When Nate Belkstrom and his family arrived in Redwood Falls in 1983 he had no idea his ministry would still be going on there 30 years later.
Then again, as he was open to God’s leading, there really was no reason to think God has any other plan.
“I have learned in this line of work to enjoy the experience as it is happening and to know if God has a change in mind he will let me know,” said Belkstrom, who has seen plenty of other changes over the past 30 years.
Living Word Church in Redwood Falls was just five years old when Belkstrom came in as the pastor.
“They had three different pastors during that five-year period,” said Belkstrom.
Belkstrom answered God’s call to ministry having attended Bible College and spent several years in private industry.
“Working in the world before coming here was a good experience,” said Belkstrom, adding those experiences continue to be used in his ministry today. “I love the idea of combining business with the Christian faith.”
That concept of faith in the workplace led Belkstrom to write about the topic. The three books he has published are being used around the world and have been translated into several different languages.
Belkstrom recalled his first experience in Redwood Falls.
“We came on a cold January day,” he said. “I remember coming into the church and stepping up into the pulpit. It felt like home.”
It was in March 1983 when Belkstrom and his family officially came to Redwood Falls.
Since answering the call to serve as the pastor of the local church, several things have been implemented at Living Word, including a ministry that has allowed Belkstrom’s sermons to be on the radio each Sunday. At 9:06 a.m. (10:06 a.m. in the summer) on the AM and FM stations of KLGR one can hear Belkstrom’s thoughts on God’s word.
Another major project Belkstrom has been involved in is the cross-cultural work in Eastern bloc European nations. What began in Belarus has included ministry in seven different nations, most recently in Poland and Romania. Belkstrom said he is able to teach in universities there and to talk about those faith in the workplace concepts with business leaders and groups of workers helping them understand there is more to life than working a job Monday through Saturday. Belkstrom is heading across the Atlantic Ocean two or more times per year, and since he began this ministry in 1995 approximately a dozen members of the church have participated in the work overseas.
“This is such a super congregation that loves people and has a heart to help others,” said Belkstrom, adding, however, the church is not perfect. “We all can be a little more extroverted, but I think we are all getting better than we were in the past.”
Page 2 of 2 - Belkstrom, who is by far the longest tenured current pastor in the Redwood area, and as far as he knows is the pastor who has served in the Redwood area the longest.
That, he said, is not a reflection on who he is or what he has done but of what God has done through him and the church.
The church celebrated the 30-year milestone with a special event Oct. 13.
Belkstrom expressed his gratitude to the church and the community for “putting up with him” for all of these years, and he looks forward to what God is going to accomplish through him and the church in the years to come.
“I feel like we’re just getting started,” said Belkstrom.