Intersect provides services, events, and facilities. But the greater purpose is to stand among churches and Christian non-profits to introduce, to invite the laying aside of fears and stereotypes, and to partner more effectively. In other words, Intersect seeks to be catalytic, at its best when invisible. It exists, neither to promote or perpetuate itself, but rather to activate all to be better together to accomplish as much good as possible. Though specifically Christian, Intersect expresses that faith by encouraging broad cooperation to yield bigger results. In that process, the love of Christ is released.
Intersect was birthed by the leadership of the Okoboji Lakes Bible & Missionary Conference in 2006 to enlarge the Conference to be more than a temporary annual summer event. Intersect expresses the core Christian values of the Conference, but does so year-round, in service to Iowa’s Lakes region and beyond.
The corporate charter of the Bible Conference, originally formulated in 1946, indicates that besides convening the annual summer Conference, the purpose of the non-profit corporation is the promotion of “the work of the Church of Christ and to provide for the interdenominational education, training , encouragement, support of believers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ” consistent with the purposes of a charitable organization. It is that part of our charter that Intersect fulfills.
To cultivate organic partnerships for effective church and community cooperation towards local, regional, and global Christian compassion and influence.
To serve individuals, churches and non-profits to maximize the strengths of each for the greater effectiveness of all in local and global Christian service.
• Partnership: Organic partnership with churches and other non-profits in answer to Christ’s prayer for the unity of His body
• Our Region: The Iowa Lakes Region, networking for the good of Dickinson County and beyond
• Mission: Global mission, serving human need and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ
• Health: The health of individuals, families, churches, and governments as God-given institutions for society’s best
None of the priorities of Intersect stand alone. They support one another. Area families and churches are supported with both prayers and projects. Prayer reaches well beyond the limits of the Lakes Area, touching heaven on behalf of peoples and nations. Churches are connected in mission sometimes under the Intersect label, sometimes another, but always living out the vision of Intersect under any name.
Prayer…The first priority of Intersect is prayer. Christians intersect deeply, but too rarely, through prayer. Intersect has made prayer its first priority because of the words of Jesus in John 15:5, “apart from me you can do nothing.” A theme of the Bible Conference over the decades was found in Zechariah 4:6: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.” With that understanding, Intersect engages events and initiatives to prompt Christian agreement in prayer in the belief that God hears and answers, and we join Him in the accomplishment of “infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20)
Family…Intersect encourages strong families. That begins with strengthening individuals of all ages from the inside out. This is currently lived out most obviously through counseling and support ministries. Intersect also partners with other area non-profits to offer relationship, instruction, and events for teens, young adults, pre-marrieds, and marrieds. The Bible Conference has always been a family place emphasizing the importance of valued spiritual traditions in building healthy generations under God.
Church…Intersect is not a church and is clearly chartered to never become a church. It serves to help the church be better together by convening gatherings where leaders and congregants, otherwise isolated in denominations and traditions, will find the delights of the rich breadth and depth of God’s people, the Church. There may be areas where churches will not agree, but virtually all can agree to actively love cities, regions and the world through missional Christian cooperation. Psalm 133 promises that “It is good and pleasant when God’s people live together in peace! There the Lord gives his blessing of life forever.”
Mission…Intersect is not a mission agency in the sense of retaining or sending full-time cross-cultural Christian workers. It is however a missional agency, assisting in mobilizing persons from Northwest Iowa to grasp opportunities for international short-term mission trips, local service projects, and the funding of various global initiatives. In 2009, Intersect was privileged to join Dickinson County Character Counts to offer a family biking event which raised $22,000 to provide bicycles for medical and educational purposes in Zambia, Africa through World Bicycle Relief. In 2010, over $12,000 was provided through Praise in the Park to purchase adequate housing for 4-6 families in earthquake ravaged Haiti.
BOARD AND STAFF LEADERSHIP
Intersect is governed by the board of directors of the 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, the Okoboji Lakes Bible and Missionary Conference Association. Facilities and administrative support are shared with the Conference. Rick Porter leads Intersect and oversees the Bible Conference as Executive Director of all Conference Association ministries.
Rick Porter resides with his wife, Dianne, in Spirit Lake, Iowa. A graduate of Bethel Seminary, Rick served pastorates in Florida, Washington State, and British Columbia, Canada. He was also on the administrative staff of Crown College in suburban Minneapolis. From 1994-2001, Rick was the part-time director of the Bible Conference. The Porters have three married children, four grandsons and one granddaughter. Rick tinkers around the house and reads about bicycling more than he does it. Dianne is a skilled musician and music teacher.
Judy Graanstra is a wife, mother and grandmother serving part-time as office manager at Intersect. She is responsible for all financial bookkeeping, donor communication and care. She also provides administrative support for the annual Bible Conference. Judy and husband Dave reside on a farm nea Harris, IA. The are members of Good News Community Church.
Board of Directors
Dean Bruns – Chair
Non-profit Development Consultant
San Juan Capistrano, California
Mark Newhouse – Vice Chair
Chief Operating Officer, Bishop Business Equipment
Vickie Franken – Treasurer
Agriculture, City View Farms
Rob Vischer – Secretary
Dean and Professor of Law
University of St. Thomas School of Law
Non-profit Executive [Free Bikes 4 Kidz]
Long Lake, Minnesota
Retired Chief Actuary
Retired Teacher and Coach
Members of the board of directors may be contacted via the Conference office.