By Gabe Licht
DELANO, MN Since the age of 15, Paul Risdall wanted to be a pastor.
“It’s something I felt strongly about and committed my life to at a young age and have pursued ever since,” Risdall said.
That pursuit led him to become senior pastor at WestPointe in Delano beginning Dec. 29.
“I felt like everything that happened, from the moment I sent my resume over to meeting some people here who were a part of the board and search committee, I feel everything fell into place,” Risdall said.
It didn’t take long for Risdall to feel like the Assemblies of God congregation in Delano was the right place for him and his family.
“Since coming here as a candidate, I got to know the people and they were so warm and welcoming and it felt like home from the first Sunday,” Risdall said. “We’ve loved getting to know the community and being here a little bit and getting to know people.”
He is looking forward to getting as involved in the community as possible.
“We certainly will want to be active in the community,” Risdall said. “We want people to know we’re here and that this is a place where people can experience God.”
Risdall, who is originally from Cloquet, comes to WestPointe after 10 years of serving Bethel’s Rock, formerly Bethel Assemblies of God, in Richfield. He first attended the church while studying pastoral studies at North Central University, served as youth pastor for six years, and was associate pastor for three and a half years.
His wife, Laura, grew up in the church. The two married seven years ago and have two daughters: Kayla, 4, and Amelia, 1.
“This is the first church she’s been a part of other than the church she grew up in,” Risdall said of his wife. “We loved the place we came from. There was no reason we wanted to leave other than we felt this is where God is calling us.”
He believes that calling goes beyond preaching Sundays.
“I really believe in pastoring a community rather than just a church body,” Risdall said. “My heart for this area isn’t just for the people who are currently attending this church or even necessarily the people who are going to attend, but for the community as a whole. I have a heart to see them know and experience what life with Jesus is like and enjoy the freedom and the hope that comes with that.”
Furthermore, he wants the church to make a difference.
“I’d like for us to be a church that makes an impact on the community,” Risdall said. “We’re not just existing for the sake of doing church and having service and going through the motions, but that we actually make a difference on the community and people know we’re here because of what Jesus has done in our lives.”
For more information about WestPointe Church, go to www.westpointechurch.org. Risdall may be reached at email@example.com.