Connections Church Celebrates 10 Years of Ministry

Connections Church Celebrates 10 Years of Ministry

by Pastor Ben McEachern, Lead Pastor

And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15)

I just have to share with you what was just shared with me. It was the needed boost and reminder of the power of consistent obedience in the direction we are called to go. If you have been around NRF for a while you know that we are committed to planting new churches who will in turn plant new churches. Believe it or not next month, our second church plant, Connections Church will celebrate 10 years of ministry. As God would have it, we launched Connections within the first year of moving into our building. One Sunday I stood up and said that some NorthRidgers needed to go help start this church. Afterward someone approached me with a smile and a quizzical look, “Why are we doing this now? Don’t we need all the people we can get?” Some went, including my son Grant. (ouch)

But I believe God wants NorthRidge to be reservoir not a stagnant pond or even a very large “dead sea”. A reservoir stores up water and then releases it to give life….

So, 10 years ago Ray and Jill Fritz, Tim Hale and an intrepid band of believers started a church in Ramsey Elementary. Here is what has happened…by the numbers:

March 2010 - Connections Church 
Vision:  Building Relationships as we Build God’s Kingdom

  • 156 people said yes to Jesus in the last 5 years (2016-2020)
  • 136 baptisms since 2011
  • 10% average annual growth in attendance over the last 8 years (including 2020)
  • 80% of our people are involved in Life Groups that meet throughout the week.
  • A minimum of 10% of the church budget is given to outside ministries (including church planting)

2020 Highlights (with God, yes, ‘2020’ and ‘Highlights’ can go together)

  • Closed on 7.1 Acres on Highway 10 in Ramsey, MN on October 20, 2020 
  • 22 People said yes to Jesus
  • 11 Baptisms 
  • 29 people have joined the church 
  • 1,862 boxes of groceries were distributed to families in need in November/December
  • 121 Thanksgiving meals were given to families in need
  • Planted a church in the Dominican Republic 

Connections Church has planted two local church plants 

Transform Church, planted in 2019, has seen:

  • 19 people make a decision to follow Jesus 
  • 3 baptisms 
  • 148 new families have visited or stayed at Transform since launch

Imagine Church, planted in 2016, has seen: 

  • 27 people make a decision to follow Jesus 
  • 40 people have made a decision to publicly celebrate their decision to follow Jesus by being baptized 
  • Imagine has paid off the school lunch debt at Kaleidoscope Charter School 
  • 50 kids participated in their first-ever VBS this summer when they did Virtual VBS 
  • Partnered with another local church to give away 60 full Thanksgiving meals in November of 2020
  • Provided 70,000 meals through Every Meal to local families in need

I read that and all I can think is, “I am so proud of our kids!”  All of them, Epic Life Church (2010-2015), Connections Church (2011), Clarity Church (2013) and Mosaic Church (2014).  And to think, we have been at this long enough that we have grandkids, Imagine Church and Transform Church!  And Clarity and Mosaic are very close to planting their first churches. This is the way the kingdom of God advances. Disciples make disciples and churches plant churches.  It’s so simple, so Holy Spirit led, true to the gospel, so honoring to our Father. Let’s do it again. Would you pray?

Ben McEachern

Lead Pastor

I am married to Teri (our family pastor at NorthRidge), with 4 kids and 6 grandkids!  I live in St. Michael, MN and am a pastor at NorthRidge Fellow-ship here in Rogers. 

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