Category Archives: Weekly E-news Message

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-news Message

Good morning, Hope folks!

Every once in a while, in ways that we can’t predict, plan or control, God does something extraordinary at Hope.

This past weekend, more than 400 people answered the Holy Spirit’s call to be baptized at Hope - over 100 of those had never been baptized, and the rest came forward to affirm their baptisms as a public declaration of their renewed faith in Jesus Christ. Another 100 or so were baptized at our other campuses in Johnston-GrimesDes MoinesWaukee and Ankeny.

It’s rare for a Lutheran church to witness 100 or more adult baptisms in one year, much less oneweekend. Don’t misunderstand. I’m not boasting about what we did at Hope, but about what the Lord did at Hope … a biblical thing to do (2 Corinthians 10:17) …  and worthy of our recognition and celebration!

Many who came forward had stories to tell. Stories of repentance (Mark 1: 415) and radical transformation that point to a God who is active and alive in our world … stories of God’s grace and mercy experienced … stories of newly discovered peace and hope. Smiles and tears of joy were the norm, and God’s presence was strong.

Praise God!

Basking in the glow of what God has already done, we look forward to whatever happens next, led by God’s Spirit, as we continue our year-long journey through the Gospels. This weekend at Hope, our Meet Jesus sermon series moves onward to the Gospel of Luke. Pastor Jeremy and I will draw your attention to the fascinating story of Jesus as a 12-year old boy teaching in the Jerusalem Temple (Luke 2:41-52). It’s going to be another great weekend at Hope … bring a Bible and a few friends who don’t have a church home!

Mike Housholder
Preacher with a Still Semi-Soaked Baptizing Hand

P.S.- Don’t forget about some of the great upcoming big events at Hope (click for more info): Fulfill Your Ministry women’s conference,Daddy-Daughter DanceSouper Bowl Food DriveBig Daddy Weave concert! Plus, in addition to all of the other classes at Hope that will enhance your faith, I encourage you to check out Group Launch, and the weekly Pastor’s Bible Study, most often led by “Professor” Richard, on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-news Message

Dear Hope Family,

On the morning of December 24, I posted this on my Facebook wall before we started our run of six Christmas Eve Candlelight services, and I share it with you again today in a humble effort to bring some perspective to what just happened at Hope…

Look closer at the crowds on Christmas Eve, and you’ll discover God at work – using a song, a word, a light – to awaken one sleeper, to find one wanderer, to comfort one mourner, to stir one soul, to fill one heart … God is certainly not dead, nor is his church. Come and see!

Well, they came and saw (because you invited them – thank you)! Our Christmas (Eve & Day) celebrations at Hope were glorious! The Spirit was strong, the music and movement of the service was beautiful, and God’s house was full. Over 29,000 people attended at our West Des Moines campus, and counting all of Hope’s satellites, that number goes even higher. Several hundred joy-filled volunteers helped in so many essential ways – thank you, again!

The world around us longs for the light. We have received this light, and our all-out effort to let it shine through us to as many people as possible is a worthy endeavor. It’s no accident that God has brought us together to be church together in this particular time and place. As we wrap up this year of Roots & Renewal and look forward to a new year of getting Back to Basics (know Jesus & know one another), I’m more committed and enthused than ever to carry out our mission … it’s good to be the church!

This weekend, our Light the Night theme from Christmas Eve carries on. A trio of gifted preachers who’ve been preparing diligently for several weeks – Perry Ross, Dave Johnson and Ben Mason – will help us take a closer look at the shining star the Magi (more commonly referred to as wise men) followed on their way to worship the newborn King of all kings, Jesus Christ (Matthew 2:1-12). It would be wise for us to attend (couldn’t resist the pun)!

Merry Christmas!
Mike Housholder

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-news

Good morning, Hope!

It’s almost time …

On Saturday and Sunday nights, our talented and dedicated Praise! and Adoration Choirs, along with the Hope Orchestra, will present a Christmas Cantata: We’re Glad You Came - Saturday at 5:00 & 7:00 pm (added service this weekend only) and Sunday at 5:00 pm. All three services will feature a musical version of the Christmas story, along with an accompanying message by Pastor Pat Quaid.

