by Joni Astrup
An Elk River pastor, Eric Dykstra, has been honored by the Minnesota Jaycees as one of the 2013 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans.
Dykstra founded The Crossing Church in Elk River with 40 people in 2004. It now has more than 2,000 regular attendees with services in Elk River, Zimmerman and Big Lake.
The Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans program recognizes leaders between the ages of 18-40 who have devoted themselves to improving their community.
Since it started in 1950, more than 400 young Minnesotans have been honored. Past awardees have included Walter Mondale, Marlene Johnson, Dave Winfield, Tim Penny, Paul Douglas, Matt Blair, Wheelock Whitney, Martin Sabo and Jason DeRusha.
Dykstra and the other nine from 2013 were honored earlier this month in Bloomington. Dykstra told the audience that he has a passion for broken, hurting people, according to a YouTube video from the event.
“I feel like somewhere along the way, religion decided we were going to be about perfect people instead of real people and nobody is perfect,” he said.
“Jesus loves you. He’s got a plan for you, and we welcome you with open arms knowing that God can do good things in your life,” Dykstra said.
He also paid tribute to his wife, Kelly.