Why do we think we can do counseling, without the True Counselor?

Could we gather together, and sharpen others who have a heart to truly care for people’s souls in biblical counseling?

Read the post and scroll to the bottom for course information this fall-

“Were going to counseling.”  Those words sometimes strike shame in peoples hearts, who admit they need help.  In our culture and age, those words are often seen as negative because of what ‘counseling’ is.  No one truly wants to ‘go to counseling’ but we all would admit we need help in this life to sort ourselves out…all of us would admit we need ‘counselors’.  The Scriptures called Jesus a ‘Wonderful Counselor’ (Isaiah 9:6).  We should not feel shame for wanting a Counselor, or His wonderful counseling…instead, dont we all need this kind of counseling every day? Every hour?  The early church was committed to the Way of Jesus in sherpherding, caring, and counseling people. They were committed to the way Jesus did things, and they didn’t need any other way.  They had the Holy Spirit as their ‘counselor’ or ‘comforter’ or ‘helper’ (John 14:26), and they ministered in His power as they waited on the Lord in prayer for themselves and others.  Counseling was done in the community of the churches, not by paid professionals, but people gifted to shepherd and care for people needing help through life’s challenges.

Pastor, author and speaker Paul David Tripp has a great little video on the topic, and the important of the centrality of the gospel in counseling others.  vimeo.com/24837839

Register here to Join us for a course offering this fall, hosted by Antioch School and Central MN Church Movement, called “Shepherding, Counseling and the Early Church”.  We will gather with other developing and current ministry leaders from various walks of life, Tue nights 7-8:45pm beginning September 24th and going through Dec 17th.  Registration deadline next Tuesday!



our life in the apostolic

we are living life as ‘sent ones’ from Lake Community Church, in Alexandria MN, our home church of 14+ years. This is our first week of our journey into the life of apostolic ministry, regionally networking and planting the gospel in Stearns County and central Minnesota. Last Sunday, we were commissioned by LCC elders and this week begins my (Jeff) part time math teaching job at Sauk Centre High School in Sauk Centre, MN as well as our time to begin ministry with Harvest Community Church. HCC will be our new church base which is closer to our goal of the St Cloud metro, the largest unreached city in MN which we hope to bring the gospel to.

As we glance through the Acts of the apostles, or what I like to refer as Acts of the Holy Spirit, carried out by the apostles, we see some patterns. These ministry teams, of Paul and others, usually are 1) bringing the gospel into their daily relationships, challenging people with the claims and identity of Jesus, 2) helping new believers become strong followers of Jesus, and 3) raising up servant leaders who will both care for these believers and keep them pursuing the mission of Jesus in their communities. Will you please pray that we would enter this apostolic calling, and lean on the foundation that Jesus and His Apostles laid out for us in Ephesians 2:20?

1) Great meetings and personal visits to explain the gospel and God’s Word to those that need hope in Christ.
2) Great gatherings to bring new believers together and do worship, community, and mission in our cities.
3) Great relationships with other servant leaders who want to provide Antioch classes and training ops.

As soon as our fall schedule is set a little more, and the school year is in operation, we will be posting more details as to our family plans in life and ministry. We are still hoping to sell our home in Alexandria soon so we can move into Sauk Centre or a community close by.

Pray that this ‘apostolic’ life that the Lord has called us into, would be balanced and nourishing for our marriage and family. We want to minister the gospel through a healthy life and family.

For a Eph 2:20 foundation,

Desire church-based training? Our inaugural ‘Movement Roundtable’ in 3 weeks!

“The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.  My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:11-14

Are you a current or potential ministry leader?  Would you like to grow together with others doing ‘theology in community’? Like the ‘preacher’ in Ecclesiastes, we long to study and discuss the right things, the things that help us glorify God and help others follow Jesus.   The Antioch School (www.antiochschool.edu) is offering church-based theological training right here in central MN this fall- We are offering our first Central MN ‘Movement Roundtable‘ Tuesday Nights this September!  We are excited to offer “Shepherding, Counseling, and the Early Church”.  This is Antioch School’s comprehensive course to tackle the issues surrounding the care, protection, and nurturing that goes into leading families and churches well.  It will help develop a strategy your leader can use, consistent with the scriptures and life of the early church.  To register, go to http://bit.ly/1a8xxPs or call Jeff at 320-760-5286.

Movement Roundtables are courses that gather cohorts of current and potential gospel ministers, across denominations and groups among the cities of central MN, to deeply investigate God’s Word, deeply discuss principles of life and ministry, and deeply integrate learning outcomes into your families and churches.  Our conviction is we all benefit one another as parts of His Body!


