Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Eagle Brook Church is now the largest Church in Minnesota!

This just hit my inbox from Eagle Brook Church.

A Note From Pastor Bob

Dear Eagle Brook Friend,

Jesus said, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. What a miracle it is that with the addition of our Lino Lakes Campus and the reopening of our White Bear Lake Campus that nearly 8,000 people have been attending Eagle Brook Church on the weekends! Remarkable things are happening, and with that buzz is coming some attention that I can't say we ever wanted or sought out. As you may have read in yesterday's Pioneer Press, Eagle Brook is now the largest church in Minnesota, based on attendance. If you missed the article, click here to read it:

This is good news because it is one signal that our growing, thriving church is fulfilling its mission to reach people for Christ. But it also means we may get more attention than in the past, both from the media and from friends, family, and neighbors. As we noticed on the comments forum after the article, many Eagle Brookers stepped in to tell how God has worked in their lives through EBC. On the flip side, the article generated some misconceptions and criticisms about our church.

First of all, I want to say that as we experience great growth and heightened attention, it becomes more and more important to constantly stop and remember that everything we do from the music, to the message, to the kids programming is an example of God working through us. The life change we see in our church body every day can only come from God. This is His church; we didn't create it ourselves, and we need to be humble in giving the glory back to the One who did. The minute we become prideful or take the credit, we risk losing God's favor on our church.

I also want to take a moment to respond to the questions posed yesterday, as well as some other ones that we often encounter, and to remind each of you to give the glory back to God the next time someone asks you about the church you call home. Thanks for reading and I'll see you this weekend!

Is Eagle Brook more about entertainment than worshipping God? Is it just a show?

At Eagle Brook, we take God's truth and show people how to apply it to their lives right away. We use tools like dramas, video clips, and stories to present this information in a wide variety of ways. Some may mistake this focus on relevance for entertainment, but we do it for an important reason. We want any person to be able to walk into our church and feel welcomed by real people, inspired by excellent music, and challenged by biblical messages that give answers to everyday problems.

Does Eagle Brook really not have any Bibles?

We want to break down the barriers that keep people from attending church, and have found that by putting Scripture on the sidescreens and printing it in the program, it becomes accessible to everyone even to those people who may have never picked up a Bible before, and would have a difficult time finding a certain verse or passage. With that said, biblical teaching is at the foundation of everything we do, and Scripture is at the center of every weekend message we preach. We regularly encourage people to delve into the Bible on their own, and offer reading plans. In addition, we also encourage people to participate in small group Bible studies, where they can dig deeper and grow in their faith together, just as the early Church did.

Is Eagle Brook all about the money?

One of the core values of this church is good stewardship, and we are very careful in managing the money and all of the things God has entrusted us with. Much of the expense of our new campus in Lino Lakes is related to technology, which is an important part of staying relevant to our culture. What many people don't often see is how much is given away to support local food shelves, worldwide missions, and relief efforts such as those for Hurricane Katrina. That's because we don't do it for a pat on the back we do it because God has called us to do it.

Are numbers the primary evidence of God's blessing?

While this "Pioneer Press" article was written from an angle that focused on numbers, that is not how Eagle Brook looks at it. We don't see growth as a competition, but do welcome it because God has called us to reach people who are far from Him. Once they are part of EBC, Jesus alone can change them to become more Christ-like. EBC is not interested in shuffling sheep, that is, attracting people who are already connected to another prevailing church. That's why we work regularly with other churches, local and otherwise because we want other churches with a heart for reaching those who are far from God to prevail, too.

Is this really Christianity? Where is God in all of this?

Jesus Christ is at the center of everything we do, and anytime a marriage is healed, a family is restored, or a person is drawn into a relationship with God for the first time, we give all of the credit to Him. To read our core beliefs, click here:

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1 comment:

Gordon Cloud said...

Glad to hear that God is blessing. May God help you to always make His message the primary focus of all you do.