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June 11, 2017

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Praise and Proclaim Ministries launches outreach initiative in Kasson, MN

by Dave Malnes

Praise and Proclaim Ministries was blessed with the opportunity to partner with Our Savior Lutheran Church in Kasson, MN to launch an outreach initiative and train its members how to proclaim the gospel in their community.

Kasson, Minnesota is located 25 miles east of Rochester, MN in southeast Minnesota. It is a small community of almost six thousand people, but has been growing steadily over the years. With the Mayo Clinic in Rochester expanding and IBM hiring, people are moving out from the city limits and purchasing homes in nearby towns. Kasson is a great example since it’s only a twenty-minute commute on Highway 14.

Our Savior Lutheran Church was built on the outskirts of Kasson twenty-five years ago and is now located in the middle of a thriving neighborhood. In conjunction with their anniversary, the congregation decided to partner with Praise and Proclaim Ministries to launch an aggressive outreach initiative to train and equip its members to proclaim the gospel. 

On Friday evening, people gathered for training at Our Savior. This included members from each of the three WELS congregations in Rochester.

At the end of the evening, the people who came for the training were ready to put their training into action the following day and visit with people who lived only blocks away from the church.

On Saturday morning, a band of “mighty warriors” (Judges 6:12) were ready to go out even though they were evidently nervous and scared. Some of the members grew up in Kasson and even attended high school in the area. This made it seem especially awkward when thinking about the prospect of meeting neighbors, former schoolmates, and friends of your children. In a smaller town in Minnesota, most everybody knows your name and belongs to a church.

But members from Our Savior arrived on Saturday morning and ready to step out in faith and trust God’s promises for those who share his message of salvation with others.

A big challenge facing us on this day was the weather.

Normal summer temperatures greeted us in the morning and afternoon, but there was a fierce, hot wind that consistently blew throughout the day. Our phone apps told us that the average speed was in the low 30’s with gusts reaching over 40 mph. The wind gusts were especially felt in the newer subdivisions. It was much nicer to walk under the mature oak and maples that provided shade and blocked the wind. Several times, people working in the open areas were either chasing their hats or the half-page invitations when a strong gust of wind came upon them. However, the neighbors we met told us how impressed they were that people from Our Savior were out braving elements so they can share a message about Jesus.

Minnesota is a phenomenal state to go door-to-door to proclaim the gospel. The people are genuinely nice and willing to listen to a short gospel message when they are treated with love and respect. Once they find out that the person at the door is a member from a congregation in the neighborhood, they become even more friendly and willing to engage. This proved to be true in Kasson

At the end of the day, fears were conquered and the Holy Spirit provided boldness, strength, and zeal to share his message along with inviting people to attend a neighborhood picnic hosted by the church. God kept his promises for the people who shared the reason for the hope they have in Christ.

The members of Our Savior who participated in going door-to-door were amazed at how receptive the people were at the door. Most of them were already familiar with the church and appreciated hearing about what Our Savior taught and the invitation to come to a picnic. Even though people shared that they were already members of a church, they didn’t necessarily state how active they were. As one nine-year old member of the evangelism team stated, “They showed at the door that they were not interested, but never said that they were not interested.” A few addresses were collected from people expressed interest to learn more about Our Savior. Overall, there was a genuine feeling of wonderful encouragement that the neighborhood surrounding the church were certainly reachable.

But that’s not all!

When the day came to an end, we all sat back with awe and amazement that the Lord opened the door and allowed his messengers to share a short gospel message with 106 people! We trust that the Lord of the harvest will use those seeds for his purpose and glory to advance his kingdom. And the members who participated on Saturday expressed eagerness and desire to continue to go out into the community to proclaim the gospel. Their excitement will continue to fuel the outreach momentum that the Lord will use for his church.

Kasson TEAMWhat a blessing it was for Praise and Proclaim Ministries to partner with Our Savior Lutheran Church and ask the Lord to bless the ongoing efforts to plant the seeds of the gospel in Kasson and faithfully work the fields where God has planted them.

 

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