Town Hall Forum: Audio Recording
A Brief Look at CoH/Hosanna’s History
● History before 2015—Hosanna! helped plant CoH, Similar DNA
● Summer 2015—Per explores a position in Florida, Hosanna prepared to support CoH
● Summer 2016—Board Presidents/VP’s/ Pastoral Leadership from Hosanna! and CoH meet to ask this question, “What would deeper partnership look like?”
● Regular Conversation between pastor Per and pastor Ryan, Read “Better Together”
● Fall of 2016-Spring of 2017—Hosanna! works with consultant. Recommendation made to expand the “campus” model of growth. Best location determined to be Farmington/Rosemount.
● Summer 2017—Hosanna! gives worship support to CoH, pastor Per gives preaching support to Hosanna!, KZ Koboski is employed by CoH and contracting with Hosanna!
● August 2017—Formal merger proposal from Hosanna! is received by CoH Board.
● November 2017—CoH Board votes to explore merger by developing a Merger Exploration Team
● Late Feb 2018—Hosanna! and CoH Board and Leadership Teams meet to begin exploration process. Merger Exploration Teams formed.
● Exploration work continues.
● August 2018—MET will send a report and recommendation to both Hosanna and CoH Boards for consideration.
● October 2018—Hosanna and CoH Boards and congregations will make decisions about proceeding with recommendations.
CoH/Hosanna! Merger Exploration FAQ’s
What is the Merger Exploration Team? How was it formed?
The Merger Exploration Team was formed to explore the benefits and challenges of drawing the two congregations together. It consists of 5 CoH and 4 Hosanna! representatives. Members of the Merger Exploration Team were invited by the co-chairs of the team, Jennifer Ford from Hosanna and Heidi Olson from Community of Hope. The team has been meeting with staff from each church exploring similarities and differences in systems and will be presenting a report and recommendation to the Boards of both churches in August of 2018.
Will CoH get “big” like Hosanna!?
Hosanna’s Campus model focuses on smaller, midsized worshipping communities in local settings. Hosanna! supports CoH’s vision to expand one more time on this property to a 600-700 seat worship center. That’s the maximum size parking requirements will accommodate.
Can CoH continue to invest in the mission organizations we have focused on for the past years; Athletes in Action, Inner City Church of Minneapolis (ICCM), The Master’s Institute, Feed My Starving Children, and Missionary to China, Heidi Olson?
Hosanna! encourages maintaining those vital relationships and continuing to revisit our mission partnerships annually.
What will happen with staffing?
CoH’s staffing will remain intact with slight position modifications as needed. Both CoH and Hosanna! examine employee needs, conduct reviews annually and make staffing adjustments as needed. That process will continue.
Will Pastors Per and Jason still be our pastors?
Pastor Ryan Alexander would become the multisite congregation’s lead pastor. Pastor Jason would function as the Campus Pastor, a role very similar to the one he is presently fulfilling. Pastor Per will continue to be present at CoH, be part of Hosanna’s preaching team and would oversee larger executive functions in Hosanna’s organization.
Will the worship experience change?
Hosanna’s worship flow and style is very similar to CoH. Peder Eide will continue to be CoH’s primary worship leader with other worship leaders rotating in as needed. Pastor Jason would be the primary host on a weekly basis, similar to CoH’s present model. Hosanna’s current model for use of video teaching at campus sites is to have live preaching 25%-50% of the time, video teaching 50%-75% of the time.
Will CoH’s kids/youth ministry change?
Curriculum changes every year at CoH. Curriculum will be evaluated and a common curriculum will be employed. CoH’s kids and youth ministry staff will remain. Hosanna! places a greater emphasis on kids and youth worship experience and development, which we would be implemented at CoH.
Will Community of Hope’s name change?
Yes. Hosanna is in the midst of a rebranding process so no final decisions will be made until that process is complete. Hosanna’s present model for campus expansion is to carry the Hosanna! name and add the geographic location. If that continues the new name would ultimately be Hosanna! Rosemount.
Will this change anything in CoH’s partnership with Hope Fieldhouse?
Hosanna! is fully supportive of the way Community of Hope is engaging the larger Rosemount community with this project and sees it as a model for constructive community engagement in other locations.
Congregational Letter (Sent May 22, 2018)
Friends of Community of Hope,
We had a remarkable Celebration Sunday this past weekend. We celebrated a church passionate for Jesus, a church that is “all in” for Jesus’ mission. Twenty-three individuals either affirmed their baptism or were baptized for the first time. Their stories convey the transforming power of God’s kingdom…a kingdom we have been called to expand.
To that end, I’d like to personally invite you to a Town Hall Forum, June 7 at 7pm. We have received a proposal from Hosanna!, Lakeville that our Board of Directors is presently considering.
Hosanna! has been a significant partner in ministry since Community of Hope was planted in 2002. Hosanna! was one of four churches that invested resources to give birth to CoH. Because of significant similarity in spiritual DNA, we have partnered together in a variety of ways since that time, and have intentionally worked to strengthen ministry relationships with Hosanna! over the past 4 years. Particularly, Pastor Ryan Alexander and I have asked the question, “How can we deepen our partnership with the outcome of being better together?”
Two years ago, Hosanna! went through a re-visioning process with a consulting group that resulted in a vision to “Multiply” God’s kingdom through developing multiple campuses. Based upon demographic and population growth studies they determined their next campus should be in the Southeast metro, specifically Rosemount or Farmington. Instead of forging ahead and planting a campus, they asked another question: Could we combine resources with another vibrant ministry with similar DNA to multiply kingdom impact?
This past August, after much conversation and prayer, Hosanna! submitted a proposal to CoH’s Board of Directors to consider bringing the two churches together in a formal manner. CoH’s Board of Directors voted to explore that proposal. Since late February of 2018 teams from CoH and Hosanna! have been working to examine the opportunities and challenges of the proposal. These teams will bring a combined recommendation to both Community of Hope’s Board of Directors and Hosanna’s Vision Board by August of 2018. We have named these teams “Merger Exploration Teams (MET).”
One of the first things the MET determined is to use the language of “adoption” when talking about the potential merger of resources. That language fits well for two very important reasons. First, “adoption” is a Biblical concept. Through Jesus we are adopted into the family of God. Secondly, adoption acknowledges the unique history, culture and gifts of all parties and seeks to integrate them well.
An essential part of this process is for you to hear firsthand the vision that Hosanna! and CoH are considering, ask questions and give feedback concerning the proposal. Multiple points of conversation will be important as we seek God’s heart in this matter. Finally, there will be a congregational vote to assist in giving direction to any final decision our Board of Directors will make. We hope to have that vote and clarity of direction by the end of October 2018.
So, please do join us on June 7, 7pm, at CoH for this important conversation. The meeting will be led by me; Pastor Ryan Alexander (Hosanna!); Heidi Olson (CoH Board President and lead for CoH’s MET); and Jennifer Ford (Hosanna! staff member and lead for Hosanna’s MET).
We look forward to seeing you there on June 7, 7pm. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com, 651.322.5679.
Living for Jesus!
Per Nilsen, Lead Pastor
Please send all questions and comments to our Board of Directors (firstname.lastname@example.org).