In Romans 12:15, Paul writes that we are to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Today, I write to you with a heavy heart.
On Saturday, Jeff Sorvik, church multiplication catalyst for the EFCA, tragically perished in a fire at his home in Duluth, Minn. His son, Josh, and daughter-in-law, Chelsea, were able to escape from the house. Jeff’s wife, Michele, was not home at the time of the fire. Please pray with us for the loss of a life, a home, Michele’s work studio, and an apartment for Josh and Chelsea.
We pray that the outpouring of support and love we feel for Jeff and his family will endure in the days ahead. Jeff was a great friend, colleague and member of our ReachNational team. The grief we feel is immeasurable.
Jeff started at the EFCA national office a little more than three years ago. He was a longtime church multiplication coach and trainer before transitioning from senior pastor at Anchor Point Community Church (EFCA) in Duluth, Minn. Jeff established the CREO Collective and he was committed to seeing young leaders developed in our movement. Arriving at the EFCA national office, he immediately went to work on developing new leadership pipelines and disciplemaking cohorts. Jeff's passion for serving Christ was unquestioned.
Often, Jeff repeated the phrase, “what we count, we celebrate. And what we celebrate, we get more of.” This meant more than simple metrics, but a commitment to church multiplication as an extension of being passionate about the mission Jesus gave us as the Church. Jeff knew that throughout Scripture and history, the byproduct of going out and turning lost people into disciples requires the gathering together of new churches, and that the development of disciples leads to planting churches. He was inspired to celebrate the work of God through leaders, churches and movements around the world. I, and the entire EFCA, am so grateful for Jeff's impact on this movement and for how God’s legacy was lived out through his life.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3-7).
The memorial service for Jeff was held February 9. Cards and condolences can be sent to the Sorvik family at Anchor Point Community Church (5202 Colorado St., Duluth, MN, 55804).
A fund has been set up for the family at North Shore Bank of Commerce. Checks can be made out to the “Sorvik Family Fund” and sent to: North Shore Bank of Commerce, Woodland Branch, 17 E. Calvary Rd., Duluth, MN 55803. Memorials may be specifically designated to one of the following. Indicate the designation on the check memo line: 1) Sorvik Family Fund, 2) EFCA Church Planting Fund, or 3) Canine Companions for Independence.
Please join me in praying for the Lord’s hand of comfort to be with Michele and the entire Sorvik family, our EFCA staff, the networks and cohorts with whom he worked closely, and all who knew Jeff. He will be greatly missed.
Serving our Savior together,