Fellowship Worship Center finds home at LMS, poised to install new pastor
When a group of people looking for fellowship began growing from just a few to about 40, they decided to form a church in Woodbury.
United Fellowship Worship Center, which has been holding worship services on Saturday evenings, will install a new pastor in July and begin meeting on Sunday mornings instead.
“It became a really comfortable place for people to come and share their experiences and challenges,” said Timothy Brewington, who will be installed as pastor of the church July 21. “Some moments were full of joy, some moments were crying. It really grew to be a place for people to find support and safety.”
The families, who came from Oakdale, Maplewood, Hudson, Wis., and Woodbury, began hosting their meetings at members’ homes in January.
They were first looking to have spiritual conversations, connect with people in the community and gather over food on Saturday evenings.
But when the attendance grew to 30, then 40 individuals, they decided to rent space at Lake Middle School in June.
“It grew to the point that we thought maybe there is something bigger happening here,” Brewington said.
The group doesn’t have plans to raise funds for a new building, he added, but rather to use donations toward the church’s mission.
“The school provides us with plenty of room,” he said. “It’s extremely cost effective”
Brewington, who was associate pastor at Charlotte Temple in north Minneapolis, said statistics show most churches spend 80 percent of their funds on overhead costs, salaries and building maintenance, while 20 percent goes to the mission of the church.
“We want our budget to focus on our priority,” he said. “We want 20 percent to go to overhead and 80 percent to go to the mission of the church.”
Lake Middle School advised church members that it would be more efficient if they met on Sunday mornings, since other groups meet around the same time as well and maintenance staff is there, too.
Additionally, many of the members could no longer attend Saturday service due to scheduling conflicts.
United Fellowship Worship Center may lease office space to conduct church business, Brewington said, but for now he wants to focus on expanding the services.
He hopes to start a monthly “coffee shop ministry” where members can meet others at their local coffee shop or restaurants to share their faith in that type of environment.
“We would much rather use our resources to bring the church to the community instead of trying to convince the community to come to the church,” he said.
United Fellowship plans to hold leadership training in October to set the boundaries and expectations for the coffee shop ministry.
“We really look at it as a way of life,” he said. “ … your friends, coworkers, get together with your neighbors and share your faith in a casual non-threatening way.”
Brewington will be installed as lead pastor of United Fellowship Worship Center at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 21 at Lake Middle School in Woodbury.