How we began
Hi. My name is Kevin Klassen. My wife, Karlene, and I are the pastoral couple at Emmanuel Grace. In the spring of 2011, I was at a prayer meeting when someone asked me to articulate what I believed my calling to be and what it would look like when lived out. What was the vision that God was giving me?
I have always had a heart for the church. I long for her to be everything she is meant to be, mature and complete, not lacking anything. Walking in holiness. Walking in true Biblical love. Walking in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But the question was, what would God have us do to see this happen most effectively?
Because of my love for the church, I would say that a key word in my vocabulary is "Discipleship." As I visualized how to best disciple people, I saw a group of believers gathering together where people were not only free to share, but encouraged to do so. There would be teaching with full freedom to ask questions and also contribute to what was being taught. Interaction would be incredibly important. There would be worship and music along with the freedom for people to share a word, a verse, a prayer, a vision, a tongue, an insight.
Instead of having a format for church that was structured like a lecture, conference, or business meeting, the vision that I was seeing was a structure like that of a family gathering together. But not just a free for all gathering where anything goes. No. A gathering with purpose. There would still be leadership and order, just as in a family there is leadership from the Father and Mother, but there would also be freedom. And the order would not be a clock driven, agenda driven, meticulous type of order. It would be an order that is born out of love and respect for God first and then for others.
Finally, as I meditated on what it would look like to be a church becoming everything she is meant to be, I envisioned a church that is absolutely dependent on God in all things, both when we are gathered together and when we simply live life. Not only should we rely on the Bible as the authoritative word of God for all things in life, we should also rely on the Word of God, Jesus Christ, through the person of the Holy Spirit, to lead us in our daily lives. We look to Him for leadership, counsel, wisdom, insight, agenda, power and more. We look to Him for everything.
The Scriptures teach us that we are the body of Christ. All of us who are born again are one body: Many parts. One body. With Jesus Christ Himself as the head. Just like our bodies and the various parts of our body, when healthy, respond to the leadership of our head, so too we, as the body of Christ, are meant to simply respond to the leadership of our head, Jesus Christ. As I thought about the church becoming everything she is meant to be, it was very clear that responding to the Lord's daily leadership through the Holy Spirit is an absolute essential.
And so, responding to this vision for the church that the Lord knit into my heart from my very conception, Emmanuel Grace was born on a late September Monday night in 2011. From the beginning, we have been under the covering and leadership of Freedom Ministries International which is an apostolic ministry now based in Atwood, Indiana where our mentors and dear friends, Randy and Darla Foreman have been called to minister.
I hope that helps you get to know us a little bit better.