Visiting Hosanna in Lakeville

This morning, Lori and I worshipped at Hosanna Church in Lakeville, Minnesota.

Hosanna is a large church, with a focus on adult discipleship, on ministry with children, youth & families, and a dynamic worship life.

We entered into a large entry/lobby area. Volunteer greeters were scattered throughout to welcome us. The children’s area had volunteers standing by computer kiosks to check children in to the program.

The worship band

The format of the worship service was typical for a contemporary, evangelical worship experience. After the greeting, there were 3 or 4 songs, that took about 25 minutes. The sermon today was given by a youth pastor from one of the other campuses. He spoke for about 30 minutes. After he was done, there was one song and we were dismissed after a benediction.

When Hosanna built its facility, initially there was no cross anywhere in site, or anything that represented traditional Christianity. Hosanna was one of a growing set of “Seeker Sensitive Churches,” which developed in the 80’s and 90’s. The belief was that young people especially, were turned off by the trappings of traditional religion. So the worship spaces were designed to simply resemble auditoriums. 

Hosanna’s vision statement

Since then, two crosses have been added on either side of the stage, built in to the wall and in the same color as the paint. They are very subtle.

It’s an interesting difference from the sanctuary at Trinity, which is, of course, full of religious symbolism.

The “seeker sensitive movement” mostly died out in the early 2000’s. My sense is that people who are coming to church are looking for a church experience. A Trinity member told me recently that “I’m glad our church looks like a church.”

I appreciated Hosanna’s focus on greeters and hospitality. I also couldn’t help but notice their signage. It was incredibly well done and helpfully placed. This made me think about the ways we welcome people, especially visitors, into the church.

Next weekend we’re headed down to Mason City, Iowa to visit Trinity Lutheran. It is a church that is actually very similar in size and style to our congregation. I’m curious to see what they do differently and what we can learn from them.

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