Three years ago Andrew Sheldon answered the phone and was
surprised to hear from Kevin Gunion. Kevin had been a friend of
the family since Andrew was a kid, but the two of them had never
actually had a conversation. At the time, Andrew and his wife,
Jen, were on staff at a church in Great Falls, MT, where he served
as the youth pastor, and she was the Media Director. They were
sensing a desire to lead a church, and their pastor in Great Falls
was shepherding them through that process.
Kevin, not knowing how God was speaking to the Sheldons, was
calling about Minnewaska AG in Glenwood, MN, where he was
the interim pastor. The church needed a trusted lead pastor to
help breathe new life into their rural community. The opportunity
resonated with what God was stirring in Andrew and Jen’s hearts,
and it wasn’t long before they were candidates to become pastors
of the church.
The day Andrew was up for consideration as lead pastor, he and Jen
felt strongly that if he was voted in, he would accept the position
without knowing what he would be paid. Glenwood felt like home,
and though it went against conventional wisdom, they knew God
was in it. The vote was positively unanimous and Andrew accepted
the position right away. The way he saw it, if the church could take a
step of faith in choosing him, then they could do the same.
As Andrew and Jen stepped into their new role, they began to
cast vision for the church, which eventually included changing the
name to Restoration Church. It was a description of the church’s
identity, helping it become what it was intended to be. On a
practical level, they updated much of the interior of the church,
and on a spiritual level, they championed the phrase, “One more…
growing toward Jesus.” While they expected to see one more
person growing toward Jesus right away, they were surprised how
quickly they saw one more church growing toward Jesus.
Andrew received another phone call, this time from Roger Stacy,
who mentioned a church building for sale in Sunburg, thirty
minutes south of Glenwood. The building was in rough shape,
with mold, insects, and even some dead critters inside, but it
was the perfect opportunity for a church all about restoration.
Throughout 2017, volunteers from Restoration Church and some
local businesses donated their time to transform the building, and
they launched the Sunburg campus on September 10, 2017.
While their ministry ride has been wild and tiring, it has not been
without reward. Andrew and Jen are surrounded by an amazing
congregation who consistently come through. Andrew believes
challenges allow the body of Christ to do what they need to do.
Ministry is better when done together.