Our Back Story
Sojourn began meeting in January 2010. Our vision is to be an energetic and growing church through our missional mindset and by our presence and ministry in the marketplace. We wanted to be where people gather and we wanted to eliminate any of the usual barriers between the church and the community.
In the Spring of 2009, our pastor was walking in the mall when he felt like God was giving him an idea about ministry. Over a three month period he continued to walk regularly and pray about this idea. In August of 2009 he left his position as Student Pastor of Lifespring Church in Bellevue, Nebraska and began to plant a church in the Mall of the Bluffs in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Sojourn began differently in that we started with a ministry to the community rather than a worship gathering. We opened an ice cream shop in the mall called Ice Cream and Answers giving away free ice cream and answering questions. We specialized in relationships and gave good advice for people on raising kids, dealing with teenagers and fixing suffering relationships. During our first year we had deep personal conversations and gave good advice to over 500 different people. Unfortunately, the cost was too great and the foot traffic too low and we ended Ice Cream and Answers in the Fall of 2011. We saved the equipment to bring it back when we can.
In January 2010 we had our first public worship gathering. Sojourn seeks to create a relaxed and comfortable environment to connect with God. Our music is modern and is good mix of hymns and praise songs. Sometimes there is a band and sometimes just a man and his guitar. We like a lot of interaction so we tend to move around a lot; gathering in the middle to sing and pray, placing a hand on another’s shoulder during the prayer times, talking together, and visiting “worship stations.”
Our pastor preaches biblical sermons using a mix of expository and topical preaching. You leave with a true sense of what the Bible says in that text and you get some hands-on application of the text. The sermons are presented using pictures, movie clips, funny gifs, objects we can touch, experiments, stories and of course, words.
Our next endeavor in ministering to the people of Council Bluffs was to start a dodge ball game. We opened the Sojourn Dodge Ball Den in October of 2010 and we still play each Friday night from 6 to 9PM. We usually had around 40 teenagers each week playing. During this time our ministry staff was able to get to know the young people and provide advice and mentoring as needed. We discontinued this ministry in 2015.
In January of 2014 we began a recovery ministry called Celebrate Recovery. We meet each Tuesday at 7PM (not always at sojourn – contact us for the location).
Sojourn doesn’t want to just do church, we want to positively impact the community with the ministry of Jesus Christ. We help people physically and spiritually with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
You can find us on Facebook at Sojourn Church.