Mission1618 is a Church Planting Network – a collection of like-minded church planters, pastors, business professionals, churches and others – committed to training and supporting church planters and helping churches plant healthy, God-glorifying, reproducing churches. We aim to do collectively what each cannot do alone. As a church planting network, we wish to see our city, state, region, country and world redeemed with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This church planting network is a ministry of Hope Community Church and its elders, and is currently under the leadership of Pastors Steve Treichler and Jon Neal. We meet monthly to learn, encourage, achieve and dream together. In addition, we host seminars and conferences as needed to help do whatever it takes to see God’s kingdom expand with the formation of new churches.
If you want to be involved in church planting in the Minneapolis and St Paul area, we would love to connect. We’re continually praying for new churches to be planted all over the Twin Cities area!
Vision and Mission
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.
Recruit, train and coach existing and future pastors and church leaders in theology, preaching, church business, leadership and ministry with prayer and diligence to the glory of God, keeping the focus on Christ and not ourselves
Our God-sized Goal
Simply put, we would like to see the efforts of Mission1618 result in us praying, planning, recruiting, training, and coaching new churches toward the starting of 100 new churches in 10 years (by 2019) worldwide. To accomplish this we are setting the following goals:
- The starting of one new church every year for 10 years from Hope Community Church, Minneapolis (10 new churches)
- Each of these churches would start at least one new church within 5 years of their first public launch, with the first five planting two. (15 new churches)
- Recruiting and adopting 25 like-minded church planters who have either just begun or are soon to begin their church plants. In the next ten years, they would each plant at least their church as well as one more. (50 new churches)
- Each of these churches would plant at least one church before 2019. (25 new churches)
And, as the movement gains the power and wind of more of the Spirit of God, who knows what God will do for his glory and our joy!
What We Believe
The short answer is that we are,
- first Christians,
- second Evangelicals,
- third Missional,
- fourth Reformed in our Soteriology,
- fifth we are Elder-led, Complimentarian and Baptistic in our view of baptism and polity,
- and sixth Charitable in disputable matters.
The more lengthy and detailed answer is included below. For a standard statement of faith, we would ask that you read the Hope Community Church Elder Affirmation of Faith. However, what is below is sufficient and helpful for those who are checking out Mission:sixteen/18 to see if our theological and missional particularities match what you sense God leading you into:
First, we are Christians
Second, we are Evangelicals
We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit indicated by heart felt conversion is absolutely essential.
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Third, we are Missional
We believe that our local churches must be faithful to the content of unchanging Biblical doctrine (Jude 3).
We believe that our local churches must be faithful to the continually changing context of the culture(s) in which they minister (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
We believe that our mission is to bring people into the church so that they can be trained to go out into their culture as effective missionaries.
Fourth, we are Reformed
Fourth, we are Reformed:
We believe that God created the heavens and the earth.
We believe that God created man and woman in a state of sinless perfection with particular dignity as His image bearers on the earth.
We believe that our first parents sinned against God and that everyone since is a sinner by nature and choice. Sin has totally affected all of creation including marring human image and likeness so that all of our being is stained by sin (e.g. reasoning, desires, and emotions).
We believe that because all people have sinned and separated themselves from the Holy God that he is obligated to save no one from the just deserved punishments of hell. We also believe that God in His unparalleled love and mercy has chosen to elect some people for salvation.
We believe that the salvation of the elect was predestined by God in eternity past.
We believe that the salvation of the elect was accomplished by the sinless life, substitutionary atoning death, and literal physical resurrection of Jesus Christ in place of His people for their sins.
We believe that the salvation of the elect, by God’s grace alone, shows forth in the ongoing repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ that leads to good works.
We believe that God’s saving grace is ultimately irresistible and that God does soften even the hardest heart and save the worst of sinners according to His will.
We believe that the gospel should be passionately and urgently proclaimed to all people so that all who believe may be saved through the preaching of God’s Word by the power of God’s Spirit.
We believe that true Christians born again of God’s Spirit will be kept by God throughout their life, as evidenced by personal transformation that includes an ever-growing love of God the Father through God the Son by God the Spirit, love of brothers and sisters in the church, and love of lost neighbors in the culture.
We believe that God is Lord over all of life and that there is nothing in life that is to be separated from God.
We believe that the worship of God is the end for which people were created and that abiding joy is only to be found by delighting in God through all of life, including hardship and death which is gain.
We believe in the five “solas” of the reformation: Sola scriptura (”by Scripture alone”), Sola fide (”by faith alone”), Sola gratia (”by grace alone”), Solus Christus (”Christ alone”), Soli Deo gloria (”glory to God alone”).
Fifth, we hold to an Elder led, Baptistic view...
Fifth, we hold to an Elder led, Baptistic view of the church government, membership and mission.
In short, we believe that a local church should contain a minimum of the following elements: Spiritual Leadership, Biblical Teaching, Missional Focus, Covenant Community, Ordinances Observed, and Community Worship. The forms that these take will vary, but to be a faithful local church, these elements must be present.
We believe that Jesus intended for churches to be spiritually led by a group of shepherds called elders who lead the church with doctrinal, biblical teaching.
We believe that these elders are not to be randomly or carelessly chosen, but that the selection of these elders is limited to godly, qualified, missional and courageous men who lead the church in all spiritual matters.
