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.
Hope Community Church exists for the sole purpose of bringing glory to God. We are committed to being a life giving community that connects people and grows disciples, in order to present Christ, who will be faithful in transforming lives. In order for this to occur we feel that the following core values must serve as a guide for everything we do.
1. Accountability -
to keep us growing.
Christian accountability is critical to the life of a church because within it can be found a system of checks and balances for the believer. Being held responsible for our actions by one or more individuals promotes accountability to Christ as well as to others within the community. Accountability involves challenging, supporting, and encouraging one another and without it spiritual growth cannot occur.
2. Leadership -
to keep us moving.
If we are to be a light to the world, there must be real, godly leadership of all ages throughout the church.
Those who truly desire to lead must humble themselves and be willing to take the position of servant. By taking this position we are more likely to influence and direct unbelievers to Christ and at the same time we will be better able to equip and empower believers to accomplish God’s will.
3. Involvement -
to keep us connected.
We demonstrate love and loyalty toward Christ and His church through involvement. It is our responsibility to each other and our obligation as followers of Christ to identify and apply the spiritual gifts that we have been given. All spiritual gifts are interconnected and when one individual neglects his or her role the entire community suffers as a result.
4. Truth -
to keep us anchored.
Truth is everything that is consistent with the mind, will, and character of God. The bible, which is the very Word of God, reveals to us absolute truth without any mixture of error. For this reason, its teachings are completely relevant to our daily lives. Nothing can transform a person’s life like the truth, therefore, the scriptures must be central to any community of believers.
5. Enthusiasm -
to keep us desirable.
Enthusiasm comes from a Greek word which literally means to be “inspired and possessed by God.” So it seems logical that it would be found in any community of believers. Enthusiasm is the fuel that empowers the Christian, therefore it must feed all the programs within a healthy community. Without enthusiasm the church will fail to impact others, begin to wither, and eventually die.
Hope Community Church recognizes the Bible as the very Word of God and understands the importance of knowing and obeying its truths. The following reflects the heart of the Christian faith and the convictions of Hope Community Church.
I. The Bible - The Words God Breathed.
The Bible is God’s Word to all people. It was written by human authors who where divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. And because the scriptures were inspired by God, the Bible is absolute truth without any mixture of error and completely relevant to our daily lives.
Deuteronomy 4:1-2; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11, 89, 105, 140; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5: 17-18; 22:29; 24:35; John 5:39; 17:17; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3: 15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1: 19-21
II. God - Three in One.
There is one and only one living and true God. He is infinite, all knowing, and perfect in every way and has existed in relationship with Himself for all eternity. He is one in essence yet exists in three Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5; Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 1 Corinthians 8:4; 1 John 5:7
III. God - The Father.
God, the Father, is the Creator of all things and arranges, upholds and directs all things according to His divine will and grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. As Creator of the universe, He is fatherly to all men, but is spiritual Father only to those who come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1:1; 1:31; 2:7; Deuteronomy 32:6; Psalm 19:1; Isaiah 64:8; Matthew 6:9; 7:11; 23:9; John 1:12; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 4:5-6; Ephesians 4:6; Hebrews 11:6
IV. God - The Son.
God became man in the person of Jesus Christ. By becoming man Jesus took upon Himself all the characteristics of human nature without surrendering His divine essence, therefore, He is completely human but at the same time completely God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived a perfect life that was free from sin. By satisfying God’s demands for perfection He became an acceptable substitution for all. His sacrificial death on the cross provided a way to redeem men from sin, bringing those who are enemies of God back into a right relationship with Him. In His resurrection, Christ confirmed His deity by defeating death, and in so doing, guaranteed life for all believers. After His resurrection, He ascended into heaven, to the right hand of the Father, where He now intercedes on behalf of all believers. He will return to judge the world for He has the authority to judge and the power to execute judgment upon all mankind.
Psalms 110:1; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; 53:1-12; Matthew 1:18-23; 16:16; 28:1-6; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:38-39; 24:46-47; John 1:1-18; 1:29; 5:22-23; 10:15; 11:25-27; 14:19; 20:1-20; Acts 1:9-11; 2:22-24; 2:30-31; 7:55-56; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 4:25; 5:8; 6:5; 8:34; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 15:1-8; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:25-26; 9:12-15; 9:24; 12:2; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 2:21-25; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:1; Revelation 5:9-14
V. God - The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He guided and inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. He exalts Christ and enables men to understand truth. He convicts men of sin, reveals God’s righteousness, and makes known the coming judgment. Every believer possesses the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation and His presence assures believers of their relationship with Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer for service and administers spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. The work of the Holy Spirit instructs, comforts, and makes the believer more like Christ.
