We desire people to grow away from worldly individualization, and grow towards togetherness, and authentic community.
At Living Hope we strive for the development of a broader community in several ways: fellowship after our services, special events such as the corn maze, outdoor movie nights, pizza/movie nights, special congregational meals, etc. While these events are amazing and bring our entire community together, we long for togetherness on a smaller, more intimate, scale where handfuls of people share life with one another.
This happens through intentional gatherings of Community Groups to practice belonging to each other, to care for each other in times of need, and to celebrate times of joy. These gatherings of fellowship can be groups of families, singles, men or ladies only, intergenerational groups, or a combination of ministry team leaders.
We need to hold the grace and hope that we have received, so that we “may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” meeting regularly to encourage and equip each other (Hebrews 10:23-25).
We believe that as people intentionally gather together, the needs that arise will be met and the joys that occur will be celebrated!
We desire people to become closer in relationship with Jesus Christ; which is a process, not an overnight change. Personal spiritual growth happens in two ways, the first is in personal devotion and study, the second happens in community when people gather to study God’s word, sings His praises, and to join together in prayer.
This happens through intentional gatherings of Community Groups to study God’s word, to learn from the wisdom & experience of others, and to honor the Lord with obedience. We invite as many people in Living Hope as possible to be gathered regularly with Community Groups.
Christ gifted people with all kinds of abilities to equip and prepare His people “so that the [church] of Christ may be built up” (Ephesians 4:11-16).
The early believers “devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.” They gathered regularly “praising God and enjoying the favor or all the people,” and their communities grew as a result (Acts 2:42-47).
We believe that as people intentionally gather together, as they determine together how to journey in life together, guided by the study of God’s word, we will produce in each other, and in ourselves, a maturing relationship with Jesus Christ.
We desire people to go exactly where God has called them to go – into His kingdom, in service and mission in His name, with the skills and abilities that He has gifted them. Christ invites His people to partner with Him in the expansion of the kingdom of heaven here on earth.
A community group should find themselves reaching outside of our church walls, and into local ministries, such as the food bank, thrift stores, or the salvation army, or one of many others. They may also find themselves looking to visit those who are sick or seniors, driving particular members for important appointments, families in need of meals, or as simple as picking up garbage on the sides of streets, or removing invasive weeds from a local park.
A community group could find themselves serving globally. A Mexico trip building homes, supporting an orphanage in Africa, or serving with Disaster Responses in Haiti or Puerto Rico?
It could also look like straight up evangelism – talking to our neighbors near and far directly about the saving Love of Jesus Christ.
Jesus prays not only for His current disciples, you and I, but also “for those who will believe in Me through their message” (John 17:20-23)
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace,” and in all these actions, God provides the strength, in order to bring praise and honor towards Himself (1 Peter 4:10-11)
We believe that as people intentionally gather together, many others will come to know the saving Love of Christ Jesus.