Our regular format Sunday Services (Advent 4) will be led by Pastor Nicole Woodley in the Chapel at 8:00 & 9:15 am, and guest preacher, Pastor Michael Hurst, in the Worship Center at 8:00, 9:15 & 11:00 am.

The next day, it will be time for Hope’s Christmas Eve Candlelight Services:

  • Monday the 22nd at 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday the 23rd at 5:00 & 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday the 24th at 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:00 & 11:00 pm

These are some of the most inspiring services of the year at Hope, featuring music by John Cheatem (and an amazing line-up of musicians), live painting by Bill Butler (or another gifted Hope artist), classic Christmas carols (including Silent Night by candlelight), and some beautifulsurprises! Pastor Jeremy and I will be preaching onLuke 2:1-14 with a sermon called Light the Night!

Unapologetically, we pull out all the stops at Hope on Christmas Eve, and for good reason. We want to introduce people to Jesus, and strengthen the faith of people who already know him. We want to glorify God as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. We want to offer Christmas services that show people how the light of God’s love changes everything for us and for our world …  forever!

Come and see for yourself. And invite your friends. It’s almost time …

Mike Housholder

PS1- A few tips for my faithful readers … some of our best singers will offer pre-service music starting about 15-20 minutes before each service, so arrive early; consider parking in the shuttle lots, with buses that will drop you off and pick you up at our front doors; the least crowded services tend to be early (22nd & 23rd) and late (24th at 7:00, 9:00 & 11:00 pm).

PS2- Hope’s Christmas Day Communion Service takes place Thursday at 10:00 am. Pastor Eric Voelker’s sermon is called “Go Tell It On the Mountain!” based on Matthew 1:18-25.

PS3- Our humble little video invitation to Hope’s Christmas Eve Services has now been viewed by over 500,000 people – feel free to share it with your friends on social media!

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-news

Good morning, Hope folks!

As most of you already know, Hope is a multisite church with five locations around the Des Moines area. Last weekend, I took advantage of a preaching break to worship at three of them – West Des Moines on Saturday, and then Waukee and Johnston-Grimes on Sunday.

I’m happy to report that the Holy Spirit was on full display at each location. Worship was lively. God’s love, and plenty of Lutheran coffee, flowed freely. Smiles came easily. And, all five campuses are growing rapidly …

Over 500 people worshiped at Hope Waukee (they’re only one month old!) last weekend, and close to 600 (new record!) did the same at Hope Johnston-Grimes. Hope Ankeny topped 1,000 (way up!), and more than 400 attended Hope Des Moines (also way up, and moving into a new church building this Sunday!). In case you’re wondering, attendance at our main campus in West Des Moines is also up significantly this year, with more than 8,000 people attending services on an average weekend.

The best part about those numbers is they count real people, many of whom didn’t know Jesus prior to attending Hope. The way God continues to build and grow his Kingdom through you is exciting – and it happens because you haven’t lost your passion for mission. Thanks for caring enough to lead people to a place where their lives can be changed … forever!


Mike Housholder

P.S.- This weekend, Pastor Richard and I will preach on Revelation 19 – a biblical vision of a final battle (that inspired a famous “Battle Hymn”) between good and evil …  and it has everything to do with you! Bring a Bible, and keep bringing your friends who don’t have a church home, too!

Weekly E-news Message

Happy Friday, Hope!

This weekend we are wrapping up our series Radical Christianity, where we’ve had the amazing opportunity to look at the things that ground us as a church. Throughout this series, we have explored Hope’s Core Values:

  • Jesus is life
  • Lost people matter
  • We worship God not tradition
  • Christianity is a growing experience

This week, we finish up the final one: We are One.

We are called to be One. Sometimes, I think we have the tendency to want to do things on our own.  But, we all know, we are so much better together!

Just think, together this year we:

  • Worked together during our 2014 Lenten Project to build 260 churches in Ghana, Africa.
  • Donated 150,000+ lbs of food during our annual Souper Bowl Food Drive.
  • Had enough volunteers to shepherd over 6,500 kids during Vacation Bible School.
  • Spread the Gospel to countless number of people with our hands and feet during 16 short-term mission trips.

Along with countless other ways you show up to be the church!

As you can see, we are better together.

