When it is used in the bible, the word “church” doesn’t mean building, or administration, or even clergy. Instead, it’s the Greek word ekklesia, which means “gathering”, “assembly”, or “congregation.” The church is people. Jesus didn’t tell us to go and build buildings or start organizations. While those things are often helpful tools, our primary objective is to be the church – a growing assembly of Jesus-followers.
At New Hope, we believe that God desires that we fully engage in the life of the church in order that He might fulfill His Kingdom mission through us. To this end, there are four specific things we ask the body of New Hope to practice as they live out that call.
Join a Group – You can’t grow spiritually unless you connect relationally. It’s as simple as that. At New Hope, we expect that the congregation will make small groups a priority on their calendar. While we’d prefer that the church join one of New Hope’s housechurches, we also understand that the groups we offer might not fit in your schedule. That being said, it is our hope that it will be your practice to seek out a group of other Jesus-followers who help you grow closer to Christ.
Serve on a Team – Discipleship must happen in an environment conducive to that end. What does that mean? It means that we’re all in this together and we need your help! At New Hope, we expect that individuals will find a way to leverage their gifts to serve the church in it’s mission. Children’s Ministry, Worship/Production Team, Welcome Team, Housechurch Leadership/Hosting, are just some examples of ways that you can plug in and be the church.
Practice Generosity – Proverbs 11:25 says, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” At New Hope, we expect the congregation to be generous with their offerings of time, talent, and treasure, to support the church in its mission and ministry.
Invest & Invite – Referring to Himself, Jesus told us that “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” The term “lost” is anything but a derogatory statement. When Jesus speaks of the “lost”, he’s referring to men and women of great value and worth. If God cares deeply about the lost, we will as well. We’ll orient our ministry environments around welcoming the unchurched and creating environments that are hospitable to all. We expect that the congregation will actively seek to invest in others by inviting them to church. Healthy things grow.