We’re GIVING THANKS for lives impacted at MainStreet this past year!

Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 12.20.31 PM.pngThis is Tony’s story:

For a long time I was hardcore cynic who didn’t find any value in the church. I walked away from faith in college. I mainly saw hypocrisy in the church and had never encountered any depth or true discipleship. I started going back when we had kids, mainly to appease my wife. But I never got much out of it and would be tearing the sermon apart all the way home in the car.

Then we visited MainStreet. What I found at MainStreet was totally unexpected. I was provoked and challenged to think more. I still remember the Sunday Jeremy threw down the gauntlet, “This is not a church to wade in and splash around in the kiddie pool. Either jump all in, or get out. This church isn’t for everyone.” I had never been challenged like that. MainStreet is not a safe church. Neither is following Jesus.

I guess I found real discipleship for the first time. Since coming to MainStreet I’ve stopped listening to talk radio and arguing politics, and instead I’m reading books like The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard and The Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer, and listening to Christian podcasts, and talking life and faith with my guy’s Huddle. I also found community at MainStreet, which was the last thing I was looking for. I’m hanging with people I would never naturally find myself around.

Here’s an indication of how much we value MainStreet these days. Recently our kids were at their grandparents for the weekend, and my wife and I were out way too late, had drank way too much, and had a rare chance to sleep in with no kids. While lying next to my wife in a warm bed, I turned and said, “We gotta get to church! We can’t miss the last part of the sermon series.”

The American church has maybe gotten off track a bit, but I think there’s an awakening happening. We need more churches that are trying to follow the provocative Way of Jesus, and not just trying grow their organization, provide nice family programs that focus on comfort and convenience. Echoing Kennedy, we need  more churches to preach, “Ask not what your church can do for you, but what you can do for your church and the Kingdom.” MainStreet is one of those churches. 

A few years ago I was a workaholic dad who was never home and focused mostly on career success. Today my business is struggling a bit and I’m making less money than ever before, but I’m at peace because my priorities are now on being a good dad and better husband. My old party friends are completely shocked that I am involved in a church! If MainStreet can reach me, there’s hope for anyone.

Tony is stepping up to help with our youth ministry this winter as well as accepting the nomination to serve on our Leadership Team. We give thanks for God’s work in Tony. 

Dr. Jeremy Berg is the founding and Lead Pastor of MainStreet Covenant Church in Minnetonka Beach, MN, where he has served since 2010. He an Adjunct Professor of Theology at North Central University (Minneapolis) and Professor of Bible & Theology at Solid Rock Discipleship School. Jeremy earned a doctorate in New Testament Context under Dr. Scot McKnight at Northern Seminary. He and his wife, Kjerstin, have three kids, Peter, Isaak and Abigail.

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