Chris Nelson, Pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was one of five churches to receive the very first Purpose Driven Church Health Award in 1999. This was after seeing the fruits of PD strategies, that were implemented after attending a Purpose Driven Church Conference. Read more about their PD success story HERE. With steady and healthy growth in his own church, Nelson and his staff have eagerly shared Purpose Driven principles far and wide, even with the Roman Catholic Church in Poland.
Pastor Nelson received a call from Abraham Meulenberg, who is known for planting PD churches and his interfaith efforts worldwide. Meulenberg felt Nelson’s personal experience with PD principles and his Lutheran context could help him relate to the Roman Catholic community in Poland.
The Galilea Community—a discipleship community that is connected to local parishes in Krakow, Poland—was looking for someone to introduce them to the PD principles. Each week, locals were gathering in homes around Krakow to pray and study God’s Word. They had been focusing on evangelism and were looking for someone to teach PD strategies to their lay people and church staff.
Accepting this honorable task, Nelson made his first trip to Krakow in February 2015. During that first trip, he taught the introduction to Purpose Driven principles, as well as “Evangelizing Your Community” and “Preaching to Change Lives.” During his second trip in November that same year, he taught “Purpose Driven Leadership” and “Small Group Studies.”
By the summer of 2016, Nelson had taught added two more sessions of the Purpose Driven Journey by teaching on SHAPE and PEACE. Eventually, The Purpose Driven journey in Poland led to four weeks of intensive training with community church leaders.
“Krakow has been a remarkable experience,” Nelson says. “The camaraderie shared was exceptional and I made wonderful friendships along the way.”
To learn more about becoming a Purpose Driven Church, visit pd.church/start.