Here are answers to some of the most common questions we receive:
There are a few answers to this question: On one hand, The Rooted Church began taking shape in Autumn 2008, officially beginning in April 2009 as a family after joyful allegiance to Jesus in all things with a focus on gospel, community, and mission. The City Church followed a similar path a year later, with its first core gathering in September 2009 as “a family of disciples on mission, for the glory of God and the good of our cities.” Both churches were planted through the Acts 29 Network, both live by gospel-centered theology, and both believe the primary functions of Christian life are best lived out in the context of communities of God’s people living on God’s mission in God’s world, which leads to the other answer to this question. In September 2013, The Rooted and The City merged into one church family, reflecting the unity we have in the gospel. So we have had various beginnings: in 2008, 2009, and 2013.
Our desire was for our name to communicate, as clearly as possible, our vision. Instead of existing for ourselves, we want to look outward into the cities to which God has sent us. The second-century bishop Augustine wrote a book called “The City of God” in which he described Christians as “the city of God” living in “the city of man,” engaging it, working and playing in it, and seeking its welfare. While calling our church “city of God” sounded both pompous and cultish, we wanted our name to embody Augustine’s connotation.
We know that the book of Acts ends at chapter 28! Acts 29 is a church-starting network that is devoted to seeing gospel-centered, missional churches take root in as many places as possible – across the US and the world. The name “Acts 29″ reflects the belief that God is still at work today, continuing the building of His church and the expansion of His kingdom, just as He did in the 28 chapters of Acts. Our role is to prayerfully and boldly continue that work. Soma is a family of churches who believe that “missional communities” are the primary venue for living out most of the Christian life, and are an effective means for developing gospel-centered disciples.
Christianity is defined not by the boundaries, but by the center. At the center of the Christian faith are two very important creeds of the Church: The Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. The City Church ascribes to both of these creeds as we seek to live at the center of historic, orthodox Christian faith.
See our “Gospel and Beliefs” page for more specific core beliefs.
City Groups are the heartbeat of The City Church. More than a Bible study, support group, social club, social justice group, traditional “small group,” or weekly meeting, these groups of people are centered around relationship, passion, or proximity. As “families of servant missionaries,” City Groups strive to carry out everyday life and mission together in their neck of the woods.
Learn more about City Groups
We know that when you step into a new environment, it can be unnerving. To help ease your nerves, here’s a bit of what you can expect in our Sunday Gatherings:
- Expect Sunday gatherings to be all about Jesus and his word. You’ll find a focused and intentional yet relaxed environment. Our gatherings are more like family get-togethers than flashy shows. We teach through books of the Bible, pray, sing, take communion together, interact, and celebrate stories of what God is doing in our church family and our cities.
- Expect people’s attire and interactions to reflect many different family environments. Come as you feel comfortable, and engage as you desire and feel compelled.
- Expect people from many different professions, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, and life stages. Also expect people at various stages in their spiritual journey, from those highly skeptical of Jesus to those deeply committed to faith in Christ.
- Expect a welcoming crowd and an explanation of everything we do from the stage. We want you to learn, apply, and wrestle with the different ways we worship and interact. It’s OK if you don’t have it all figured out; we don’t either!
- Expect some noise. As the primary disciplers of their children, some parents bring children of various ages with them into the Sunday gathering (other children participate in KidCity or Big KidCity; it’s truly up to each family to decide. And yes, kids in gatherings does provide some humorous moments on occasion)
We believe in “equipping the saints” through both words and actions. Biblical truth must move from mere knowledge to obedience. Scattered Sundays are opportunities to worship God through often ignored yet biblical ways of worship–especially more “outward-facing” ones. Our elders champion these practices by devoting regular Sundays to them, in an effort to recognize their importance and emphasize the variety of many biblical ways we can worship God.
Learn more about Sundays at the City Church
Nearly everything we do is an open door. You’re welcome to be proactive and join in Gathered or Scattered Sundays, City Groups, Fight Clubs, City 101, and events. Our strongest encouragement would be to jump into a City Group close to you. To help you connect, consider:
- Attending “City 101,” a brief introductory meeting after our gathering the third Sunday of each month
- Emailing Tina Howard at email@example.com, she can help connect you and direct you towards appropriate City Groups.
- Join The City, our online tool for communicating in our decentralized church life
Join The City online network