MUSKEGO — The new Compass Church opened in Muskego with a mission to help people find their direction.
The new congregation worships in Muskego High School where Lakepoint Church rented space for about five years. Nearly two years ago, Lakepoint moved to its own quarters at S63 W13694 Janesville Road.
That too is what Compass lead pastor the Rev. Alex Blahnik said he hopes will be in the future of his new church. The name Compass reflects the church mission, he said.
"I really believe God has a purpose for people's lives," Blahnik said. The focus of Compass is to help them find it and pursue it, he said.
Blahnik said he has always felt called to found a church with such a mission.
"So often, people feel that church is something you check in and out of weekly," Blahnik said. "But God has way more for us."
"There is meaning, fulfillment and excitement in life," for those who find their purpose, he said. When people are living their purpose, they change and their neighborhood changes, he said.
Assemblies of God
Compass Church is an Assemblies of God church. When Blahnik graduated in 2000 from Central Bible College, Springfield, Missouri, he wanted to help churches that were struggling or that were just starting. He was an associate pastor of a church in Cedarburg that has now grown and has its own church building in Grafton. He also was an associate pastor in Wauwatosa where the congregation merged with another and is doing well, he said.
All that time, Blahnik has worked full time in the private sector where he said he learned an important lesson.
"I rub shoulders with people who have no care for Christianity. I'm finding that God put me on purpose with people who need encouragement, direction and need someone to listen to them," he said.
Blahnik was definitely not passed over by the churches he served, said the Rev. Jamie Smedsrud, pastor of Honey Creek Church in Wauwatosa.
"We're definitely not a large church. He gave us a whole lot more than we could pay him," Smedsrud said. Blahnik was on the staff part-time for seven or eight years in addition to a full-time job in the private sector, he said. "He worked hard and did a good job."
But in his heart was founding a church, Smedsrud said. "It's a matter of the right timing, and he is ready."
"His experience being a manager helped prepare him for dealingt with people and for decisions that are sometimes hard," Smedsrud said.
That too was the opinion of the Assemblies of God department that oversees new church proposals, he said.
"He's definitely been vetted," Smedsrud said. The Assemblies of God Wisconsin headquarters is in Waupaca.
What the new church is aiming at is not only a spiritual transformation but a practical transformation, Blahnik said. "There is a spiritual transformation but a real practical and personal transformation takes place," as people see to the needs of others, he said.
"We have a ministry where ever we are," he said. "We can bring a lot of light to a lot of dark places."
"Everyone needs to engage and serve the people around them," he said.
The congregation will start by helping see to the needs of the Muskego community, he sad.
"We'll come alongside what's existing in the community to help make it the best it can be," he said.
They will start with making Muskego police aware of ways the congregation can help with certain situations, he said. The congregation also will help the Muskego Food Pantry move to a new location next month, he said.
Blahnik wanted to found a church in Muskego because his work took him to the community.
"And I fell in love with it," he said. He, his wife Becky and their four children live in the next door town of Vernon. For the last 10 years, they were in Cedarburg.
Sunday services are at 10 a.m. in a gym at the school. Blahnik said he hopes those who don't yet have a relationship with Jesus will come to see all that Compass has to offer.
"We hope to help them see that God has a plan for their lives," he said.
During the services, a Sunday school with a full curriculum of puppets, videos, songs and games is held. The studies are part of a children's service. A nursery for babies and toddlers also is provided.
The worship director of the new church is Jeff Ratliff and the children's director is Chris Scheffel.