In our Vision Statement at Hope, we aspire to be a “growing, vibrant, praying, caring congregation – boldly reaching out with Jesus Christ in word and deed.” Those are some vividly descriptive words! As we reach the half-way mark of 2017, how are we doing?
Growing: Thanks be to God, He has granted our church family numerical growth over the last year. We give thanks for the opportunity to share life with our new families, and we praise God for those who have been washed in the waters of baptism this past year! How about individual growth – growth in depth of faith? Have you spent intentional time in God’s Word this year yet? Do you trust in God and His care more fully than you did last year?
Vibrant: For me, this word communicates liveliness and creativity. When we come together, do we gather with joy, with hearts and minds captured by the good news of Jesus’ victory for us? Does this joy translate into energized life and service in our vocational callings, as we serve others with the strength that God supplies?
Praying: I love that this word is part of our Vision Statement! Because if you are anything like me, prayer is one of the foundational pieces of the Christian life that sometimes doesn’t get the attention it deserves. We get moving so quickly that we forget the unbelievable blessing offered to us, to entrust our moments, decisions, and loved ones to the care of the heavenly Father. When Jesus prepared His disciples to join in His mission, He opened their eyes to fields ripe for harvest. But his next command was not, “Go!” Instead, He told them, “Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field” (Luke 10:2). As we seek to move forward under God’s grace, are we remembering to entrust ourselves to His wisdom, power, and love through prayer?
Caring: Christ gave His church the command, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). I have been blessed to witness many displays of care and compassion during my first year here at Hope. Individually and as a congregation, are our words and actions motivated constantly by the overflowing love of Christ for us?
Our Vision Statement closes by inspiring us to action – to boldly reach out with Jesus Christ in word and deed. Does our community know our message? Have they experienced Christ’s love through us? Individually, do our family members, friends, coworkers, and neighbors know that we belong to Jesus, and have they experienced His love through us?
I thank God to share life and ministry with you all as we move forward by God’s grace. May He grant us His strength to participate faithfully in His mission, to the glory of His name!
Christ’s peace and joy,