Helping Kids Grow, Achieve … and Meet Jesus

February 24, 2019

A StartNew Community-Based Ministry

The following is a recent interview we had with Greyson Grenz, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wyandotte, MI. Greyson is a graduate from our StartNew Incubator

Greyson, briefly describe your StartNew ministries. 

Bitty Ballin’ basketball camp for first thru third graders and Raising Up Readers summer reading help for first thru fifth graders.

What problem in your community have these ministries addressed? 

Bitty Ballin’ has helped address the need for physical activity for kids and sports development. And for the parents, it has provided something for their kids to do in the summer.  Raising Up Readers has become beneficial to our community schools who struggle with reading according to state tests and standards.

How do these ministries carry Jesus’ presence into the community?

It is active engagement by our congregation members with members of the community, both kids and parents. These ministries have opened the door to build relationships that could lead to people coming into the church.

As a StartNew graduate, and looking back, what was something that surprised you from the 2-year experience?

The business model canvas was invaluable. It opened my eyes to a different way that the church can operate in today’s society, not freebies, but providing value.

If you started StartNew again, what would you do differently or place a different focus on?

Team! Identify team members to go through the process with me.

What would you say to another person who is on the fence with participating in StartNew?

In a rapidly changing world, the church must adapt and use all available avenues to share the gospel.

What are the top 3 things/favorite stories you’ve celebrated with your new starts?
  1. The first year of Raising Up Readers we had one child improve his reading by 3 grade levels. 
  2. We have continued contact with over 100 families who signed up for our events mailing list about all activities and Trinity, and we see them at other events and in the community.
  3. We have seen an increased commitment to outreach within our small congregation, and a desire to do more. The volunteers have been very blessed working with the children.  
What seeds through your new starts have been planted to lead to more baptized followers of Jesus?

Actual contact with the community, not just opening our doors. We have engaged in a long-haul process that may not produce baptisms immediately, but hopefully will down the road, through the relationship building that is happening in these programs.

Anything else you’d like to share?

We are adding another program focusing on science, with hopes of more to come every couple of years.  So that we become a hub of activity in our community.

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