Come and celebrate that this weekend at worship. Mark Brandt and I (Sunday at 7:45 am and 5:00 pm) will lead you through a look at the beauty of the Gospel that reminds us that We are One.

See you at worship!

Pastor Jeremy

PS: A friendly reminder that registration for fall classes begins this weekend, including children’s and student ministry year-round programming!

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-news

Hi, Hope Folks!

In a perfect world, Holy Week (the week we’re in right now) would be filled with nothing but good days, holy moments and happy celebrations in every church.

But we live in a far-from-perfect (fallen) world. While we celebrated multiple baptisms at PowerLife Confirmation classes on Wednesday, 1st Communion for hundreds on Maundy Thursday, crowded Bible studies, joy-filled gatherings, inspiring services, and more … we also mourned and wept at the funerals of four church family members, from young to old, this past week at Hope. We prayed with dying friends in hospices and hospitals, offered a listening ear and guidance to the broken-hearted, and took on some of the hurts of our hurting neighbors.

It’s church in the real world. Modern day followers of Jesus coming face-to-face (yet again) with the truth that – this side of heaven – things happen that remind us we aren’t there yet. We are surrounded by darkness and death. Our collective soul longs for light and life.

As a result, we are more than ready for this weekend’s resurrection party … not because everything in this world is perfect, but precisely because it is not.

It’s Friday. But Sunday’s coming!


Mike Housholder

Pastor. Preacher. Easter Partier.

P.S.- Good Friday Services are today at noon, 6:00 & 7:30 pm. Easter Services are Saturday at 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00 pm and Sunday at 7:00, 9:00, 11:00 am, & 5:00 pm.

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-News

Good morning, Hope folks!

I love this time of year. The promise of new life is in the air, and in our hearts, as we anticipate the Easter celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.

Lent, the prelude to Easter, offers a season of turning – from old habits that keep us from God, to new disciplines that the Spirit uses to strengthen faith. Here at Hope, our focus during Lent is two-fold: pondering the parables of Jesus with their deep calls to a better way of life, and providing a major Kingdom expanding gift for new churches in Ghana (49 so far – thank you!). Heaven will be more crowded because of your generosity.

Clearly, God wants his Kingdom to be full. Jesus told a powerful parable (Luke 14:16-23) confirming this point, and that story will serve as the theme that Pastor Dave and I will be preaching on this weekend at Hope. Come and fill God’s house!

Mike Housholder
Pastor. Parable preacher. Cyclones fan.

P.S.- For those who heard about, but feel like you missed out on, the post-worship baptisms that took place a few Sundays ago … the next open baptismal service at Hope, including an option for full immersion in the Worship Center baptismal pool, is scheduled for Sunday, April 27 at 12:30 pm. To sign up for this inspiring event, you can click here, or please call the church office at 515-222-1520.

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-news

Hi, Hope Folks!

Big things have been happening on Sundays lately…

This past Sunday, March 16, Hope was featured on the front page (plus three more pages inside) of the Des Moines Register. If you missed it, here’s a digital link.

Hanging out at Hope for the past few weeks, reporter Timothy Meinch discovered our heart. Building plans and budgets are secondary matters around here. Our far deeper passion is to reach out and share the powerful, life-changing love of Christ with those who are hurting and lost. I’m thankful that Meinch’s well-written story emphasized substance over style. It’s a good news day when any church makes headlines for letting the light of Jesus shine through! (Matthew 5:16)

Two Sunday’s ago, March 9, something happened after the 9:15 & 11:00 am services that still blows me away. 86 people were baptized. 77 of them did so, Spirit-led and spontaneously, after I made an unscripted invitation during my sermon for anyone who had come to faith in Christ recently to be baptized after the service (Acts 10:47). Awkwardly standing alone by the baptismal pool in the Worship Center after the service, I was praying for just one convert …

One came forward.

Then another.

Suddenly, there was a long, beautiful line (see photo). A few were children, and a few were renewing their baptism from way back when, but most were adults who had never been baptized. Wow. God is good! I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m not sure I ever will again. But I’m grateful.

