leadership. But, just as few people stand at the Olympic awards podium completely independent of help from others (training partners, coaches, family members), neither do Christian men become godly all by themselves. God has placed us in a community of believers so that we might sharpen one another (Proverbs 27:17), confess our sins and pray for each other (James 5:16) and disciple each other into spiritual maturity. The NHC EquipMENt Men’s Ministries exists for precisely that purpose: to provide men with tools and deep brotherly friendships to train in godliness. The goal is that the men of the church be equipped to disciple and pastor their own families as well as other believers. Here are some upcoming opportunities to plug into EquipMENt, make new friends and serve the Body of Christ:

MEN’S BREAKFAST • Saturday, April 20

This morning of great food and connecting with others always offers an encouraging follow-up to the fall retreat along with a reminder of what we men are called to. Invite your son, your dad, your grandfather, a neighbor or friend and plan a fun evening together at the ballpark.

FALL MEN’S RETREAT - September 20-22

Talk to anyone who has been to a recent NHC men’s retreat and chances are they’ll talk you into attending the next one! 10

photos: paul fletcher





ON MISSION: Summer 2013



JUNE 10-12 Minneapolis Missions Experience:

“3Days 3Ways” (6-12th grades) Applications due by May 15. Cost: $50


Šumperk, Czech Republic (10-12th grades)

JULY 27AUGUST 3 Raleigh, North Carolina (8-12th grades)

CONTACT Jessica Lindgren 763-971-5108

At NHC Student Ministries we often repeat the phrase, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” We greatly desire to see more people worship God here locally and around jeremy deck the world through evangelism. We also greatly desire to see students live lives on mission here in the Twin Cities and be used by God in powerful ways around the world.This is why we are so excited for three big opportunities for mission this coming summer.

In June, Student Ministries kicks off the summer by hosting a three-day missions experience/ conference called “3Days 3Ways” for students 6th-12th grade. Over these three days, students will learn and experience what it means to be on mission. Day 1: In schools/neighborhood/workplace Day 2: In the city Day 3: Around the world This will not only be a good overview of missions trips for any student who wants to attend one in the future, but will also provide hands-on mission experiences for students to serve Christ in these three capacities.

learned by serving this community for Christ and sharing the gospel with people in Raleigh. This is a terrific opportunity for students to learn even more about how God desires to use them on mission where he has placed them and expand their experience of mission here in the United States.

It is going to be a busy summer and we are so excited to see what God has in store for our students as we share these experiences together. Please be in prayer for the students and staff who participate, that they will be challenged to be on mission in their everyday circumstances and that God would use them to create worshipers for himself.

In the middle of the summer, a group of 10th12th grade students head to Šumperk, Czech Republic, to host an evangelistic English camp with Josiah Venture. We are partnering with the Baptist church in Šumperk and coming alongside them in their efforts to reach young people through the ministry of Kostel Jinak. Students will learn and experience peer-to-peer evangelism in an entirely new way and be challenged to share their faith with non-believing friends. At the end of our summer, 8th-12th grade students are taking a trip to Raleigh, North Carolina for an urban missions project where they can practice what they have



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4225 gettysburg avenue north new hope, minnesota 55428 SM 763-533-2449


Discover the heart of God and New Hope Church NHC CALENDAR OF EVENTS ®

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March 1-10 March 8 March 8, 9 March 10 March 23 March 29 March 29 March 31

March 31 April 5, 6 April 12-14 April 13 April 20 April 21 April 26-28 May 3-5 May 12 May 19 May 27 June 10-June 12 June 24-July 10 July 20 July 27-August 3 August 4-13 August 18 September 20-22

Mission trip to Guatemala Propel Meeting (adoption and foster care) “The Sacred Marriage” Conference Baptism Class Family Easter Event Church Offices Closed Good Friday Service, 7:30 p.m. Easter Resurrection Worship Celebrations 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m., and 6:00 p.m. Easter Resurrection Baptism, 5:00 p.m. Mother/Daughter Sleep Over Shamineau Elementary-age Retreat Parenting Workshops Men’s Breakfast Disability Ministry Sunday Women’s Retreat Father/Son Campout Parent/Child Dedication NHC Annual Praise & Business Meeting Memorial Day Holiday – Church Offices Closed Student Ministries Minneapolis Missions Experience Student Ministries Czech Republic Trip Father/Son Twins Outing Student Ministries Raleigh, North Carolina Trip Alaska Family Missions Trip NHC Picnic & Baptism Men’s Retreat

HeartBeat Spring 2013  

This newsletter is published quarterly with the purpose of communicating and promoting God's truth to the New Hope Church family and friends...