Don and Judy Suiter
Don and Judy Suiter have been in full or part-time ministry since Don graduated from seminary in 1988. After pastoring a church in North Dakota for several years, they moved to Fergus Falls, MN. In 2001 they began developing a church-based marriage ministry. In 2004 the Suiters founded One Heart Ministries which is dedicated to strengthening and equipping marriages and families.
Togther they have extensive experience in ministry, business and education. In 2012-2013 Don received a BS in Christian Counseling and an Masters in Theological Studies. Subsequently, Suiters added One Heart Counseling Services and Re-Missioned to One Heart Ministries . Judy has a BA in English Education and has more than 30 years of education and workshop trainer experience.
The Suiters have four married children and a growing number of grandchildren. Don is ordained and on the clergy roster of the LCMC (Lutheran Congregations in Mission For Christ), and they have been members of the ARC (Alliance of Renewal Churches) since 2011.
In addition to providing pulpit supply, Don is working with churches in transition, helping them develop marriage enrichment ministries, and working with couples and individuals in private counseling. He also is a wood and stone artist who specializes in Treasure Vessels (custom wood and stone cremation urns). Judy is recently retired, and she is now working full-time with Don in both One Heart and Re-Missioned.
M.T.S. Lutheran Brethren Seminary Fergus Falls, MN
Treating Sexual Addictions, AACC
B.S. Christian Counseling, Northwestern College, St. Paul, MN.
Directive Counseling Institute Memphis, TN
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What We Believe
The Bible, including both Old and New Testaments as originally given, is the verbally and plenarily inspired Word of God and is free from error in the whole and in the part, and is therefore the final authoritative guide for faith and conduct.
There is one God eternally existent in three distinct persons in one divine essence, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God the Father
God the Father has revealed Himself as the Creator and preserver of the universe, to Whom the entire creation and all creatures are subject.
The Human Race
God created Adam and Eve in His image to live in fellowship with Him. They fell into sin through the temptation of Satan and thereby lost fellowship with God. Through their disobedience the entire human race became totally depraved, that is, self-centered sinners who oppose God, and who by nature are unable to trust, fear or love Him.
God the Son
Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son, is the image of the invisible God. To accomplish our redemption, He became fully human, being conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus Christ, who is true God and true man, by His perfect obedience and substitutionary death on the cross, has purchased our redemption. He arose from the dead for our justification in the body in which He was crucified. He ascended into heaven, where He is now seated at the right hand of God, the Father, as our interceding High Priest. He will come a second time personally, bodily, and visibly to gather the believers unto Himself and to establish His millennial kingdom. He will judge the living and the dead and make an eternal separation between believers and unbelievers. His kingdom shall have no end.
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is a divine person eternally one with the Father and with the Son. Through the Word of God He convicts people of sin, persuades them to confess their sinfulness to God and calls them to faith through the Gospel. He regenerates, sanctifies, and preserves believers in the one true faith. He comforts, guides, equips, directs, and empowers the church to fulfill the great commission.
Eternal salvation is available to every living human being on earth by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
The Church Universal consists of all those who truly believe on Jesus Christ as Savior. The local congregation is an assembly of believers in a certain locality among whom the Gospel is purely taught and the sacraments are rightly administered. The Church exists primarily to make “disciples of all men.” It also exists to comfort, strengthen, and to equip those who have become disciples of Jesus Christ.
The Passion That Drives Us
Many people are making the claim that Church has become irrelevant in the community today. Is this true?
First of all, it is important to emphasize that as long as the Holy Spirit is here on earth, the Church will never be completely irrelevant. Therefore, instead of asking if the church is irrelevant, we should be asking “How can the Church be more relevant?” I believe the Church hasn’t been profoundly relevant (in the sense of how God intended it to be) for a very long time. The Church started down this road of reduced relevance centuries ago when it began seeing itself as an organization, instead the organism God intended it to be.
When the Church made this shift of perception, it also took on many of the aspects of an organization. As an organization, it came to exist primarily for itself and its own survival, devoting more and more of its resources toward its own needs. Church leaders assumed positions of superiority and began to exercise authority over church members. Members were then asked to follow those leaders for the benefit and enrichment of the organization. At the same time, members began to see church leaders as the organization’s primary workers, who must sacrifice everything for the needs of the organization and its members. Since the organization needed to find new members, in order to survive and prosper, it adopted a view of the community as a resource from which to draw new members.
This is not what God intended the Church to be. God clearly thinks of the Church as a living organism; we are the Body of Christ. Yes, the church is also an organization, but the organization’s primary purpose is to support and empower the organism, not the other way around.
As an organism the Church looks completely different because it exists for the world instead of for itself. The resources of the organization are to be used primarily to support the mission of the Church, not the organization itself. Leaders are more like player-coaches rather than authoritarian bosses or, by contrast, servants hired to meet every need of every member. They lead out of passion and compassion, rather than authority and power. The needs of the members (including the leader’s needs), as well as those of the community, have priority over the needs of the organization.
Many voices are claiming that the Church needs to make itself more attractive to the world so that the world will be drawn to it. The truth is, the Church is called to reveal how attractive people are to God by living His love for them. This is God’s way of fishing for men.
The organism of the Church is commissioned to make disciples of Jesus Christ, not to make members of the organization. To be someone’s disciple means to become like that person. Jesus jumped into the community (world). He walked there, ate there, fed people there, healed and delivered people there. He touched people with the love of God there. The Church, both organism and organization, is sent to be and act just like Him. “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” John 17:18
The Church needs to start visioning itself as part of the community and seeing the community as part of the Church. The Church needs to see itself as a resource for the community, rather than as seeing the community as a resource for the Church. For the Church to become more powerfully relevant in the community, it must recover a Biblical vision of who and what it is. It has operated with a primary mission of self-enrichment and self-survival for years. It is One Heart Ministry’s belief that the church needs to be “re-missioned.” This belief caused us to form Re-Missioned as a resource for the local church. The Church may be largely irrelevant now, but it does not have to stay that way. The world desperately needs the Church to be “re-missioned” into the organism God intended it to be. Re-Missioned is here to help the Church, one congregation at a time, to be “re-missioned” into effective service to the community, and ultimately to God.
By Pastor Don Suiter
Read full article Is The Church Relevant Today?