Welcome to the Minnesota North District - Brainerd / Baxter, MN

Our Mission:   The mission of the Minnesota North District of  the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is to further the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and to  assist congregations as Great Commission  churches.

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Dear Friends in Christ;

I received a letter that was addressed to the church I was serving.  The letter was sent from a family that had recently moved to Kansas and I assumed that it was a letter requesting a transfer of membership.  I opened the letter and was greeted with the salutation; “Dear ABC Lutheran Church family.”  In the letter, she expressed her thanks to people she had come to view as her church family.  In the letter, she spoke about how difficult it was to connect with a new church home.  Every church she attended in her new community was different from the one she had left behind and felt so much a part of.  She was feeling homesick for her church home.  She didn’t realize how much she had looked forward to those Sunday morning meetings at the church.    But then she wondered if, in her connections she made at the ABC Lutheran Church, she had not noticed the new people who had moved into ABC town and visited the church and felt the coldness and isolation of being a new person in a strange church.  Everyone around you is busy chatting and having a good time, but you are not a part of them.  How lonely that felt.  Perhaps they had left a wonderful church home and were searching for a new home.  They didn’t realize that they were visiting one of those wonderful loving churches when they came to ABC Lutheran Church.

Through her letter, I had the opportunity to see the church through visitor eyes.  We can talk about having the purest doctrine, the most pristine worship, the most conservative communion practice, the most authentic blah, blah, blah.  But then I see 1 Corinthians 13 – “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging symbol.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all the mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”

Everything we do means nothing, if we do not love.  Not just the ones you know who are already members of the church family, but love the widow and the orphaned, the visitor and the homeless, the sick and the needy, the rich and the poor.  We want to be that loving congregation that people call home.  In our home, we welcome guests as if they are expected and wanted.

Look at your church home through visitor eyes.  Will they see what we have come to know and appreciate in this church home?  Will they be warmly greeted?  Will we provide them with a clear, uncomplicated order of worship that they can follow along as though they have been a part of this church family for years?  Is the Gospel presented clearly in the message preached?  Is the love of Christ evident in and through each of the members that interact with that visitor on a Sunday morning?

I spoke to a group of elders about the importance of welcoming people to worship services and how important it was to speak to new people.  One elder said, “I would, but they bee line it out of the church right after the worship service and I don’t get the opportunity to say boo to them.”  “But”, I said, “that should speak volumes to how well they were welcomed before the service.  They felt so uncomfortable that they couldn’t wait to get out of here.”  We need to do a better job of welcoming guests.  If we do not love, they won’t hear the Good News in that place, the coldness will distract them from that proclamation that Jesus loves them.  Jesus died for them.  By grace, through faith in Christ Jesus our savior, we are a family who is charged with the responsibility of loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.  We have been set free from the bondage of sin death and hell.  We have been redeemed in the blood of Jesus.  We are one!  We are loved!  We should be loving.

In His Service,

Rev. Jeffrey A. Lee  

Top 6 Reasons Why People Leave a Church (research from Lifeway Research, SBC)

1.  Move of residence
2.  Change in life circumstance (illness, schedule, work, divorce)
3.   Problems in church


The Top Ten Reasons People Pick Specific Church to Join from a survey by Barna Research


   The theological beliefs and doctrine of church.

   The people seem to care about each other.

   The quality of the sermons that are preached.

   How friendly the people are to visitors.

   How involved the church is in helping poor and disadvantaged people.

   The quality of the programs and classes children.

   How much you like the pastor.

   The denomination the church is affiliated with.

   The quality of the adult Sunday School classes.

   The convenience of the times of their weekend.