Why the name Surprise?

Our name comes from a story Jesus tells in Luke 15 about a lost young man who doesn’t expect to be welcomed home. But when he returns, his father runs to embrace him and throws him a surprise party.
That’s the kind of community we want to be.

Church has left the building!

We believe that Jesus is the greatest surprise that the world has ever known, and therefore His followers must be surprising.  This means that Jesus doesn’t just change us; He changes our city through us!  So when we gather on Sundays, we declare that worship truly begins when we leave the building, as we be the Surprise of God to a World in Need.
Is Surprise for me?
Probably not if you love conformity, snazzy programs, or boring committees. But if you want to grow personally and leave the world better than you found it, you should probably check us out! We’d love to meet you, no matter what your background.

The Surprise Vision

We’re committed to being the Surprise of God to a world in need by building a family of servant missionaries. Missionaries aren’t “spiritual superheros” that are sent across the world. They’re people like you, who are sent by God to their homes, neighborhoods, and schools. At Surprise, we’re passionate about developing people for the mission God has in store for them. We treat each other like family, grow beyond our wildest dreams, and leave the world better than we found it, starting in Bismarck and extending to as many homes and cities as possible.

We’re excited for you to join us!

What is Surprise’s Story?
In 2013, Matt and Lacee Anderson felt that God was calling their family to move to North Dakota to start Surprise Church with assistance of Charity and Calvary Lutheran churches. Inspired by the Parable of the Prodigal Son–in which a lost young man was welcomed home with a Surprise Party–they dreamed of a community of “Good Older Brothers” who would team up to be the Surprise of God to a world in need.
After gathering a launch team the following spring, Surprise Church Bismarck was born on October 12, 2014. Rather than trying to build as big a church as possible, they dreamed of developing and sending people to impact the local community and start new churches before Surprise’s third birthday.
On October 1, 2017, Surprise Church Mandan was born,
the first of many new churches that believe in a God who would
rather Surprise than condemn us.
Join us for our next Starting Line class to hear the full Surprise Story.
What “denomination” is Surprise?
Surprise doesn’t really fit into an old-fashioned category that once defined or divided churches. Surprise has always been an “inter-denominational” community of people from every background. At the same time, we are proud of our roots in the Lutheran heritage (LCMC) and enjoy an active partnership with Charity Lutheran Church. We welcome people from every background join us and can’t wait to meet you!
Email info@surprisechurch.com to join us for our next Starting Line lunch.