Muskego - Anyone attending a big event in Muskego this summer might just bump into the folks from Lakepoint Church, which is trying to spread the good word about its plans to begin worship services locally.
The Rev. Brian Hofmeister said the congregation, which currently has about 65 members, will circulate at events such as Jammin' on Janesville, Water Bugs ski shows or other venues to tell people about the church, which began forming April 29 and hopes to begin services Oct. 7 at Muskego High School.
"We are about helping people connect to Jesus in everyday life and everyday relationships," he said.
Hofmeister, lead pastor, grew up in Muskego, where his father had a dental practice for 25 years before retiring only about five years ago.
After graduating from Martin Luther High School in Greendale, the pastor earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and then a master's of divinity degree from Columbia International University, Columbia, S.C., a divinity school serving 25 denominations.
He now has seven years of pastoral experience behind him - more than a year residency where he served in all pastoral positions at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, the church he grew up in, then four years as a pastor in New York state and two years at Brooklife Church in Mukwonago.
"It's very rare that a pastor gets to come back and be a pastor in his hometown. I'm excited," Hofmeister said.
Like other nondenomational congregations, Lakepoint Church seeks a broad array of members of varied backgrounds. Regionally, the most renown in the area is Elmbrook Church, the town of Brookfield megachurch that has grown in prominence and size over many years.
In fact, it was Stuart Briscoe, known for his role in Elmbrook's growth, who did much to set Hofmeister on his path.
"It was Stuart taking me out to lunch at age 17 and listening to my story and (saying) I should consider the seminary," Hofmeister said.
Brooklife and three other metropolitan area churches are helping Lakepoint get started.
Hofmeister will be assisted by a family life pastor, Eric Scheberl, who has five years of teaching experience and served two years as a missionary with Vision Trust International.
Optimistic about their mission
At this point, he is 95 percent certain that the budding church will be able to rent facilities at Muskego High School.
Hofmeister and Lakepoint Church's first members, nearly all from Muskego, are optimistic, even though attendance is falling off at other churches nationally.
They say their church takes a unique approach. As a nondenominational church, it will structure itself around what the unchurched need, Hofmeister said. To do that, each church member focuses on relationships with the people around him or her. They care about, grow and nurture the circle of people around them in everyday life.
"If people know that someone is truly available, truly interested and around long enough to be truly trustworthy, they will put their real life on the table, then we will know how the message of Jesus matches where their life is," Hofmeister said. "If we know the need, we will know how our message matches it."
The members seek to be good listeners and strive to get relationships away from the superficial, he said.
Once people experience Jesus in all areas of their lives, they will want to come to Sunday worship, he said.
- Jane Ford-Stewart
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