We believe the local church consists of a covenanted community of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized in the name of the Triune God, and associated for worship, work and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary tasks of worship, discipleship and giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world, this being a blessing to the world.
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.
Sixth, we believe in being Charitable in “disputable matters.”
Sixth, we believe in being Charitable in “disputable matters.”
We believe that the Scripture teaches all we need to know, but not all we would like to know. Therefore, there are matters that are disputable. We also understand that none of us has a perfect theology and that God alone is omniscient. Although we highly encourage healthy discussions, we will not enter into open debate, or intra-mural squabbles over matters not addressed above.
Mission:sixteen/18 is committed to the view of ecclesiology stated above (section 5) regarding baptism and eldership. Yet, on those two matters (read more below) we are willing to allow a church or leader to differ in the ways listed below and still share in our network. It is our intention that these two issues, though critical and central to the network’s theology, become neither divisive nor a hindrance in the Church’s communal efforts to bring the gospel to our city.
- Covenantal View of Baptism
The first acceptable difference would include a covenantal view of baptism, such as found in the Reformed or Presbyterian traditions. However, those holding such a view must understand baptism to be non-regenerative and that it does not ensure an immediate or future regeneration. In other words, we do not believe that baptism in any way is binding upon God to act in our behalf in regard to salvation.
- A More Liberal Complementarian View of Eldership
The second acceptable difference would include a more liberal complementarian view of eldership. Specifically, these churches could include women as elders. However, a church or leader would need to hold to the biblical teaching of male, loving, servant leadership in marriage and the family, as well as have the lead or senior pastor be a godly, qualified male. However, a church or leader could not ascribe to radical egalitarianism or evangelical feminism in the church, which is the belief that men and women have no considerable differences outside of biological plumbing. We realize that much of this confusion is really over the issue of what elders are, and that, in our view, many of the associate pastors are really in deacon roles, which fall inside a complementarian viewpoint. Nevertheless, even though our viewpoint is that the office of elder is reserved for godly, qualified men, for the sake of the gospel in our city, we only require that the lead pastor (elder) be a godly, qualified male.
What We Don’t Believe
To help clarify our beliefs it may also be beneficial to declare what we do not believe. In stating what we are not, we do not seek to attack those who disagree with us, but rather distinguish ourselves so that pastors considering joining our network are aware of who we are, as well as who we are not.
- We are not liberals who embrace culture without discernment and compromise the distinctives of the gospel, but rather Christians who believe the truths of the Bible are eternal and therefore fitting for every time, place, and people.
- We are not fundamentalists who retreat from cultural involvement and transformation, but rather missionaries faithful both to the content of Scripture and context of ministry.
- We are not isolationists, but seek to partner with like-minded Christians from various churches, denominations and organizations in planting church-planting churches.
- We are not hyper-Calvinists who get mired down in secondary matters, but rather pray, evangelize, and do good works because we believe that the sovereign plan of God is accomplished through us, His people.
- We are not eschatological Theonomists or Classic Dispensationalists (e.g. Scofield), but believe that divisive and dogmatic certainty surrounding particular details of Jesus Second Coming are unprofitable speculation, because the timing and exact details of His return are unclear to us.
- We are not egalitarians, but do believe that men should head their homes and male elders should lead their churches with masculine love like Jesus Christ. (see “What we believe, #6” if this is a point of disagreement)
- We are not patriarchial in our view of male headship, thinking the husband should control and dominate the relationship in marriage or that male elders should dominate and not seek the benefit of the church, but rather complementarians who believe: the husband should lead the wife in sacrificial love as Christ led the church, giving his all, even his life for her in marriage, and the shepherds should deeply love the flock and listen to their concerns, take their suggestions and allow non-elders (male and female) to lead as appropriate in the church.
- We are not Open Theists, but believe in the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God in all things.
- We are not Prosperity Theologians, but do believe God takes care of his children which includes discipline and suffering.
- We are not religious relativists, but believe that there is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ alone.
- We are not nationalists seeking to simply improve one nation but instead ambassadors of the King of Kings commissioned to proclaim and demonstrate the coming of His kingdom to all nations of the earth.
- We are not moralists seeking to help people live good lives, but instead evangelists laboring that people would become new creations in Christ.
- We are not relativists, but do gladly embrace Scripture as our highest authority above such things as culture, experience, philosophy, and other forms of revelation.
- We are not Universalists, but do believe that many people will spend eternity in the torments of hell as the Bible teaches.
- We are not naturalists, but do believe that Satan and demons are real enemies at work in this world and subject to God.
- We are not rationalists, but do believe that not everything can be known and that God calls us to live by faith with mystery and partial knowledge regarding many things.
- We are not evangelical feminists, but do believe that God reveals Himself as a Father and is to be honored by the names He reveals to us without apology.
- We are not trying to build mega-churches, but do seek to reach as many as possible with the good news of Jesus
- We are not embarrassed by the bloody death of Jesus Christ, but do believe He died as a substitute for the sins of His people in selfless love.
- We are not ashamed, but do proclaim a loving gospel of grace which sounds like foolishness and offensiveness to the unrepentant while also saving multitudes with ears to hear good news.
- We are not polemicists who believe that it is our task to combat every false teaching, but are passionate about preserving the integrity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.