By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN This past December, Dassel Church of Christ welcomed a new member to its pastoral staff.
Formerly a youth minister in Pleasant Hills, IA, Brandt Johnson is now working alongside Dave Herring, both pastors but with different areas of focus. Herring’s focus is on the church services, while Johnson’s will be on family ministry.
“Having Brandt here is going to be great for Dassel Church of Christ,” Herring said, who spent the past eight months on his own following former pastor, Billy Wallace’s departure.
With a proven record of effective ministry to families, “Brandt thinks in terms of ‘orange’ family ministry the church is yellow and the family is red. Together they make orange. That is why we brought him to Dassel to create an orange lifestyle for families.”
Johnson, along with his wife, Jennifer, and two children, Tatiana, 8; and Benaiah (Benny), 6; have made Dassel their home.
“It’s going wonderfully,” Johnson said of his new position and home. “We really like the town and the community,” he said.
Before Dassel Church of Christ, Johnson spent seven years in pastoral ministry in a much larger church average attendance was about 300. Prior to that, he was in masonry. “I was a brick layer,” he said.
When asked what made him switch career paths, he replied, “Mostly God.”
“I felt called to ministry pretty young, but I didn’t want to,” Johnson said. “So, I did my own thing for awhile” until God decided it was time for him to be in ministry.
“I love building relationships with people,” he said. “It’s very rewarding to see God’s influence on their lives.”
Coming from a much larger church than Dassel Church of Christ, which has an average attendance of about 90, he finds this church has more of a family feel to it.
“Here is more of a close-knit group. I like the family atmosphere,” Johnson said. “It didn’t take us long to feel at home here.”
As far as being co-pastors with Herring, Johnson said it works for their church.
“He has a lot of strengths where I have weaknesses, and I have strengths where he has weaknesses,” Johnson said.
As a family minister, Johnson oversees the children and youth in the congregation, in addition to coordinating the volunteers.
He also works with small group leaders in the areas of parenting and marriage, along with sharing preaching duties.
Johnson is currently attending classes online through Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, IL, where he is seeking a bachelor’s degree in general ministry.
This degree allows him to study in several different areas of ministry including marriage counseling, youth, administration, and leadership.
One of the goals for Dassel Church of Christ is to be a church for the “unchurched and the de-churched,” or those who don’t have a church or may have left their church.
“We are welcoming to people who are seeking a genuine relationship with God,” Johnson said. “That’s what church is all about.”