This Sunday, March 23, (and Saturday the 22nd),  who knows what great things God might have planned for us? This much I know… Pastor Jeremy and I will be preaching on Jesus’ classic story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). The music will inspire. The ministries will be in full-service mode. The smiles from your church family will warm your heart. And – best of all – God promises to show up and meet us here in his house. Come and see.

Mike Housholder
Pastor. Preacher. Awestruck baptizer.

P.S.- Our Lenten Outreach Project to build new churches in Ghana is off to a fantastic start. Just two weeks in, you’ve already given enough to build 29 churches! Thank you! If you’d like to contribute, you can give online here, or bring your offering to the Welcome Center this weekend.

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-news

Hi Hope Folks!

Signs of new life are starting to show outside. Soon, the snow will melt (I have faith!), grass will green, tree branches will come alive and flowers will bloom. Around Hope, it’s the same story … lots of new things to celebrate!

+ New Lenten Sermon Series – “Jesus Stories”

We started this year of “Roots & Renewal“ with a closer look at the Ten Commandments. Now, we’ll move from Old Testament law to New Testament parables, told by Jesus to help his followers wrap our brains around some key faith building concepts. Jesus, of course, was a masterful storyteller, and I can’t wait to get going on this new series … our sermons (from Pastor Jeremy and I) this weekend are based on the Parables of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin in Luke 15. Make a commitment to worship weekly during Lent … it could be a life-changer for you!

+ New churches in Ghana – Lenten Outreach Project

Throughout the season of Lent  (40 days leading up to Easter), we have another amazing opportunity to help grow the Kingdom of God through offerings to construct new church buildings in Ghana. Two years ago, we raised enough money to build 116 village churches there, all of which are now up and running.  As a result, thousands of new believers have been introduced to Jesus Christ and baptized, and villages without a Christian church now have one. Each church costs $3,500 to build (yes, you read that correctly). Maybe God is calling you, or your small group, to build a church (or two or three or more) in Ghana. Pray about it. Follow God’s lead. 100% of your gift goes directly to the construction and furnishing of these new church buildings.

+ New Group Launch – Tuesdays at 6:30 pm

Hope is a big church, but like living in a large town, once you find your neighbors and family, it suddenly becomes a very friendly place (think Mayberry)! That’s why we offer “Group Launch” every few months – the perfect opportunity for you to find your place at Hope and connect to a new Life Group. All you have to do is show up at church this Tuesday, March 11 at 6:30 pm (you can register here). It’s easy. It’s safe. Childcare is provided. All are welcome. Discover the joy of experiencing church life together, in community with other Christians just like you!

Lots of other new things (and plenty of good old things, too) going on at Hope right now … but I’m out of space. Thanks for reading, and see you Sunday (or Saturday) at worship!


Mike Housholder

Pastor. Preacher. Thankful for all the new things that keep coming to Hope!

P.S.- Remember the time change — “Spring Forward” one hour — this Sunday.

Weekly E-News Message

Happy New Year, Hope Folks!

As we move into a new year with a new all-church annual theme - Roots & Renewal - I invite you to add one more resolution to your 2014 list that will bless your life and satisfy your soul in a way nothing else can …

Go all in with God this year!

New Year’s resolutions are easy to make, but hard to keep. It’s human nature. Resistance to change is built into the physical universe. Newton’s First Law of Motion reminds us that a body at rest tends to stay at rest … unless acted upon by an outside force.

So, going all in with God isn’t easy, because it’s a big change for most Christians. We prefer to keep God at a comfortable distance. The 10 Commandments are barely known and rarely applied. Loving enemies is something we say easily, and do hardly. Worship is relegated to penciled-in-status on Sunday mornings, easily erased for “bigger” life events. It’s our nature, and we tell ourselves we can’t change. We’re bodies at rest, stuck in bad habits and old ways … unless acted upon by an (extremely powerful and radically life-altering) outside force. One who moves us!

Enter the Holy Spirit.

Truth is, we can change, because God can change us. So let’s get moving! It starts this weekend at worship … bring a Bible and a few friends. Let’s dig deeply into the rich soil of God’s grace and truth this year, discovering our spiritual roots and finding renewal through the Holy Spirit. Let’s go all in with God in 2014 – a resolution worth making, and keeping!

Mike Housholder
Pastor. Preacher. AP Physics Student, Chicago Taft H.S., 1981-82.