Every church family is called to bring God glory by helping people become contagious followers of Jesus who love God and others. Yet each church familiy also develops a unique personality because of the various backgrounds, expectations, resources, and abilities of its members, as well as the unique challenges of the setting and culture it seeks to reach. Additionally, every church family embraces certain values, priorities, and perspectives that shape their personality and strategy in connecting with the community.
Here at hope, those defining values are still developing as we continue to be established in our community. Some of the defining values that are becoming prominent for us include:
Keep It Simple
The lifestyles of northern Virginia are already full of complex commitments. People feel overspent, overcommitted, and overstressed. The last thing we want to do is make our connection to the Hope church family feel like just another set of burdensome expectations! So we are intentionally keeping our schedule and our strategy simple by establishing just three core settings for involvement:
Community — Coming together as a church family for weekly worship and exploring the Bible together each weekend.
Connection — Building interdependent relationships with others at mid-week small groups for sharing, prayer, encouragement, accountability, and study.
Commitment — Being part of a ministry team to serve God by serving others.
Church Isn’t a Spectator Sport
God desires every one of his followers to use the gifts, abilities, and experiences he has given them to help this process of making disciples. There’s no room for a “consumer mindset” in God’s kingdom; it isn’t about satisfying our own expectations, but rather about giving of ourselves for the sake of ministry. At Hope, we expect every member to discover a place where they can serve faithfully and fruitfully.
Love People When They Least Expect It
(and Least Deserve It)
We’re all “works in progress” at Hope. We’re all still learning and growing as God refines us, files off the rough edges, and equips us to serve him. Instead of being critical and judgmental of others, we’re eager for everyone to feel truly loved and wanted at Hope — because we’re certainly loved and wanted by God! That requires plenty of patience, cutting each other slack, and intentionally respecting and caring for each other.
The First Step to Victory is Surrender
All our lives, we’ve been trained to take care of ourselves and satisfy our own appetites and expectations. We work hard to earn our wages and make our lives comfortable. We gather people around us that make us happy. We think that we’ll be victorious in life when we’re safe and secure with all our needs met. But Jesus teaches us that truly victorious living begins with surrender — with “denying ourselves, taking up our cross every day,” embracing self-sacrifice, and “following him.” (Luke 9:23) If we hold tight to the stuff this world, we end up feeling empty. But if we hold out open hands to God — receiving and giving away whatever time and resources he provides — we discover the full, abundant life he promises.
It’s Never Too Late to Be Who You Might Have Been
God has an amazing way of using even the greatest tragedies and failures in our lives to accomplish the most extraordinary wonders and surprises. His love for us never fails, and his patience for us never runs out. It doesn’t really matter where we’ve been; what matters is where we’re going. God is eager to forgive us and give us each a clean slate and a new beginning. And there’s no better time to start the adventure than right now!