And So It Began

Two weeks ago, the founding members of Cities Church of Minneapolis–Saint Paul gathered to covenant with each other to be the church. The prospective members of three Community Groups — in Falcon Heights, Longfellow, and Nokomis — make up our initial membership.

We all stood in a circle and responded with “I do” to the six sections of commitment of the Cities Church Covenant. Paul Poteat, director of Campus Outreach Minneapolis, and leader at Bethlehem (our sending church), and his wife Samm, took turns reading the commitment questions posted below. At the visible, physical level, it wasn’t an impressive evening: a gathering of more than 30 young adults in a high school lunch hall, with a cadre of kids with sitters in the adjoining room, but in the invisible, spiritual realm, a significant new reality was being forged. We’d like to think an angel or two took notice and joined the celebration. At least we felt the smile of God.

We also affirmed Jonathan Parnell, Michael Thiel, and myself as our founding pastors.

And so it began. Cities Church now has a formal membership and three pastors. And tomorrow, Sunday morning at 10am, we will gather for worship at Minnehaha Academy North, God willing.

Please pray for us as we endeavor to live out our covenant to be the church to each other, and as we seek to draw others into the sweetness of this fellowship.

Cities Church Membership Covenant

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to embrace Jesus as the Lord, Savior, and supreme Treasure of our lives, having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and having affirmed this church’s Community Affirmation of Faith, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Spirit, to walk together in Christian love, to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and peace; to promote its spirituality and fruitfulness; to sustain its worship, ordinances, and discipline; to welcome, and test biblically, instruction from the Scriptures by the leaders of the church in accordance with the Leadership Affirmation of Faith, seeking to grow toward Christian unity in the truth; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of this church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel in this city and among all the nations.

We also engage to maintain family and personal devotions; to seek the salvation of our friends and family; to educate our children in the Christian faith; to walk wisely in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our conduct, to avoid all gossip, slander, and excessive anger; to seek God’s help in abstaining from all substances and practices which bring unwarranted harm to the body or jeopardize our own or another’s faith.

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.

We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will, if possible, unite with a likeminded church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant.