Mike Brueckner - Lead Pastor

I am so thankful to Christ for calling me to Himself. I recognize that I am a sinner saved by grace. I was born and raised on the mission field (Mexico and Germany). I am so thankful for parents who loved me enough to tell me that it wasn’t enough to have a good upbringing—without Christ, I was the worst of sinners in need of The Savior. The gospel transformed my life, made me new in Christ, and I am continuing to grow in Him.

My amazing wife, Rachel and I were married in 1999. We now have 4 children, Emily, Erica, Elayna and Jaykin. I love my family so much! They are a constant reminder to me of the grace of God—getting what I do not deserve. They are such a blessing and committed to the ministry to which the Lord has called us.

The Lord called us to the Elk River area eighteen years ago where I have served as school chaplin, youth pastor, children’s pastor, worship director, and missions pastor. A few of the other things we have done in the area are drive truck and bus, coach basketball, and work in quality control. The Lord has most recently called us to Church of Hope as Senior Pastor where I began March 1, 2017. Our family is so excited about what the Lord has done, is doing, and is going to do here.

A few years ago, the Lord made it very clear to us that we are to be separated to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore everything we teach, promote, and live needs to flow from the fountain of the gospel. I enjoy spending time with my family, teaching, singing, playing guitar, reading, listening to sermons, spending time with friends, traveling, and playing and watching sports.

Kyle Swenson - Youth Director

My wife Julie and I have been a part of Church of Hope since just after it started in 2006. We spent 2007-2008 serving as missionaries sent by Church of Hope in Quito, Ecuador and it was in Ecuador that God affirmed my call to work with youth. 

After our return, we jumped in and started helping out with the high school group while I worked as a Technology Education teacher in Forest Lake. Not long after we returned from Ecuador, our current youth pastor left and Julie and I took over as youth directors for the next few years. 

After three years of running the youth group, we were able to hire a full time youth pastor and we stepped back to being just volunteers for the next 3-4 years. 

Then, again in the summer of 2016, Church of Hope asked us to step into leading the youth group. I am still a full time teacher, now at Wayzata High School, however I felt the Lord leading me away from the small cabinet shop that I have owned and run on the side for the last eight years so I could put as much time into the youth group as possible. 

I am passionate about empowering students to impact others for the kingdom of Jesus Christ and having them lead a life worth of the calling they have received. Check out what exciting events we have going on at the youth page of our website.  

Julie Swenson - Children's Director & Administration

Kyle and I first walked through the doors of Church of Hope shortly after it started almost 12 years ago.  I never imagined I'd be on staff but God had a plan and we've been blessed to be a part of Church of Hope over the years.  

We started out as youth leaders before spending a year in Quito, Ecuador.  When we returned, we jumped back in to working with the youth.  Next we took over as youth directors for a few years until CoH got a full time youth pastor. During that time I taught kindergarten full time. 

At that point, God blessed us with a family and I stepped into the role of office administrator for the church - a role that I've grown from and been blessed to serve in for almost seven years. 

More recently, I became the director of children's ministries at CoH.  Our children's ministry team is passionate about sharing the truth of the Gospel with our children and equipping them to apply Scripture to their lives and share the Gospel with others.  We delight in digging into the Word to see how God has used everything from Genesis to Revelation to point us to the hope of eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.