Edit
Home
Move Button Move Button
WE ARE A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS
Join us Sundays at 5 PM for dinner together at 1510 33rd Ave NE! You won't want to miss our time together to connect, worship and discover more about following Jesus together. See you Sunday!
Find Out More
Move Button Move Button
Experience Christian Community
We have community groups that meet regularly throughout the week as we seek to live for God's purposes TOGETHER.
Get Connected
Move Button Move Button
Know God Personally
We believe that Jesus is the most important person in all of history and that what you believe about Jesus will change your life.
Find Out More
Move Button Move Button
More Than Religion
The church is not a building and God is not about religion. We want to encourage you to know Jesus without being religious. We have a book written by Sam Snyder, our Lead Pastor, that we would like to send you if you are interested in discovering how to be spiritual without being religious.
Send Me The Book
Move Button Move Button
Engage in something meaningful
As a house of prayer for all nations, we are here for all people to experience Christian community, to be filled with God's presence, and to live for God's purposes together!
Find Out Why
Live For God's Purposes Together
We serve and love our community throughout the Twin Cities.
Find Out How
Move Button Move Button
Recent Blog Posts
My Adventures in Missing the Point

Have you ever gone through the motions and done what is expected of you while completely missing the point? Like wearing a helmet but not buckling it or wearing a seat belt but still texting while driving? I’ve missed the point a whole lot in my life.  I have studied cultures and world religions and over the years I have had friendships with people practicing all of the major world religions, most Christian denominations, and with people from over 30 different cultures. I have also studied the life and teachings of Jesus for over 30 years and I can tell you that religious thinking does that to us; we go through the motions and think that we’re doing the right thing when in fact we’re missing the point all together!


Did you know that about 10% of the U.S. population would identify with being “spiritual but not religious”[1] and another 10% would say that they “love Jesus but not the church”?[2] That means that 20% of people aren’t into organized religion and that roughly 80% of people are somehow associated with some religious system [3], but many people are “nominal,” not actively practicing it, and simply going through the motions. I guess you could say that most people are religious and not spiritual! But I don’t think that most people actually want to just go through the motions. My experience has been that most of us really do want to know God without being religious but that many times we get trapped by religious thinking that prevents us from being truly spiritual. None of us wants to go through the motions and find out that what we were doing was pointless, but somehow we can all fall into the same type of thinking whether we are coming from a Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, or other religious backgrounds.



Missing the point   

I grew up in a Christian family on the Pacific Coast of Mexico and my whole life I have known about God and I even talked about having a “relationship with God” and not a religion but I realized over the years that in many ways I had missed the point: I was religious. Even as a kid, the son of Pastors who taught about Jesus all of the time, I was a terrible kid, but I knew all of the right answers in church. I was THAT kid. Apparently I was such a challenge that some of the teachers thought the best thing to do was to make me the teacher’s helper so that I wouldn’t cause so much trouble. But that didn’t change my thinking. I just got better and better at being a “good Christian” as I got older: I learned more information about God, read the Bible regularly since I was young, and I loved to sing to God. But I also knew how to keep up appearances, look the part and fit in, how to hide sin and failings, how to judge other people for their actions and myself for my good intentions, how to try harder to be a better person and to do the right things, fear and shame marked my life…somehow I had missed the point. In my sincere desire to know God I studied world religions, studied the Bible, and even prepared to be a Pastor, but in many ways I was missing the point. 

 


What’s the Difference?  

Back in my college days I remember being on the streets of an inner-city talking to strangers and trying to tell them about forgiveness, peace, and joy that could be found in Jesus. There was a point where one man told me that he wasn’t religious and I responded by saying “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship,” but after that exchange I remember walking away wondering if I had ever really stopped to consider what the difference was between those things rather than using it as a catchy phrase to describe how this was different than whatever that person had known in the past.  

 


Relationship 

This is not a book that compares religions (there are other books that do a good job of that) it is an exploration of what a relationship with God that is spiritual and not religious could look like. I will not be drawing direct distinctions between religions nor doing deep examinations of differing beliefs but instead I will be addressing common characteristics shared by all religious thinking throughout history, and across religions, and comparing those to the life and teachings of Jesus and his early followers and drawing some distinctions there. My hope is that as you read this book you will be able to find the freedom and joy that I have been growing in over the last 20 years, and am continuing to grow in, as I have been discovering and applying these truths to my life.

-------

I hope you enjoyed reading the introduction to "More Than Religion: How To Be Spiritual Without Being Religious." If you would like to read the rest of the book for FREE before it gets published you can sign up to receive it by email (in email format and as a downloadable pdf) and we'll send you one chapter at a time.


SIGN UP HERE!


Read more
Have You Been Anxiously Searching?

Anxiety. Have you ever struggled with this seven letter word? For some you never know when this feeling will creep up and overwhelm your thoughts and feelings, for others struggling with a waiting period that feels too long or too uncertain may cause unsettling symptoms to take over. When we operate out of this emotion two things are certain, rest is hard to find and logic is hard to agree with.

