As a church plant that just celebrated its ninth birthday, I am amazed and humbled by what God has done in and through our church. We were sent from Hope Community Church and began as a launch team of about 25 (and about 5 kids) and have grown to a church of 225+ adults (and over 100 kids)! We recognize that this is the work of the Spirit and are honored to be a part of his work in South Minneapolis, the Twin Cities, and across the globe.
Summers are a very busy time for us at Hiawatha Church, with many people visiting and checking out our church on a Sunday morning. So if that is you, someone who is new/er to Hiawatha, we want to welcome you.
Over the next few weeks we'll be doing a series of blogs on who we are as a church. For some it will be a reminder and for others, a helpful look into our DNA as a church. Also notice that this blog's title is Who is Hiawatha Church. We're intentional about reminding ourselves that Hiawatha Church is a gospel centered community of people, not a building, business, social club, or organization.
So Who is Hiawatha Church?
Hiawatha Church is a community of people who don't think much of themselves but who do think much of Jesus. Our vision is to bring glory to God by spreading, promoting, preaching, and living out the gospel of Jesus Christ in all that we do so as to help the church grow in its faith and, at the same time, introduce Jesus to people who have never heard about him.
We are a church who lives as a large, extended family by serving each other, bearing each other’s burdens, encouraging each other in the faith, sharing our time, talents, and treasures, and seeking unity within the Body of Christ.
We are a church that knows we've all got issues and don't claim to be perfect. As Christians we are in the process of sanctification and know we will never reach perfection until Christ returns. We will let people down and inevitably some will get hurt. But that is the point. We are a community of sinners who aren't perfect but whose Savior is perfect. Because He lived a perfect life, we don't have to. Even Paul, a guy who was used by God to plant a ton of churches and write nearly half the New Testament, called himself the worst of all sinners. We believe that when we're honest with ourselves and see the insurmountable amount of sin in our lives, we realize our need for a savior, seeing the beauty of the grace and mercy we have access to at the cross.
We are a church that loves the Trinity, the gospel, the Bible, and the church (both local and universal). Our beliefs, values and vision guide everything we do as a church.
We as a church strive to live missionally (living as missionaries wherever God has placed us) both as a Body and as individuals. We are empowered by the Spirit to embody the Gospel of a God who was the ultimate missionary on our behalf. We have seen God use us as a church in this way. Our members use the gifts and passions God has given them as well as their locations, circumstances, and stages of life to connect with the lost, move towards them, serve and love them in Christ’s name as they build relationships and preach the Gospel in word and deed.
We are a church that strives to create an environment where members want to bring their non-Christian friends, neighbors and coworkers and a place where they feel these people will be welcomed, cared for, spoken to and not be judged. We want to be a church that moves towards the lost as Christ moved towards us when we were still his enemies. This has looked many different ways including serving the elementary school across the street (Hiawatha School), pulling up buckthorn along with fellow South Minneapolitans, raking neighbors’ leaves, doing VBS and Day Camp, serving the Aliveness Project, partnering with Tapestry Pregnancy and Family Resource Center, and giving gifts to Minneapolis children whose parents are in jail.
Finally, by God’s grace, we’ve continued to grow each of the past 9 years since our birth, making disciples, maturing believers, preaching the Gospel, building unity within the church, serving our neighborhood and city, teaching our people, sending missionaries and church planters, and fostering worshipers of a holy, just and loving God who expressed this ultimately in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of this has been and will continue to be done by the power of the Spirit, in Jesus' name, for the glory of the Father and for our joy!
SPENCER PETERSON / COMMUNITY LIFE PASTOR