Living Hope is here "to glorify God by proclaiming the Living Hope of Jesus Christ to all people." This is our purpose statement.
Our core values are the things we value that are non-negotiables for us. These are the things we cling to and feel we must have in the life of our church family:
Living Hope is a unique community and our pastor is no exception. Pastor Lon Bjornrud is our "outside-the-box" pastor. He loves Jesus and people. He engages us, learns with us, and teaches us. Pastor Lon is the primary teacher for our Sunday morning services. Lon enjoys investing in, journeying alongside, and learning from people of all ages. Besides teaching and shepherding the Living Hope community as a whole, Lon also oversees our student ministry called 'SouledOut.' He has been enjoying this ministry to students here in St. Francis since 1995. Lon refers to himself as a (senior pastor/youth pastor) "hybrid"-- a role based around his passions and gifts.
Lon lives in St. Francis with his wife Sonya and two daughters. Lon is especially fond of coffee, slapstick comedy, extreme four-square, reading, campfire donuts, and Trinidadian sandals.
Living Hope is part of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), an association of nearly 1400 autonomous churches united by a mutual commitment to serve Jesus Christ. The term "evangelical" refers to our commitment to the proclamation of the gospel message and to the authority of Scriptures as being inerrant in the original autographs and the only safe and sufficient guide to faith and practice. The term "Free" refers to our congregational form of church government--where everyone is encouraged to follow Jesus as the Head of our church, and strain to hear what He is saying in the life of our church. To see the statement of faith of the Evangelical Free Church, click HERE. To see the distinctives of the Evangelical Free Church, click HERE.
Living Hope is a community of people who are enjoying God and the lives He has given us. We know we are loved, and we can't help but respond by loving God and those around us.
We are by no means perfect and we are at different places in life and on our spiritual journeys, but we share a common bond-- our love for Jesus Christ and people. We want to be like the Colossians, who were commended for their "faith in Jesus Christ" and "the love ...for all His people." (Col 1:4)
Each of us is made in God's image. We are all infinitely valuable and precious. We hope that we, as the community of Living Hope, are noticed in the St. Francis community because we value knowing God and people and because we share the love and hope we have from Jesus.
Basically, we want to be a community that passionately loves God and loves others. (Mark 12:30-31)
For more specifics on the beliefs of the Evangelical Free Church that we hold to, click HERE to see the ECFA's "Statement of Faith."
The growing ministries of the EFCA currently extend to over 40 countries, with the vision of glorifying God by multiplying healthy churches among all people. The churches of the EFCA are committed to cooperate with one another in ministry and fellowship, and we greatly appreciate the resources of the EFCA we can both contribute to and benefit from.
In 1998, local pastors and ministry leaders from Constance EFC, Burns EFC, Oxlip EFC came together seeking God about the possibility of planting an Evangelical Free Church in St. Francis. Burns EFC, a country church with much rich heritage and ministry since 1886, was located only 5 miles outside of St. Francis. Through much prayer and consideration, the congregation at Burns EFC followed God's leading to dissolve and become a leading part of this new church plant in St. Francis.
On July 15, 2001, Living Hope Evangelical Free Church began corporately worshipping together at the facility that had been the home for Burns EFC. During the next two years, Living Hope's weekly ministries and offices were at the former Burns EFC's Ministry Center and parsonage. God led the congregation to put these facilities up for sale, and they were sold in June of 2003.
For the past several years, Living Hope has held services in area schools. The church then decided to move Sunday services to the Ministry Center across the street from St. Francis High School, and to expand to two services. We have purchased land on County Rd 9 (Lake George Blvd) to be used for a future building.
Currently, we are experiencing an exciting time at Living Hope. We are moving towards building, but more importantly we are growing in trusting God, straining to hear His voice, and allowing Him to transform us into the beautiful redemptive community He wants us to be. God is doing some amazing things in our midst, and we are enjoying experiencing and following Him together.
At that time, there was also a strong sense that God was leading us to continue the solid youth ministry that Burns EFC had developed over the years. This meant that the new church would be unique in that it would begin already having a full-time pastor to youth, Lon Bjornrud. In the spring of 2000, those that were committed to the new church plant began six months of core group training. It was during this time, that God led the core group to name the new plant "Living Hope."
With God's help, we have become and continually strive to be an authentic community of people who follow the way of Jesus. We want to live life as it was meant to be lived, and we believe this is only possible through Jesus. We want to be a group of people who meet needs in the name of Jesus because we believe this is essential to being the church. We are a group of people who are experiencing life, not just Sundays, together.
Hearts for People: We desire to see God bring those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior into a personal, life-changing
relationship with Him. We will compassionately reach out to our neighborhoods, our city, and our world. (Matt 18:19-20, Acts 1:8)
Oneness in Christ: We are committed to unity in purpose and direction that comes from loving one another as Christ loves us.
Passionate Worship: We sincerely desire to worship God in ways that honor and please Him, entering into His presence in a relevant way. (Ps 95:1, Col 3:16-17, Heb 10:19-25, Heb 4:16)
Equipping God’s People: We will encourage individuals to be grounded in their relationship with Jesus Christ, to be growing in their faith,
and to be prepared to serve Him. (Col 2:6-10)
join us for worship!
Sundays at 9am & 11am
imperfect, beautiful worship community in St. Francis, MN
Living Hope Evangelical Free Church P.O. Box 264 St. Francis, MN 55070 763.753.1718