The Vision of Hope Community Church is:
To honor God by helping as many people as possible become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
In an attempt to describe what it is we at Hope are really about, we often use a river analogy. The river itself is Hope Community Church, and the destination is our vision to honor God by helping as many people as possible become truly devoted followers of Jesus Christ. We’ve identified four “currents” which guide how we get there and everything that we do here at Hope.
Gospel in Community
First, we believe the gospel (or good news) of Jesus Christ is central to everything that we are about. The gospel is the glorious message of God’s creation of the world, humanity’s rebellion against Him, the redemptive work of Jesus Christ in restoring that relationship, and the hopeful expectation of the restoration of all creation. The gospel brings life transformation, and affects every area of life. We have little to offer anyone except the gospel.
Second, we believe that God created us to be beings built for community. We were not meant to “go it alone.” We strive to help foster a culture where authentic, transparent, and loving community can form.
Hope Culture is the embodiment of the vision, values, and key components of Hope’s DNA. It’s the “goop” that makes Hope Hope. It is not our desire to make a bunch of Hope replicas, but instead to instill the foundational principles and distinctives that made Hope what it is today.
We think one of the church’s primary roles is to raise up qualified, godly leaders. We don’t want to teach academic knowledge, but we aim for no less than a thorough knowledge of the Bible, a clear understanding of major doctrines, enhanced abilities to study and teach others God’s Word, and a biblical foundation for ministry. We strive for the highest character possible – that of Jesus Christ. This is not of secondary importance. Many a man and woman who were on their way to becoming kingdom impact players have been disqualified for leadership due to failure in this area. We aim for significant involvement where a leader is utilizing their spiritual gifts, applying the teachings of Scripture, being challenged to grow in their leadership, and serving with humility the needs of those both inside and outside of the church.
We aim to advance the kingdom of God by starting God glorifying, cross-centered, gospel focused, biblically sound, culturally relevant, impactful, reproducing churches in our city, state and beyond to help as many people as possible become worshipers of Jesus Christ. It will take many churches with different cultures to reach many different pockets of this world with different cultures. We think it will take a saturation of gospel communities in different areas to greatly impact their surroundings.
What We Believe
Statement of Faith
1. The Word of God
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31,32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32
2. The Trinity
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons, that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption. Gen. 1:1,26; Isa 44:6-8; John 1:1,3; Matt. 28:19; John 4:24; Rom. 1:19,20; Eph. 4:5-6
3. God the Father
We believe in God, the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of each person, that He hears and answers prayer, and He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. Luke 10:21,22; Matt. 23:9; John 3:16; 6:27; Rom. 1:7; 1 Tim. 1:1,2; 2:5,6; 1 Peter 1:3; Rev. 1:6
4. Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth. Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1, 20:28; Rom. 9:5; 8:3-4; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21-23; John 20:30,31; Matt. 20:28; Eph. 1:4; Acts 1:11; Rom. 5:6-8; 6:9,10; Heb. 7:25; 9:28; 1 Tim. 3:16
5. The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, empower, and gift all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells all who believe in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide. John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26,27; 16:9-14; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; Gal. 5:22-26
We believe that all people are sinners by nature and by choice and are, therefore, under condemnation. We believe that those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Gen. 1:26; 5:2; Gen. 3; 2:17; 3:19; Eccl. 2:11; John 3:14; 5:24; 5:30; 7:13; 8:12; 10:26; Rom. 9:22; 2 Thes. 1:9; Rev. 19:3, 20; 20:10; 14:15; 21:18; Psa 51:7; Jer. 17:9; James 1:14; Rom. 3:19; 5:19; Prov. 28:13; 1 John 1:9; 3:16; John 1:13; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 8:1
7. The Church
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible confession of faith, and associated for worship, work and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary tasks of living a life of worship, nurturing the body of believers and giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world. Eph. 2:19-22; Acts 1:8; Eph. 5:19-21; Acts 2:42; Heb. 10:23-25
