Hi, my name is Todd LaVine. I am the founder of "Agape Pastoral Services," a non-denominational, Biblically based, Pastoral Services Ministry based in the north metro of Minneapolis and St. Paul. I am an Ordained, Independent Minister of the Gospel by the National Association of Christian Ministers.
Thank you for taking a look at my website and services. I've always had a heart for ministry, especially ministry that involves helping couples just getting started in marriage or helping couples who may need some guidance and help.
It is my hope and prayer that I will be blessed with an opportunity to help you navigate whatever it is that has brought you here today. That may be the need for premarital counseling, marriage coaching (making it better), marriage counseling (in crisis mode), men's coaching/consulting, or to perhaps officiate a wedding ceremony or celebration of life service.
I've been on this earth for 57 years, been a follower of Christ for 36 years, a husband for 36 years, (yes, Jodi led me to Christ,) a father for 31 years, a grandparent for 5 years, and a business/ministry, manager/owner for nearly 40 years, so I get it and understand all of the ups, downs, and complications life can throw at us in our personal, professional, and married lives!
What's made the biggest difference for me I believe is that Jodi and I have always had a commitment to grow on a parallel path together, both personally and spiritually. Our trust and faith in Jesus Christ has allowed us to create a marriage we would wish for anyone and I can honestly say, I love her and have more fun with her today than I did 36 years ago! I know it may sound corny, but it still gets better ever day!!
Over those 36 years we've worked with and counseled couples for a large portion of that time, and soon after, it became obvious that God was calling us, particularly me, into this area of ministry. It's funny; we never really sought out the couples we worked with. God just seemed to place them in our lives at precisely the right time.
Then in October of 2003, I was hired as the Executive Pastor at the church our family was attending and some of my responsibilities included premarital and marital counseling, and officiating wedding ceremonies and funerals.
Premarital Counseling in particular quickly became a passion for me. Working with couples before they were married, and helping them establish a solid foundation before their marriage got rolling, was really fun and rewarding! You see, the only counseling experience I had prior to that was with marriages that for the most part were in crisis or on the verge of divorce. While the Lord was most certainly using me in this area, and I'll never abandon it, the thought of getting couples off on the right foot when it was all still heart shaped emoticons was really exciting to me!
To work with couples that were beginning brand new lives together and to pour in to them my life experiences from my own marriage, my having worked with many couples in distress and seeing what got them there, and what the Word of God had taught me after many years of personal study got me excited!
So after five years of premarital counseling many couples, I had the privilege of doing the premarital counseling for my wife's cousin, long distance. You see, Dave was in the Navy and stationed in San Diego, and Brittany was here in Minneapolis, so they didn't have access to conventional premarital counseling living long distance to one another. We agreed to try using the phone of all things and for us to do three-way phone calls. You see, this predated any kind of virtual technology that we have today, so we had no idea if it would even work. After several months of doing our counseling over the phone, we found out that this experience worked quite well and we had accomplished what we set out to do!
That's how "Agape Premarital Counseling" was born. In 2008 with the Lord's prompting, I saw an opportunity to work with couples separated by distance and with no access to conventional premarital counseling. Since Agape's inception, I've had the honor and pleasure of working with couples from all around the world. I've worked with couples of all ages, from young pups of just 18 or 19 years of age, to the oldest being in their late 60's. Since 2008 I've been able to teach couples from my real life experiences and the truth of God's Word. At last count I've worked with a little over 200 couples and have truly been blessed over this time! See a few of those testimonials here.
Fast forward to the end of 2021. The start of a new ministry season began for me as I launched "Agape Pastoral Services." After I left full time Pastoral Ministry in 2013, I have occasionally second-guessed myself, wondering if the Lord had truly led me out of ministry and back into the secular market place. God could most certainly use me in the secular world to accomplish His will, but something over the last couple of years has been tugging me back toward devoting my life to full time ministry, finishing out what time I have left on this earth by following my true passion of helping couples get to where they want to go with their marriage.
So, after roughly two years of feeling that calling to enter back into ministry, I jumped back in and stepped out in faith to make a run at doing ministry full time again. "Agape Pastoral Services, LLC" was launched at the end of 2021 with rented office space so those who live locally in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area can meet with me in person. I will never abandon the idea of working with people remotely because helping people who don't have access to conventional coaching/counseling is a definite passion of mine, so I plan to continue ministering to people around the world and helping them to either set up their marriage correctly, right out of the gates, or by helping them to navigate the turbulent waters in which they may find themselves.
On October 3rd of 2022 I officially have made it back into full time Pastoral Ministry. This marks a huge milestone and is an answer to a lot of prayer over the last two years. My passion and life can now be singularly focused on helping couples create and live victorious Christian lives in their marriages.
It's truly an honor and a privilege that the Lord has entrusted me with the care of so many individuals and couples and I do not take it lightly!
Again, thank you for being here. Please reach out to me to set up a time to talk and to see if I can be of service to you.
Out on a date with my amazing and beautiful wife of 36 years! See more pics of my family below.