Who We Are
What type of church is River Valley?
We are a multi-site church with eight physical locations across the Twin Cities, as well as a growing community online. Our mission is to lead people into an authentic, life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. We start with people right where they are. No one here is perfect, and no one is expected to be. We want to point people to Jesus and help them take their next step in their relationship with Him.
Our vision is to change the world. We don’t see that as an impossibility as we serve a God who thrives in using ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Our goal is to see lives changed through dozens of physical locations around the globe, millions of people influenced through our online community, 500 people sent out from our church as long term missionaries, and a network of 1,000 churches that give one million dollars annually to missions – resulting in one billion dollars given to missions every single year. We’d love for you to be a part and help us fulfill God’s vision!
We believe the best way to communicate who we are is by sharing the values we have as a church. These values reflect who we are and what we aim to reflect throughout our expressions.
Our heart is after the Presence of God. God can do more in a person’s life with one encounter in His Presence than we can do through all our efforts. (James 4:8,10; John 4:23, Acts 3:19; Hebrews 10:19-22)
Our heart is Generous. God has ever expanding resources. They are NEVER depleted. We never lose when we generously give. Whenever we give God our best, He gives us a new best. Being generous is not a money problem; it is always a heart problem. We will be generous-hearted people. (Proverbs 11:24-25; 2 Corinthians 9:6-12)
Our Heart Is Global. We have a vision for the world. We pray for nations and people who have not heard the Gospel to come to salvation. We give generously to get the Gospel to every part of the world. We will raise up 500 people to go on the mission field to reach unreached people. (Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13-15 1 Chronicles 16:24; Psalms 2:8)
Our heart is for the Next Generation. We say “we will risk everything for the next generation to know Jesus.” It may be costly, but it is worth it. (Psalms 78:5-7; Proverbs 22:6; Mark 9:42; Matthew 19:14)
Our heart is for Unity. We want unity on our staff, we want unity in our church, and we want unity with other churches who are preaching the Gospel. Unity is critical. We don’t gossip; we speak life; we don’t tear down; we build up. Just because we are a diverse body, doesn’t mean we should be a divided one. (Acts 4:32; Psalm 133; Ephesians 4:3)
Our heart is to Inspire. The world has hurt and pain, but we are glass half-full people, and the glass comes with free refills! Pain in this life will happen, but we will answer that pain with hope. We truly believe that in Jesus Christ, the best is yet to come! (Psalm 23:5; Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Romans 5:1-5)
Our heart is to be Authentic. We are real people doing real life together. We are committed to learning and sharing our failures so that we can all move forward. We are going to tell the truth, in love, no matter the cost. (1 John 1:6-10; Proverbs 28:13; James 5:16)
Our Core Beliefs
The Bible is the Inspired Word of God
The Old and New Testament are verbally inspired by God, the only written revelation from God to man. The Bible is infallible and the authoritative rule of faith and conduct for mankind (II Timothy 3:15-17, I Thessalonians 2:13 & II Peter 1:21).
The Fall of Man
Man was created in the image of God (Genesis 2:26). By a voluntary act of the will, Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Genesis 3:6). That first sin had several repercussions: Man was excommunicated from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23), a curse was pronounced (Genesis 3:14-19), the process of physical death began (Genesis 2:17) and man died spiritually (Romans 5:12-19). Sin separated humankind from God (Ephesians 2:11-18) and left man in a fallen and sinful condition (Romans 3:23).
There is One True God
God is called by many different names because of the different dimensions of His personality, but God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). God is super-dimensional and eternally self-existent (John 8:54-59). God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1 & 2). While God is one, He has revealed Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
The Salvation of Man
The only means of salvation is Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12 & John 14:6). He died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins (I Peter 2:24). He offers each of us a pardon for our sins (Hebrews 9:26) and wants us to become children of God (John 1:12).
When we put our faith in Christ, it triggers a spiritual chain reaction. We become the Temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19). Our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 3:5). We become citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20-21). We are given eternal life (John 3:16). We are adopted and become children of God (Gal. 4:4-7). Our sins are forgiven and forgotten (Heb. 8:12). We are credited with the righteousness of Christ (Rom. 4:4-5). We are born again (John 3:3). God takes ownership of us (I Cor. 6:20). We receive an eternal inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14 & I Peter 1:3-5).
The evidence of salvation is two-fold. The internal evidence is the direct witness of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16). The external evidence is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23). We become a new creation (II Cor. 5:17) and are transformed into the image of Christ (II Cor. 3:18).
The Church and Its Mission
The Church is the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:12-27) and has a three-fold purpose: to evangelize the world (Acts 1:8 & Mark 16:15-16), to worship God (I Cor. 12:13) and to equip for ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16 & I Cor. 12:28, 14:12).
The Holy Spirit
The nine fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) are the by-product of a Spirit-filled life and evidence of spiritual maturity. The nine gifts of the Spirit are different manifestations of the Spirit to build up the body (I Cor. 12:1-11). We are instructed to diligently seek the gifts (I Cor. 12:31, 14:1), but they must be exercised in an orderly way (I Cor. 14:26-33) in the context of love (I Cor. 13:1-13).
The Final Judgment
There will be a final judgment in which the dead will be resurrected and judged according to their works (Matt. 25:31-46 & Romans 2:1-9). Everyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life, along with the Devil and his angels, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15). Those whose names are written in the Book of Life will be resurrected and stand at the judgment seat of Christ to be rewarded for their good deeds (I Cor. 4:5)
The Ordinances of the Church
Baptism in Water
The Scripture teaches that all who repent and believe in Christ are to be baptized by immersion (Matthew 28:19). Baptism is a public profession of faith in Christ. It is symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. It is a declaration to the world that we have died to sin and have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).
The Lord’s table consists of two elements: the bread and cup. Those elements are symbolic of the body and blood of Christ. Communion is a memorial of Christ’s sufferings on the cross and a celebration of our salvation. It is an opportunity for a believer to examine himself and experience forgiveness.