As we have prepared for the fall, unhealthy staff and leadership have been praying for you this summer. We want you, healing regardless of where you are in your journey with Christ, to be growing in your identity in Christ and expressing that identity toward others. There is a sense of great anticipation of how God will work in your life and the body here at Hope in this next year.
As we look forward to what God has ahead for us as a church, it is more critical than ever that we keep our focus on Jesus’ command to make disciples. Otherwise we will find ourselves developing systems and programs that simply manage people, when at our very core we desire to see people transformed by Jesus who impact the cities and communities we live in.
Discipleship affects everything from our church programming to our personal behavior. Discipleship needs to start with Jesus and our identity in him and the expression of that identity toward others. Identity is the first of four areas where we are challenging the people of Hope Church to grow. We’ve identified these areas of pursuit for the life of a disciple:
As disciples, we’re called to find our identity in Jesus and Him alone. All other things are either secondary to—or completely against—Jesus in our lives. We were made to reflect God’s image with a renewed identity found only in Christ.
Worship is an expression of our identity in Christ and is a response to God in a way that brings honor to Him for who He is and what He has done. Worship is most often tied to where we find our identity. As disciples, we worship God by devoting our lives to Him. We were made to reflect God’s glory.
We are made for community, one that is reflective of a triune God. We do this through taking the time to meet with each other, risking our hearts with one another, and living lives of humble honesty.
We realize we serve a “sent” and “sending” God, who invites us to join Him on mission, living out the good news of Christ and bringing a redemptive presence to our culture. We were made in His image and reflect God’s glory to a fall world.
It is our prayer that Hope Church will make disciples through the transformed and changed lives of its Christ-following disciples. Ministry leaders have spent significant time evaluating and tweaking our programming to challenge people to a deeper understanding of who we are in Christ as expressed in worship, fellowship, and mission – inviting each of us to join a movement of disciple making.
Over the next week, I want to walk you through our adult programming here at Hope. If you have questions or would like to dialogue more about what you read, you can email me at email@example.com and I will be happy to respond. If you would rather talk over a cup of coffee or a coke, we can try and set that up too.