Pastor Matthew Berry and his wife Elisa are the Network Directors of a new church in Zimmerman, Minnesota called The Jesus Following. Their desire to be more connected to people in their area in a more relational and community centered way, has led them on about a 10 year journey which resulted in the planting of a Microchurch.
Microchurches are small, spiritual families that live on mission as they care for one another and seek God. Their autonomy allows them to be innovative and contextualized in their unique calling.
Matthew and Elisa with their 5 boys began their outreach to their neighbors by inviting them to join them for family diners a couple times each month. These were neighbor meals together to get to know each other and build relationships. The goal was never to start a church in what we see in the traditional sense, a building where people go on Sunday morning with offices like other businesses have. The goal was to reach out to the 60% of a given population that for whatever reason, never felt any need to attend a regular church meeting
Now with the current restrictions on group meetings caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, Matthew and Elisa needed to change the way they stay connected with their microchurch family. Moving to using Zoom.com video conferences has not been an easy task nor is it one that all their group is used to. Matthew shared that one member of their group didn’t use a computer or smartphone so, Matthew would setup one of his devices logged into Zoom and leave in on the front porch for them to pickup and watch the meeting.
To stay positive for himself, his family and their group Matthew says that he limits the time he spends looking at the news and selects only outlets that have creditable information. Being grateful for all he has and purposefully looking to find Jesus in everyday activities, the normal things of life helps him to stay positive and in the right frame of mind.
To learn more about The Jesus Following Network or to connect with Matthew and Elisa you can visit their website at www.jesusfollowing.com
You can also find them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/thejesusfollowing/