Update on the New Building
[Editor’s Note: We are currently gathering on Sundays at our new space, 1524 Summit Avenue in St. Paul.]
On Sunday, February 25, our church voted 192 to 1 in affirmation of signing the lease agreement for 1524 Summit Avenue. This new building will provide a more fitting facility for our Sunday worship services, as well as provide a staff office throughout the week and event space throughout the year.
Going back to August 2017, when the pastoral team began searching for another Sunday meeting space to replace Minnehaha Academy Upper School, our threefold criterion was ...
- a space as close to Minnehaha as possible
- a space available for Sunday morning worship
- a space that accommodates our membership
We first introduced 1524 Summit Avenue to you at our membership meeting on October 18, 2017, and we noted, with great joy, how this new space ...
- is 2.5 miles from Minnehaha
- would be available to us for exclusive use on Sunday mornings
- would have a seating capacity of 500–600 (identical to Minnehaha); and it includes ample classroom space for children.
It’s amazing to reflect on God’s provision — and that’s reason enough for remembering this process! But there’s another reason, too, and it has to do with mission. I want us all to think of this new building as a provision, not a destination. In short, we had a need for a Sunday Gathering space, and God has more than given us that in this new building. And that’s really it as far as nothing else changes — well, except for the band not having to unload and reload the trailer every Sunday, and us getting to use an office space during the week, and then the availability to hold meetings throughout the year without searching for various venues throughout the cities that would accommodate them, and then also that we get to worship at a space that’s easier for guests to find. Other than these things, and similar logistics pieces, Cities Church still exists for why she started. To make disciples.
Our straightforward mission is to make disciples of Jesus from all nations. This is our mission because it’s what Jesus himself told his church to do in Matthew 28:18–20 (which we remember every single Sunday to conclude our services).
After his death and resurrection, having “all authority in heaven and on earth,” Jesus commissioned his people to be on their way and to make him known. He told us to make disciples by “baptizing” and “teaching” — which is to say, to advance his gospel in both distance and depth. We tell of his love, inviting others to meet him as the treasure he is. And we teach of his love, journeying alongside one another to experience the fullness of life in him. Everything at Cities Church is driven by this mission.
And when this happens, there will be more disciples. That is,
- Disciples will increase in number.
- Then add to these increasing disciples the work of developing leaders, and you get multiplication (this is how we have grown from two Community Groups in January 2015 to 18 Community Groups currently).
- And then, as we continue to develop leaders, specifically pilot planters and lead teams, it results in planting more churches throughout the Twin Cities.
But this can only happen if we have a church of goers. It can only happen if you seriously consider being part of one of these plants — plants that we’re praying and working towards sending out every year.
This is all to say that as we begin to settle into this new spot, let’s not get too cozy. This is a mission-driven Sunday location move. We exist to make disciples.
The Weeks Ahead
The lease agreement officially begins March 30. Presently, we are hoping to have our first service at the new space on Easter Sunday, provided that the construction goes as planned (auditorium and classrooms complete). That is not always the case, though, and if we were to catch wind that this date is untenable, we’ll communicate that and recalibrate.
Some elements of the full renovation such as the outdoor courtyard, auditorium sound system, and kitchen overhaul won’t be complete until later this year.
In the weeks ahead, here are a few things you can do:
- ... for the construction in general (it’s progress and blessings); and for the workers as humans. These men and women do dangerous, risky work — hard work (my dad is in construction and he lost a man on a scaffold a few years ago, working in a church building of all places). Pray that God protect these workers, and that he’d even work in them.
- ... to invite non-Christian friends to our first worship service at the new building. This is one big reason we want to get the date right. This is a special occasion, and just maybe the one that will persuade your neighbors and pals to join us as guests.
- ... in making this a smooth transition. This is the first time that any of us has done this sort of thing, at least as a church together. So we don’t really know what we’re doing. Flexibility and agreeableness are in high demand during times like this. If things go differently than we envisioned, let’s take a deep breath and smile. We’ll figure it out and get it right, with God’s help. And we’ll end up better than okay.