Strengthening Families means means behaving and living in a way consistent with God’s word and teachings and leading by example with my family, especially my kids

Strengthen Families

Chad grew up in rural Wisconsin, where he attended a United Methodist Church. He married Carrie in 2001, and moved to Minnesota, living in Maple Grove for three years, and Buffalo since 2004.

The person most instrumental in my faith journey has been my grandmother. Growing up, she was always there sitting right next to me every single service encouraging me to pay attention and pointing out small or subtle things during the sermon that I might not have otherwise known or thought about.

My fondest memory of church is more recently attending Christmas services with my wife and her parents and her siblings all packed and scrunched together with all our kids singing traditional Christmas songs. We have done that for years. It’s just been a blessing to have such great family members and then being able to be together celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and singing at the top of our lungs.

Chad and Carrie have three sons: Owen (11), Jackson (10) and Grayson (4). Their hobbies include camping, road trips, and virtually anything outdoors.

After we moved to Minnesota, we attended various Lutheran churches. We had been attending St. John’s Lutheran in Buffalo, however we were still exploring where we might call home permanently. When we started attending services at Zion, the people were so incredibly welcoming, it was really amazing. We also had smaller children and we were committed to helping teach them the word of God and with all of the great programs and other youth ministries that Zion had even at that time, it was really easy for us to call Zion home.

The members of Zion are truly committed to each other even outside the church walls. I feel like Zion has done, and is doing, so many great things with our youth and various ministries, but I also think our community outreach efforts have been equally terrific. I have been connected with and developed many friendships with others in the community that don’t attend Zion, and met them through someone from Zion. It’s been a blessing and I believe that Zion is so special because they do so much outside the walls of the church.

Chad has worked in human resources for over 15 years, including the past 1½ as a human resources business leader for SPS Commerce, Inc., a SaaS (software as a solution) technology company in downtown Minneapolis. Because of that background, one of the places Chad has served at Zion was as a member of the Personnel Committee.

He was invited to be part of the Children and Family Ministries Vision Team.

I didn’t hesitate at the chance to join. I think one of the greatest things about Zion is that we have such great youth and family programs and continue to improve or introduce new programs year after year. The CFM Vision Team really helped reintroduce me to the importance of how God touches each one of us every day. It really made me think about how much our youth and family members need to know that God’s love is unwavering and always surrounding us. Our kids go through so many different phases in life. Helping to remember what that was like, and providing guidance and reassurance that God is with them and they can always look to him for support and help whenever they need, is so important for them to know and remember.

One of the CFM Vision Team projects which Chad was involved with was the introduction of a new CFM mission statement earlier this year:

Know God’s love. Invite others. Do like Jesus. Strengthen families.

Strengthen Families has several meanings to Chad:

First, specifically to my own family, it means living my life committed to my family (my wife, kids, parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family members/relatives, etc.). It means behaving and living in a way consistent with God’s word and teachings and leading by example with my family, especially my kids.

It also means that we all make mistakes. Strengthen Families also means that although each of us missteps from time to time, we are all forgiven our sins and for that we are all stronger people and families.

Additionally, it also means to me living and loving those who are not necessarily my direct family members, but really everyone else. It means loving those directly in our community like my neighbors and fellow Church members as well as everyone else I encounter along my journey in life, whether they live near me or not. There’s enough bad things going on throughout the world and even in our communities at times, I like to try and take the approach and essentially choose that everyone I encounter is good hearted and a good person, but if I can do something small, it might be something that I say or do and if that is noticed by someone else, that can make all the difference to them. Sometimes it can really be the small things in life, and what we do and what we say can make the biggest differences to others that can lead to strengthening themselves and their own families.

We all go through so many challenges and stresses in our life journeys, having wonderful programs and people who are committed to sharing and living God’s word can have such a significant impact on someone’s life. I believe the CFM we have at Zion has truly contributed and strengthened my own family as well as our families at home and throughout our communities.