8. Christian Conduct
We believe that Christians should live for the glory of God and the well-being of others; that their conduct should be blameless before the world; that they should be faithful stewards of their possessions; and that they should seek to realize for themselves and others the full stature of maturity. 1 Cor. 10:31; Rom. 12:1-3; Heb. 12:1-2; John 14:15, 23-24; I John 2:3-6; 2 Cor. 9:6-9; 1 Cor. 4:2; Col. 1:9-10
9. The Ordinances
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the public declaration of a believer’s faith in Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins. We believe that immersion of the believer in water in the name of the triune God is the richest expression of the New Testament example. We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Matt. 28:18-20; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 11:23-26
10. Religious Liberty
We believe that every human being has direct relations with God, and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by an ecclesiastical political authority; that therefore Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other. 1 Tim. 2:5; Rom. 14: 7-9, 12
11. Church Cooperation
We believe that local churches can effectively promote the cause of Jesus Christ by cooperating with one another in a denominational organization. Such an organization, whether a regional or district conference, exists and functions by the will of the churches. Cooperation in a conference is voluntary and may be terminated at any time. Churches may likewise cooperate with interdenominational fellowships on a voluntary basis. Acts 15:36, 41; 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:1; Gal. 1:1-3; Rev. 1:4, 10, 11
12. The Last Things
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal felicity of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked. Matt. 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts. 1:11; Phil. 3:20; 1 Thes. 4:15; 2 Tim. 4:1; Titus 2:13; 1 Cor. 4:5; 1 Cor. 15; 2 Thes. 1:7-10; Rev. 20:4-6, 11-15
1. For God’s Glory
In all the universe, there is nothing more important than God. God’s glory is the radiance of all that He is, and is what we are created to enjoy. Therefore, all of our ministries and efforts are about glorying God and we will aim to worship God in all that we do, not just in our corporate worship alone, but through the rest of our lives as well.
“It ain’t about us, it’s about God.”
2. By God’s Grace
The grace of God shall permeate all that we do. We acknowledge that our only hope for a restored relationship with God is through the grace given to us at the cross of Jesus Christ. We will operate in a spirit of grace and humility, and will allow ourselves to be broken over our own sin.
“We are all poster children for grace.”
3. Through the Truth of The Word of God
The Bible is our source of truth and our guide for living. Real life change happens only when it brings our lives into alliance with the God-inspired words of Scripture. We value teaching, preaching, studying and meditating upon God’s Word.
“God’s Word changes lives!”
4. Depending on God through the Holy Spirit.
We have no desire to have the ministry of this church be powered on our own strength. We will rely on the Holy Spirit to lead, empower, and comfort us as we eagerly learn how to personally and corporately pray and worship.
“Be a sailboat, catching the wind of the Spirit – not a speedboat, under your own power.”
5. Because All People Matter to God
The reason we desire to minister to others is because people, all people, matter to God. No matter how far away from God they may seem, they all matter to God (Luke 15). Therefore we will be relevant by being contemporary and removing any unnecessary obstacle to help people see Jesus Christ. We want to honor where each person is at in their personal spiritual journey, while encouraging them to go farther. We will do this all in a God honoring manner.
“People matter to God.”
6. Therefore, We Hope to Make Disciples
Through loving relationships and the community created at Hope Community Church, we aim to make fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ who would engage in knowing Jesus Christ through study and service. We highly value the smaller groups (mentorship relationships, small and cell groups, etc.) that can help facilitate these kind of life long, authentic, God-centered friendships.
“Community is our middle name” & “Make fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ”
7. And, Ultimately, Spread the Kingdom of God
We believe that as believers, we are on the offensive in a spiritual battle and therefore we will seek to go into the kingdom of darkness to do as much damage as we possibly can. We value kingdom of God related prayer, outreach, children’s ministry, community service, church planting, and leadership development to accomplish this.
“Go into the kingdom of darkness and trash the joint.”
