The largest multi-site church in Minnesota is paving the way for two new satellite churches that could eventually qualify themselves as megachurches.
Over the past two years, Eagle Brook Church has seen attendance at its first three campuses rise from around 9,000 weekly attendees to around 13,000.
Its third campus, which opened in December 2007, almost immediately surged to an average of 1,200 weekly attendees. Today, the Spring Lake Park campus – on its own – qualifies as a megachurch, with a weekend attendance of over 2,000.
"I'm embarrassed to say my original goals were to grow it to 600 by this fall," reported Eagle Brook Executive Pastor Scott Anderson.
With its continual growth, Eagle Brook has been working to open new campuses in the cities of Blaine and Woodbury, where the church hopes to begin holding services as early as this coming Easter and the end of 2011, respectively.
This fall, Eagle Brook received approval from Blaine to construct and occupy its fourth campus. It has meanwhile been working to complete all of the necessary documentation for the Woodbury project so that they can start the city approval process.
Once opened, the two new campuses could potentially add over 3,000 more to Eagle Brook's weekly attendance, making the church two times larger than the next largest church in the state – Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park, which has weekly attendance of 8,000.
Just 12 years ago, weekly attendance at Eagle Brook was at just 1,400.
"We [are] now doing our best to take the next steps, steps that are harder to take now than they were in the past," Anderson reported to his church earlier this month. "But this church takes bold steps, and though thirty million dollars worth of projects is far beyond our known capacity, we love–and I sense our church loves–that we are willing to trust God for the unimaginable."
Despite the push for the new campuses, the church has emphasized that its commitment is not be the biggest, to get notoriety or attention, nor to have dozens of buildings, hundreds of staff, or thousands of volunteers.
"Our commitment is to reach people for Christ-that's the goal," church leaders say.
The church started as a mission church plant in 1948 and moved into its first church building as First Baptist Church of White Bear Lake.
The church later changed its name to Eagle Brook in 1997 and doubled its weekly attendance in the two years following.
Eagle Brook is currently one of the 30 largest churches in America.
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