Shepherding, Counseling, and the Early Church-  Tuesday Nights, September 17- December 17  7pm-9pm.   Location-  Osakis, MN (place TBA).

Course Objective

This study will help you build a comprehensive shepherding strategy for a church that is rooted in the traditional pastoral care paradigm drawn from the Scriptures in  contrast to the secular psychological care paradigm of contemporary culture. Specifically, this means that each person in this study will:

· Develop an understanding of the pastoral care practiced in the early church;
· Formulate a clear perspective of the gospel and the work of the Spirit in our lives;
· Examine the contemporary practice of integrating psychology and theology and assess its legitimacy;
· Lay necessary foundations for skillfully handling the Scriptures in counseling;
· Critique the contemporary emergence of a new Christian profession—Christian psychologists and psychiatrists
· Design a contemporary pastoral care strategy consistent with the Scriptures.

Course Units

Unit 1: Rethinking the Goal: Counseling as an Establishing Process
Unit 2: Establishing in the Gospel: The Foundation of all Counseling
Unit 3: The Integration of Psychology and Theology: Another Gospel?
Unit 4: Christian Psychologists and Psychiatrists: Another Authority?
Unit 5: Designing a Pastoral Care Strategy

Thank you for sharing this information with people in your church or ministry.

To register, go to http://bit.ly/1a8xxPs or call Jeff at 320-760-5286.


Jeff Pankratz

Central MN Church Movement

Cell: 320-760-5286


We’re being sent out Sun Aug 25!

Greetings friends! Its been an amazing journey of the Lord’s presence and power.  We are almost ready to be sent out as ‘bivocational church planters’ into Stearns County, MN.  We will stay in Sauk Centre for a year helping make disciples there, and working at a machine tool shop- an amazing provision from God for our finances.  After that year of training and team-building, we will be looking to be full-time in St. Cloud MN to minister there.

As you may already know, we feel most passionate about engaging young families, young married and dating couples, and college students/young adults with the gospel message, inviting them into our lives for deeper relationships, and grounding new believers in the worship, community, and mission of simple new testament churches.  Whether in Sauk Centre or St. Cloud, or helping develop leaders in other MN cities…this is who we are!

Please join us Sunday Aug 25, for our final message ‘God’s Promised Spirit’ as we look at the Spirit’s role in our mission as His Church.  We will be ‘sent out’ as in Acts 13, when church elders will gather around us and pray to commission us into God’s calling for our family.

Love you and see you soon!  Please drop by our home or call us anytime to connect.  You can also reach Anna or I on facebook.  Be encouraged by our Lord Jesus today!

Jeff, Anna, and the boys

1 month and counting…help send us off!

Thank you for praying, asking questions, connecting with us for a coffee, etc.  The conversations, the financial support, the relational connections in Stearns County and St. Cloud, have all been a huge lift to our hearts.  We are now down to the final 5% of our goal, only $220/month to fundraise to be a bivocational family for church planting- We will be sent out by our church family at Lake Community Church’s morning worship Sunday August 25th, and then the next chapter of our lives begins!

There are a few key things we are persistently asking the Lord for;

1) To sell our home here in Alexandria, so we can be free to move to Stearns County.  You can share the listing here- http://www.counselorcorner.com/521-10th-ave-w-alexandria-mn/.  Call Sandy Jackson, our realtor, at 320-815-6687!

2) To help lead Jeff to the best fit for a bivocational part-time job in the Sauk Centre marketplace.  Email him if you have a lead!  Here’s a great exerpt from an article you go to see the full spread...”We believe there is a better way. We want to train church planters from our own church to plant new churches in our own community. They don’t have to move their families. They don’t have to find new jobs. They don’t have to strike out on their own. We can pour into them, help them develop their spiritual gifts, help them discover their unique calling, help them find a neighborhood that needs a gospel church, and ultimately help them form a church planting team.”

3) To find the best place possible for Anna, Jeff, and our three boys to grow and be used for His ministry.  We are hoping we can sell our home in Alex in the next two months, so we could rent in Sauk during our church planting residency for Sep 13-May 14.  We then will be looking to move to St Cloud in the summer of 2014.

Help us go into church planting and build a movement!

Join our “Philippian Partners” team and help give funds, pray, or connect us with people that have passion to see the gospel transform the most unreached communities of central MN. Fill out the online form here.
If you’d rather simply give financially, without any further commitment to our support team, you can use PayPal- a secure and free way to donate. Click here to give by using PayPal online.