“The Day God made an Appointment with His Church”
by Steve Loopstra
Everyone in America, and around the world will remember the date of September 11, 2001, and where they were on that day. That day has another very special significance for the metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota because that was the day God made an appointment with His Church!
As the horrific scenes of destruction were being carried out in New York City and Washington D. C., in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a small group of people was gathered in the Nehemiah Center to pray. To John Mayer, Executive Director of Religion Information Resources, Dan Thompson, pastor of First Covenant Church, Steve Loopstra, Carol Madison and Kathryn Redding of Prayer Transformation Ministries, it soon became clear as they prayed that this was a defining moment for the Church. This was the time for the Church to put aside labels and tear down walls and come together as the people of God. “How about Sunday night?” John exclaimed. Someone else said: “How about the Metrodome?” There was a slight chuckle among the group. The thought of even getting the Metrodome, the home of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins seemed preposterous. Kathryn had attended several downtown council meetings where the director of the Metrodome had spoken. She came up with his phone number. Steve was soon making a cell phone call to the Dome with the request.
The answer was not hopeful. It would be nearly impossible to do such a turn-around with a Twins game in the afternoon and a softball game that evening, but the director said, he would call back.
The group decided to go and pray at the Dome, which was just across the street. There on the sidewalk, outside the offices of the Metrodome, the group held hands, got on their knees and prayed for God to open the door. Simple prayers, but with a deep sense of destiny and anointing from God. In fact, one of the things God spoke to Steve was, “keep it simple.” As the group stood to their feet, “I just felt as we got up, that I should go in there and try to talk to them,” Steve remembers. Little did he know that on his voice mail back at the office, there were two messages from the Director of the Dome asking him to come over and talk about it.
“I was amazed that I was able to be led right into his office.” Steve relates. “They were all waiting for me!”
Steve shared that all they really needed was a place to sit and a microphone. Within twenty minutes, Steve walked out of the Metrodome offices with the use of the facility, a stage, sound setup, and security guards at no cost! This was indeed the Hand of God.
That was Tuesday. By Friday, most major churches in the area were canceling their evening services to come. Denominational district leaders were encouraging their pastors to suspend evening services and join for prayer.
Churches that had never been involved in citywide events were canceling events planned months ahead of time to come to pray with the rest of the Church in the city. The Salvation Army brought water to give away, and Minneapolis policemen volunteered their time to help. God was up to something big.
Sunday night, 24,000 people came together from all different denominations across the metro and celebrated a “solemn assembly.” God moved in a powerful way in that gathering. “This city will never be the same!” exclaimed Steve Loopstra. “God has done something here that man could have never conceived of.”
“God made an appointment with His people, they responded to his invitation, and they met together on Sunday night in the Metrodome.”