New church embraces burden of spiritually adrift community

Ben Greene

Pastor & writer

  • Church planting & multiplication

Christ the Word Church service

Randy and Debbie Day were walking up the sidewalk outside Christ the Word Church when the date surprised him.  

“Do you realize it’s been four years to the day since we went to church?” he said to his wife. 


Once inside, they saw some friends and encountered what they’d been missing. 


“That’s exactly what I’ve been looking for,” he said to Debbie after the service ended. 


“I think we found our new home,” she said. 


A community that hasn’t found its home yet


Nearly 80,000 people south of Minneapolis can’t wait to go boating and golfing on the weekends in the waters around Lakeville, a suburb with numerous younger families and white- and blue-collar workers. 


Nate Prazuch, who pastors Christ the Word Church, lived that life numerous years ago. He and his wife, Elizabeth, had kids playing sports and family fun every week. They were working in a real estate boom, raising kids and pursuing degrees. 


Their life made their church attendance sporadic and their faithful church involvement had waned. But then, the power of being active in a congregation changed his focus forever.  


Now he’s pastoring Christ the Word Church so Lakeville people might discover the worth of following Jesus. 


“My burden is to get the gospel out,” Prazuch said. “We’re going to preach the word.” 


An unforgettable midnight phone call


Prazuch’s father was a pastor when he was growing up. Late one night, a drunk suicidal man called Prazuch’s father. The man called from the roof of a house where he sat with a gun in his hand. 


‘You’re the only Christian I know,’ the man told Prazuch’s father that night. His dad went out to the man and encouraged him to take a different life path and accept the love of God for him in his sin. 


Related: Florida believers befriended a Buddhist neighbor who’d never known Christ’s love. 


Those interactions and acts of love for hurting people inspire Prazuch today. He’s eager to see God transform Lakeville’s believers into loving servants who offer transformation to their community. 


“I’m doing my best to raise the people up who are here to be those kinds of people and to bless those mission fields in their neighborhood, in their personal interactions with people,” he said. 


Expository preaching is the tool for Prazuch’s job


Prazuch has been active in church plants and established congregations going back to his childhood when his dad was a pastor. That service included being part of teams who started churches. Plus, he’s been an assistant pastor, office manager, kids volunteer, teacher in adult classes and more. 


In all that ministry experience, the power of expository preaching stands out to him as a phenomenal tool for ministry. That’s because those sermons have helped him get through the hard times. 


“You’ve got to know who your Lord is and what his promises are,” Prazuch said. “We focus on expository preaching and teaching as the basis of how we know our Lord.” 


Related: A young California church also emphasizes Bible teaching as a gospel tool. 


That’s why the church is named Christ the Word, although his kids had to help him get the name right. He asked them about names for the church. They immediately said Christ Word or Word of Christ. He chose Christ the Word, creating a clarity of focus that’s guided the new Converge church since it launched in July 2023.  


“We’re Bible-based and proclaim the gospel every week,” he added. 


Christ the Word Church pastor 

A ministry based on love and partnership


Christ the Word has embraced partnerships in ministry with other churches and organizations in Lakeville. He believes that doing so will better attack the darkness around Lakeville. 


So Christ the Word conducts Bible studies on Tuesday nights at a retirement home. They’re also creating a strong online ministry with preaching clips, YouTube resources and other social media content. 


Related: A Utah pastor uses social media to make discipleship digital and make watchers worshipers 


On Sunday mornings, they gather to pray, worship and fellowship, all with the desire to grow spiritually and live richer Christian lives. 


Strong faith like that is not common in Lakeville, a community where Republicans and Democrats mix, but most people don’t go to church. There are many people who no longer have a Judeo-Christian worldview and are spiritually adrift. 


Most of the community reflects people who want to live near a metro area but don’t want to work, stay or play in the big city. They prefer the newer, affordable homes and vibrant suburban community over the life of Minneapolis. 


Twenty years ago, Lakeville had numerous cornfields, but today you’d have to drive south to get into a land of farm trucks and cowboy hats. For tens of thousands of people there, following Christ isn’t a priority. 


But Prazuch knows that love and God’s word are powerful forces for those who never attend church. His church has Christians who will reach out to their neighbors, be their friends and show that a church can change a life. 


“We’re going to feed the sheep on Sundays,” he said. “We’re going to love people wherever they are.” 


That’s exactly what the Days received in December as they walked down the sidewalk leading into Christ the Word Church. Now, they’re eager to keep growing in the faith and serve the families of Lakeville.  


“It’s a real place, a real ministry,” he said of Christ the Word Church. “We have to figure out not only how we serve ourselves and each other, but the community.” 


Converge’s 10 districts have committed to deploying 312 church planters before 2026. Read more inspiring church planting stories and learn about the goal to send out 312 church planters in five years.

Ben Greene, Pastor & writer

Ben Greene is a freelance writer and pastor currently living in Massachusetts. Along with his ministry experience, he has served as a full-time writer for the Associated Press and in the newspaper industry.

Additional articles by Ben Greene