On the night before His crucifixion Jesus prays this prayer in John 17:20-21: “for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” This simple yet profound plea reflects Jesus’ desire for all believers to experience the same meaningful relationships that Jesus and the Father have always experienced. It’s a petition for community to exist with one another as well as a plea for all to experience community with God. The ultimate purpose behind divine community, according to verse 21, is to influence a watching world so that all might believe and be transformed by the love of God. Therefore, the vision of Hope Community Church is to be a life giving community - a community that is connected, growing, and transforming.
1. A Connected Community.
The first mark of any strong community is its connectivity. In our society, a community must be connected by certain infrastructure in order for it to function properly and at the same time it must offer something desirable to all those who are on the outside looking in. The same applies to the church. It is our heart here at Hope to connect people horizontally to one another as well as vertically to our heavenly Father. We see these connections being made through a network of ministries that allow the church to function as God originally intended. These programs are interrelated and essential not only to get people connected but to engage all those who don’t know Christ.
2. A Growing Community.
A properly connected community is a growing community. In our world, a growing community expands from the inside out and this growth is fueled by a desire for what is being offered. The same applies to the church. At Hope we are striving to offer a platform where spiritual growth can take place once a person becomes connected to the body of Christ. Just like any type of growth, spiritual growth begins on the inside - in the heart of a believer - and is fueled by a meaningful relationship with Christ. Here at Hope we are determined to offer an environment that fosters spiritual growth in order to develop mature Christians who are encouraged and equipped to lead.
3. A Transforming Community.
Finally, a community that experiences positive growth is transforming. When a community experiences growth, the lives of all those who make up the community are constantly being altered. In addition, those who come into contact with that community begin to be affected by the changes that are taking place. Again, the same applies to the church. At Hope we understand that as we grow in our relationship with Christ we are constantly being molded into an image that is more like Him. As we become more like Christ, there is a desire to share what we’ve been given to all. We understand that only Jesus Christ can transform someone’s life, therefore, we must be willing to pursue all avenues of outreach and ministry in order to present the life giving Truth to the world.