It’s late November 2021. Nick Olson (Youth Director with Word of Life Church, Le Sueur, MN) calls me while he and his family are driving around their town of New Prague looking at Christmas lights. The sounds of joy fill his car in the background, as Nick says, “Hey! You want to buy a church?” And I quickly answered, “Yes.” But launching a new church campus is not that quick or that easy. As it turned out, we didn’t buy that building. Yet Word of Life Church launched a new church campus in New Prague, Minnesota on March 27.

The leaders of Word of Life Church have been praying for wisdom and direction for years, asking God to lead us into the next chapter for Word of Life’s ministry to the communities in the Minnesota River Valley. As people have been inviting their friends to come and hear the gospel and people find themselves believing, lives are being transformed. And the people of Word of Life have continued to look to God for guidance. 

So the leaders of Word of Life toured that church building that was for sale, then we invited everyone who’s a part of Word of Life to come and check it out and pray together for God’s leading. While most people were excited about the opportunity to minister to the New Prague community, that building just didn’t fit Word of Life’s philosophy of ministry. But then we heard that a different church had closed in New Prague, and we decided to check it out.

Two phone calls later, we were walking through the building that now hosts Word of Life–New Prague. As many friends and neighbors have noticed, the New Prague building looks like a smaller version of the Le Sueur building, and it has lots of outdoor space for ministry and events. This building fits with Word of Life’s values and philosophy of ministry.

As we bought a building in New Prague and talked to friends and neighbors, people continued to ask, “Why are you launching a new campus now?” People have mentioned that attendance hasn’t fully recovered to pre-COVID participation, and church income was down due to people’s financial situations. The list of reasons not to launch a new campus went on and on. But as we talked to friends and acquaintances in our neighborhoods we continued to hear “need.” The community of New Prague is growing rapidly, and they need to hear God’s message of salvation through Jesus Christ. The people need hope; they need to hear they are loved and valued.

Word of Life Church is excited to be living God’s mission of sharing the gospel in neighboring towns. Even when people were coming to Jesus and his ministry was growing, he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent” (Luke 4:43). We are talking to people, inviting neighbors, and living life where people are, seeking opportunities to share the gospel.

Will you please pray with us? Will you pray for the people of New Prague and the surrounding communities? Will you pray for the Launch Team that is getting the word out? Will you pray for Word of Life’s New Prague campus? Please pray for courage and boldness as we share Jesus’ message of salvation.

Rev. Jason Lang serves as pastor of Word of Life Church in Le Sueur and New Prague, Minnesota.

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