Bible-Rooted Culture. Christ-Centered Services.
When you're learning about a church for the first time it's always helpful to know what to expect before you walk in the doors.
The first and most important thing you can expect from St. Olaf is that we take the Bible seriously. We believe that it is more than just a book. It is the living and active Word of God and primary means of communication from God to us today. It's not just stories. It's true. You'll see that reflected in our ministry. You'll see that reflected in our worship services. You'll see that reflected in our whole culture.
On a typical Sunday morning at St. Olaf you'll find:Scripture-saturated services that exalt Jesus Christ as the center of everything. You will hear Scripture read, we read Scripture corporately, and we participate in confessions of sin and faith that are either straight from Scripture or based on Scripture passages. You will hear a message that is uncompromising in our view that the Bible is the true and error-free Word of God. And through it all, we will point to Jesus as the one and only way to joyful relationship with God.Word and Sacrament. God ignites new life, distributes grace, and forgives sins through His living Word and the power of the Holy Spirit in the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. That's why Biblical preaching and these sacraments are a central focus here.Music and service elements that celebrate both old and new. For example, we may confess our faith with the Apostles' Creed and pray the Lord's Prayer together. But we may also sing a freshly written confession, or pray freely for each other. We value the beauty and depth of hymns sung with our pipe organ, but we also enjoy the freedom to sing modern songs to God, led by contemporary instruments. Ultimately, we are uncompromising in holding to Biblical CONTENT, while we remain flexible in our FORM. We value both unchanging truth and freedom of expression.Variety and Freedom. Because God is both just and loving, our worship reflects both reverence and joy. Some people worship with hands raised in celebration or surrender, and some worship in quiet reverence. You'll see people dressed in everything from suits and ties to jeans and a t-shirt. Our God is the God of the rich and the poor, all colors of pigment in one race.Sinners. There are no perfect people at St. Olaf. We're all sinners who need a Savior. You'll fit right in! Those of us who know Jesus aren't holier-than-thou. We're just forgiven. So you'll experience grace here.
Because we are called to be a disciple-making church, we see attendance at our weekend services as a good first step. But disciples by definition are moving, growing, developing followers of Christ. Therefore, we see faith-life at St. Olaf in terms of PROCESS rather than PROGRAMS.
Further, we believe that the best way to grow in faith is through authentic RELATIONSHIPS, first with God through His Son Jesus Christ, and then in relationship with other believers who truly know us and are known by us. Then we can serve our community in love TOGETHER, shoulder to shoulder.
That's what we mean when we say St. Olaf exists to KNOW and LOVE God, to KNOW and LOVE People.