Genesis 1:2; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; Mark 1:10; Luke 4:1; 11:13; 12:12; John 14:16-17; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; 2:38; Romans 8:9-11; 8:14-16; 8:26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 5:18; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 John 4:13
VI. Man – God’s Image Bearers.
Man is made in the image of God and is the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning, man was made free of sin and given the freedom of choice by his Creator. Man was created to have fellowship with God but became separated in that relationship when he chose to disobey God’s will. Through this disobedience man lost his innocence and brought sin into the human race which has been transmitted to all men - of all ages - with the only exception being Jesus Christ. As a result, man cannot attain a right relationship with God through his own effort and is hopelessly lost. Only God’s grace through the work of Jesus Christ can bring man back into fellowship with God.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:7; 2:16-22; 3:1-24; Psalms 14:1-3; Isaiah 43:7; Jeremiah 17:5; John 3:36; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18; 3:23; 5:6; 5:12; 5:19; 6:23; 7:14-25; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; James 3:9; 1 John 1:8
VII. The Family - God's Institution.
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage has only one meaning and that marriage sanctioned by God joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union. This union provides the framework for intimate companionship and the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards. No intimate sexual activity is to be engaged in outside of God's institution of marriage and any form of sexual immorality, as delineated throughout scripture, is sinful and offensive to God.
A husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being made in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 18:6-18; 18:22; 20:10; 20:13; Deuteronomy 6:49; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 78:18; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Isaiah 44:24; Jeremiah 1:5; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:25; 19:39; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:14; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; 5:8,14; Titus 2:35; Hebrews 13:4; I Peter 3:17
VIII. Salvation – The Only Way.
The blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross provides the only way for salvation. Salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned through our own efforts. Salvation occurs for all who put their faith in Christ by repenting of their sins and confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior. Upon accepting Christ as Lord and Savior the believing sinner is freed from the punishment for sin, declared right in the eyes of God, and given eternal life.
Isaiah 53:5-7; Matthew 1:21; 27:22-28:6; Luke 13:3; John 1:12; 3:16; 3:36; 5:24; Acts 2:21; 3:19; 4:12; 16:30-31; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:20; 3:23-25; 4:6; 5:8-10; 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; Hebrews 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 2:24; Revelation 3:20
IX. Assurance - The Security of Salvation.
Once salvation has occurred in the life of a true believer that individual is kept secure in Christ forever by the power of God. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, bringing reproach on the cause of Christ, and temporal judgments on themselves; yet their salvation cannot be lost for one cannot fall away from the state of grace. Believers are to rejoice in this assurance but are not to use Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living.
John 5:24; 6:37; 6:40; 10:27; 17:12; Romans 5:9-10; 6:15; 6:22; 8:1; 8:39; 13:13-14; 1 Corinthians 1:4; 1:8; Galatians 5:13, 5:25-26; Ephesians 4:30; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:19; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:2-5; 1 John 2:19; Jude 1:24
X. The Church – A Community of Believers.
All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed into one united spiritual Body – the church. Each member of the church is directed to associate themselves with a local community of baptized believers who are united in Christ. The ultimate purpose of the local community is to work together in love and unity in order to glorify the Lord. The church operates under the authority of Christ and is committed to His teachings, obedient to His commands, and focused on spreading the gospel to the entire world.
Matthew 16:18-19; 18:20; Acts 2:41-47; 5:11-14; 16:5; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23; 3:10-12; 3:21; 5:22-32; Colossians 1:18; 3:15; Hebrews 10:25; Revelation 21:2-3
XI. Eternity – Time Without End.
Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness of sin and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with God is eternal life.
John 3:16; 3:36; 5:29; 17:3; Romans 6:23; 8:10-11; 2 Corinthians 4:14; 1 John 2:25; 5:11-13; Revelation 20:15
Hope Community Church is an autonomous church. We have a conservative evangelical theology and are part of a group of churches dedicated to biblical Christianity and world missions. We partner with the SBCV for the purposes of missions and church planting in order to reach the world for Christ.