New Inreach pastor at St. John’s loves people

Jody Isaackson, Editor
Redwood Gazette

St. John’s Lutheran Church of Redwood Falls has welcomed a new associate pastor to serve as Inreach Pastor for their congregation.

Pastor Darren Green joins the staff at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Redwood Falls, to fill the Inreach pastoral position. He says it is a good fit because he loves working with people and giving them the tools to understand God’s Word.

Pastor Darren Green and his wife, Naomi, received the Call in February to come to Redwood Falls and fill the vacancy here.

“We accepted the Call in February—in the middle of Lent, and I was installed on April 25,” Green said. “I had been at St. Peter’s in Montecello for 15 years.” St. Peter’s is a small congregation of about 200 members, he said, in comparison to the roughly 800 members at St. John’s.

“I was told I didn’t have to worry about attending every church meeting, but focus on getting to know the people,” he said, which fit in well with the gifts he has to offer, “to get to know them and help them grow in their walk with the Lord, and serving the Lord, growing in their relationship with Him.

“I really like giving people the tools to understand God’s Word and to know the certainty of it,” he added.  

As the Inreach pastor, Green’s work compliments that of senior pastor Peter Sulzle who favors administrative work, Green said.

Green grew up on a farm near Mountain Lake, he said. He has six siblings. Their parents, Floyd and Corinne, still farm there. Green said he liked moving back to a rural area much like his hometown.

He met Naomi at college. She grew up in Watertown Wis. and Saginaw, Mich. They both like to sing, so the first thing they did in Redwood Falls was to join the church choir and the Southwest Minnesota Area Lutheran Chorale that rehearses at St. John’s from early January up to Lent and performs at area churches.

“My wife was looking forward to singing with a choir instead of just directing it,” Green said. In smaller churches, the pastors and their wives wear many hats.

Having graduated from Wisconsin Luther Seminary in Mequon, Wis. in 1994, Green was a vicar in Tomah, Wis. before working in Colorado for five years, then Nebraska for five years. After that, he and Naomi were called to serve in Russia.

“We served at a church in Nova Sibirsck, a large city in Siberia,” he said. “We lived in a smaller town nearby.”

Green has also had the opportunity work in prison ministry in his last post. He also participated in The Joy of Jesus Bible Camp in Spicer where he met some of the congregation members of St. John’s prior to his coming here.

Along the way, the Greens had two children, Noah, 24, who lives and works in Maple Lake, and Natalia, 21, who moved with her parents when they came to Redwood Falls.

In regard to his reading the Bible, Green said that the books scribed by the Apostle Peter were his favorites, such as Colossians and Hebrews.

“He brings the Old Testament and Christ together,” Green said. “(Jesus) is the Great High Priest.”

Green stated that Holy Week with Easter is his favorite church season as “everything centers on that.”

His new favorite hymn is “Before the Throne of God.”

“It is one of my new favorites because it uses the Isaiah 49 passage that God has our names etched on the palm of His hand and engraved on His heart.”

Church attendees will find Green wearing the traditional white robe when he preaches.

“I always think about how Scripture talks about a white robe covering our sins,” he said, citing Galatians 3:26, being God’s sons and daughters,  and Revelation 7:9-17 where multitudes stood before God in white robes signifying their redemption through faith in Christ Jesus.

The message Green would like to leave with Gazette readers with is that certainty of faith that will determine their eternal home.

“I’d like them to ask themselves ‘If I were to die today, would I be certain I would be able to get into heaven?’,” he said. “We’ve all sinned, but God has rescued us through Jesus. So our sins are forgiven, we’re made holy in His sight. We are then qualified to walk right in (the pearly gates). Faith is a gift from God that says ‘This is mine’.”

Green admits he, himself, is a work in progress, but that Jesus calls him holy, so he wants to live up to that, motivated by Jesus’ love for him. That is Green’s source of love for working with others.