We believe that regardless of how powerful a church’s worship band is, how welcoming or trendy she is, how relevant her messages are, there remains many within our communities unaffected by these approaches.
Although these expressions of church have done great things for many people, there is a particular group that has remained largely disconnected and disengaged from the Church.
This group of people is all around us; they are people who are struggling… with poverty, mental health, substance abuse, and other life altering issues—often, historically, as families. While the Church has reached out in some positive ways, this group has often felt a message that they are currently too broken, too messy, or too far gone to have an immediate, equal, and meaningful place in the body of Christ.
Through The Exchange, we seek to change that.
The people Jesus asked to follow him seemed to feel that very same way. Yet Jesus found ways to bring out their worthiness and strength. The Exchange will use the rhythm of Jesus as an open door for these struggling people to find a meaningful place in the Body of Christ! By living life incarnationally and developing relationships over time, we’ll work with struggling people, now friends, to take care of each other and our community in everyday ways—ways Jesus used.
Through having a meaningful role in this Body of Christ, these friends will begin to believe they are who God says they are, which will empower them to make changes in their life and grow and be transformed in ways they didn’t think possible. And then their family will be affected. And then their community. All because there was space for them, struggling as they were, to be a functioning member of God’s family in a meaningful way before any transformation came along.
By doing ministry side by side with people who are in the midst of addiction, poverty, and struggle, we can bridge the gap that now exists, offer the hope and power of Jesus, and more meaningfully and effectively include this people group in God’s Kingdom and His work.
Rochester, Minnesota is a quickly growing city with a high income level and a reputation of success, yet they also have an increasing number of residents, families, and neighborhoods who don’t fit that description. Alcohol and drug arrests are also rapidly increasing. These struggling people need to experience their value, their acceptance, and their place in the kingdom of God.
We are excited to be welcomed to town by Church of the Savior, an RCA church in Rochester. We are thankful for the friendship and mutual encouragement we’ll share, but also to have an established church to direct people to who are interested in further spiritual growth and opportunity.
This call has slowly and deeply been growing within us. We now sense the time has come. This call has become a rope around our hearts, our minds, and our lives. Continuing to wait no longer feels like a faithful option. When "Transformed and Transforming" (the RCA’s new guiding vision) was released, we knew The Exchange was a clear expression of the denomination’s new goals, affirming the vision God had been cultivating in us.