As a church family we are taking time to journey through the book of Hebrews. Over the past few weeks we have been highlighting Jesus as the GOAT. I’m not being heretical here, Jesus is the lamb that was slain, but He is also the “Greatest of All Time” (abbreviated G.O.A.T.). His presence and position in our lives has the ability to impact everything, our emotions, our thoughts, our influence, our rest, even our interpretation of reality. We can catch a glimpse of this in Luke 2. Jesus is about the age of 12 and is supposed to be caravanning back to his hometown with his parents and community members. When all of a sudden his parents realize he’s not where he should be! They take three whole days to search for him and when they finally find him he’s located back in Jerusalem learning from the teachers in the temple courts. Being a parent in charge of multiple small humans, I can assure you I too would respond as Mary does when she has located her son and realizes no harm has come to him. She responds, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

Jesus responds with,“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

How often in our lives do we encounter a situation, interaction or hardship and we think “Jesus isn’t where he’s supposed to be?” Or “God where are you?” And it’s in those circumstances that we feel alone, helpless, uncertain or maybe even powerless. Anyone of those internal experiences will spark what we see Mary and Joseph engage in “anxiously searching”. When we feel alone, we are anxious to feel presence. When we feel helpless, we are anxious to feel helped. When we feel uncertain we are anxious to feel certainty. When we feel powerless we are anxious to have support. We are anxious to find the thing we feel is lacking, and ending internal distress becomes our main focus. Don’t mishear me, comfort is powerful, presence is needed, but the thing about anxiety is it cuts our brains off to even be able to relate to another for the things we so desperately need. It shuts us down so that when we do encounter another we tend to say “Where were you?!” and assume negative intent on their part. How often does this happen between us and God? We experience struggle and we automatically assume his intentions towards us were anything but good?

We have been assured of God's presence in our lives. Scripture tells us that a name for God is Immanuel, God with us. But it's the position that is up to us. Scripture tells us that we are to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. He is to come first in everything. Are their places in your heart, soul mind or strength where other things are positioned above God? Maybe you've positioned getting an answer to prayer or wanting to understand a certain situation above God? Maybe entertainment or distraction from current stressors have been placed above God? Or maybe feelings have become fact and have altered your interpretation about the character of God? When we have God in the wrong position, we tend to read God's word, interact with Him and have the same experience of Mary and Joseph, not understanding what he's saying to us. Are there any places recently where it's been hard to hear God? Hard to assume His intentions towards you are good? Challenging to know Him past the emotions you've been experiencing?

Being in that place is uncomfortable and many times discouraging. Jesus knew that and still understands this. But as we acknowledge His unwavering presence, His unchanging character and choose to know Him more in all the spaces we find ourselves in, we allow ourselves to reposition Him over our understanding, feelings and circumstances and can better interact with the one who truly is the Greatest of All Time and who will remain that way regardless of feelings, circumstances or interpretations.

What is one place today in your heart, soul, mind or strength where you need to reposition God's presence and align yourself with who He is and with what His word says about Him?

As always, if there is somewhere you feel stuck or need someone to come alongside you in the space or place you find yourself in feel free to reach out to our leadership team. We are not meant to do this faith journey alone and want to support each other as we continue to grow in knowing Jesus more and more.

Read more
Three Treasures in Your Pocket

Did you know that you could be carrying over $20,000 worth of treasures in your pocket???


I imagine you probably haven't given it much thought and may not have realized the value, so I want to highlight a few treasures that are at your fingertips through the bundle of resources available to you with our church's Faithlife subscription.


First off, you have the ability to connect with your church community, and that's PRICELESS. For you to actually experience that level of connectedness you need to do a few things:

  • Install the Faithlife App: Visit iOS App Store   OR Visit Google Play Store.
  • Turn on your Notifications: When you are in each group you will see "Notification Preferences" at the top of the page. Select "All In" and then edit it down from there. You may want certain notifications immediately and other groups to send a summary to your email at the end of the day. If you don't see the notification it's as if it didn't happen, which kind of defeats the purpose of having this tool to help us connect.
  • Complete your profile by adding a Profile Pic so that people can more easily identify you when you interact on here...You can even link social networks, and add other interesting and helpful info to your profile.
  • Post Updates, thoughts, prayer needs or praise to the Cross Culture wall. Here's more of what you can do in the group and how to do it so that the church can see it.
  • Here's a video that shows how we can use this to connect as a whole church and how our missional communities can use within their communications and connections:

https://youtu.be/pBfitCx_cAc



Second: You have access to thousands of hours of Bible documentaries, dramas, biographies, kids' videos, and more...including over 200 seminary-level courses (Logos MobileEd) on different topics that you may want to be learning more about, whether it's a particular book of the Bible, or learning a particular area of ministry that you are engaged in. Those courses alone are over $15,000 if you purchased them separately. I have enjoyed watching Kids shows and archeology videos with my family on here too.

  • Download FaithlifeTV to your device or find it on your Smart TV apps and login with your Faithlife account to have access to view all of these things.



Third: You have access to over $3,000 worth of Bible study resources that you can access on your phone, tablet, or computer with a program called Logos. It uses the same username and password and gives you incredible access for quick and simple Bible Study to help you grow in your understanding and application of God's Word more easily.

Here are some of the resources included in our subscription for you to make use of with the Logos App. There is even a FREE book of the month that you can log on to get each month to add to your resources. Download HERE.

Visit iOS App Store OR Visit Google Play Store 



Here's a video that gives a quick glimpse of what you could do with Logos:


https://youtu.be/SvYiB6CCQNk



If you had $20,000 sitting in your pocket, would you forget about it or would you make use of it? I want to encourage you to make full use of the resources that we have to stay connected and to continue growing in God's grace together.

Read more
Move Button Move Button