Releasing Kings Newsletter-The Praying Bank

Kings – In a Praying Bank
January 14, 2005


The Praying Bank

Every move of God carries certain trademarks.  There is great excitement and impact among God’s people.  There’s a crush to be involved (When Sue and I went to Toronto about 10 years ago, I believe they already had been visited by people from over a hundred nations).  Lastly, seeing other people “do” the new thing is God’s way of letting us know we can do it too.  Chuck Ripka is a great example and he’s “doing Marketplace Ministry” right now. The ingredients are a Kingly business with vision, ministry and prosperity.

This unusual bank successfully concluded its first 18 months in business. The Riverview Community Bank, around 30 miles Northwest of Minneapolis, takes care of more than just their customers’ money. According to Duane Kropuenske, founder of the bank, 69 people have become Christians through the bank’s advisory service and something close to that number have been healed. “People call us to ask if we are the bank which prays with its customers,” adds partner Chuck Ripka. Kropuenske and Ripka initially founded the bank intending to operate it – “the way Jesus would.”

Located 30 miles northwest of Minneapolis, the bank began when Kropuenske left a position managing a small mortgage company to pursue his dream of opening a bank for the Lord.

He persuaded his friend Chuck Ripka to leave a mortgage loan officer position at another bank to co-found the venture. Together, they sought God’s direction, and within two weeks, investors who liked the idea began calling about the $5.5 million needed to start the bank. Now the bank has $85M in deposits and Chuck is a great example of marketplace ministry in action.  Check out the following:

The New York Times Magazine also wrote a great article about Chuck and the bank in Elk River (I recommend you take the time to read it). The PDF file is at  I consider it a miracle – God is using the secular press to trumpet this movement.  Chuck is also getting requests for extended interviews and personal visits from TV and newspaper reporters from Japan, France, and England.  CNN is planning a to air a special news segments based on an upcoming interview. God is giving world-wide media coverage to a community bank in a small town in Minnesota. Pretty amazing!

The Lie of the decade

Separation of Church and State

Earlier today I shared the article on Chuck Ripka with a Christian in my own bank. As we chatted about the great things God was doing in the market place, his knee-jerk response was, “What about the separation of church and state.” Christians are afraid of the legal ramifications after all that’s been in the press. I’d like to suggest that this particular false concept is the biggest lie the enemy has sold since evolution was portrayed as science instead of religion. The devil would like to convince Christians they should keep quiet about their faith except in church and in the privacy of their own home. Here’s our heritage… The gospel has always been shared in the marketplace.

I work in an engineering office with about 70 people. The office manager and his wife both have technical and management positions and they are the authority. They are open to Christ but don’t go to church and are they aren’t all that hungry right now. They also have some spiritual authority with the right to define the boundaries of what’s acceptable. Many of the staff are church-going Christians. Obviously, the managers are very comfortable with Christians, but not very comfortable with Bible studies and open prayer. So I just operate within the boundaries. My primary prayer focus is for the managers themselves. I’ve already has opportunities to share the book and the possibilities of marketplace ministry.

Here’s the balance – Neither God nor the state want to require people to become Christians. Its a matter of free will and should be. I prayed with a store manager today. Not knowing what the boundaries were, I simply asked if we could pray first, then kept it short. He thanked me for praying and offered to buy 10 copies of Releasing Kings to sell in his store. Even though some people are not comfortable with prayer or public ministry, most are… so we just walk through the doors that open (after politely knocking). God does want us to convey our respect for people. Os Hillman has a good article on the legal boundaries of witnessing at work at

Here’s the goal – I want to own my own business and set the boundaries wide – so the Lord can do any kind of ministry that’s appropriate. Larry, a member of our congregation, is a car dealer that believes in ministry at work. He prays with customers routinely. He does more ministry in his used car lot on a weekly basis than most pastors do in a Sunday morning service. That’s the way God intended it. Marketplace ministry is both an adventure an a party – it’s fun to be used by God.

Progress – Kingly Bio’s are Up

We’ve completed the first round of interviews with Kings.  These are real people that have been blessed by God in the Market Place and have hearts for ministry.  Check it out at  If you have a success story, we’d like to post it by giving you a web page on our site.

Progress – A Teacher’s Guide

We’ve completed the first version of a study guide that targets those teaching the material in Releasing Kings.  It includes a page of notes on each chapter, all the graphics suitable to make overheads, and a PDF file of the book with the key points highlighted that includes marginal notes, comments, and questions.  This material is available for purchase on the teacher’s guide page of the web.


Friends Tell Friends

Harold and I have both been hesitant to “market” this book… sounds self-serving.  Here’s the “grassroots” reality.  God has given us a great tool to communicate a message that sets people free in an amazing, contagious, life-changing way.  If you haven’t read it – get it.  If you have read it – give it.

We’ve gotten a ton of positive feedback on the newsletter too… get it, give it.  Reloading Seniors was powerful.  Pass the link on.


John & Harold

PS: don’t forget to look at the free reports – show your pastor the article on marketplace ministry from the pastor’s perspective.  You can simply email him this link or print a copy to give him.

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