The history of Hope Community Church begins in a living room with 14 people dreaming of the ways by which God could become known to the people of Minneapolis who were just “kicking the tires” of Christianity, specifically those near the University of Minnesota. They dreamed of a church that would aim to find as many connecting points as possible with those who don’t believe in God showing the relevance of faith to daily living. They dreamed of a church where people would be welcomed wherever they were in their journey of faith and yet encouraged to go further. They dreamed of a church where community was more than just their middle name – it was the experience of each person that became part of the Hope family. They dreamed of a church where the teachings of the Bible would be clearly communicated and made understandable to those who weren’t accustomed to it’s message. They dreamed of a church where God would be number one in all that happened. They dreamed of a church that would play a role in spreading the kingdom of God – building up others in their faith and starting new churches to do the same.
Could these dreams become a reality? Could God take 14 people and with the help of his power and direction make all of this happen? In 1996, the people of Hope Community Church began to meet regularly and held their first public service with great faith that God would make their dreams a reality. Since that time God has done much – only a portion of that can be recounted here:
- The time (actually many times!) that God provided just enough during the early years allowing Hope to keep the doors open.
- The times that God taught the people of Hope how to pray and depend on him through a host of health crises.
- In 2000, beginning the Leadership Development Institute (LDI) to help raise up new leaders.
- In 2002, the search began for a larger facility. This search led to a landmark event in our church’s history: the time when God gave Hope a building. We remain indebted to God, Tom Mouw, Dave Sulack, the members of Central Evangelical Free Church, and the Evangelical Free Church of America for this gift in the Spring of 2003.
- In 2006, God allowed Hope to celebrate 10 years of fruitful ministry and caused leaders to begin dreaming again about what else God may want to do in and through the people of Hope – specifically, the prayer to start 10 new churches in the next 10 years.
- By 2010, Hope had helped plant 6 new churches!
- In 2011, Hope again struggled with space problems. God was growing His church. Expanding the present property was not an option. God’s timing is amazing to us. Just as we were feeling this space crunch, the church building directly next to Hope, Augustana Lutheran Church, went up for sale. They agreed to sell the property to Hope for their initial construction price and pay forward their equity to the next generation! The building (Hope East) opened on Thanksgiving of 2013.
- Most significantly were the times God moved in the lives of individuals during a Sunday morning services, small group meetings, LDI classes, leadership meetings, times of prayer or service, musical worship, or retreats…
For all of this and more we thank and honor God who has exceeded our dreams, above and beyond anything we could have asked or imagined (Ephesians 3:20).When the leaders of Hope began dreaming afresh in 2006 God provided new ways we could make him known to the people of Minneapolis and around the world. Here are a few ways that we are dreaming and you could be praying:
- How could we bless our city? We are dreaming of ways that Hope could seek the welfare of the city (Jeremiah 29:7). We are seeking ways to be involved in raising the level of water in the harbor of Minneapolis so that all the boats rise with it – so that all the people of the city might be blessed.
- How can we help Hope stay Hope? There are limitations in our building and parking. There are challenges that come with our desires to meet and treat each person individually, yet the number of attendees continues to grow. There is much to oversee and manage. How can we move from a family to a family-owned business in a way that many of the characteristics people appreciate about Hope remain intact?
- How can we do as much damage to the kingdom of darkness? Hope’s aim is to help as many people become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ and to get on mission with Jesus through Hope’s efforts to advance God’s kingdom. Hope dreams to see LDI and church planting efforts accelerated, so much so that they become a catalyst for training up as many followers of Jesus Christ as possible and starting a total of 100 churches nationally and internationally.
- You. In the life of Hope there has been a constant and irreplaceable resource common in all we’ve ever done and all we’re currently doing – YOU. Hope would cease to exist if it weren’t for the partnership each Hopester has given to make God known. The original 14 people has become much larger, but each person remains critical – in building community, in communicating about who Jesus is, in raising up leaders, in prayer, in giving, in starting new churches – in fulfilling our vision to honor God in everything!
These are big dreams. Could these dreams actually become a reality? We believe God can make these dreams come true…and we believe he will!
TO HIM BE THE GLORY IN THE CHURCH AND IN CHRIST JESUS TO ALL GENERATIONS FOREVER AND EVER. AMEN! (Ephesians 3:21)