In my first column of the new year I want to start off with something a bit mundane but do so with the keen awareness that the mundane is often critical. Our semi-annual Family Business Meeting on Sunday night serves as the catalyst for my thoughts. I think nowadays, membership is seen as unimportant and these types of meeting as just the “rent” we pay to do the “business” of church in the world. But it is so much more. Membership is all about the future of the Gospel at Hope. In the spirit of 2 Timothy 2:2, the members of Hope Chapel are those formally recognized and affirmed by the church as “faithful” and to them the future sharing, teaching and living of the Gospel through Hope has been committed. Membership is about future faithfulness and really matters. When mature believers decide not to be formally recognized by the church as “faithful” then the Gospel loses as there are vital things that just cannot be entrusted to them. Given that, I hope some of you will surprise me by attending the Membership Class on Saturday morning at 8:30.
And it is the future of the Gospel at Hope that makes meeting like Sunday night so vital. No, we don’t have any big motions to vote on, no slew of new leaders to affirm or anything like that. But knowing what we need to do down the road in terms of being faithful to the Gospel and reaching those far from God begins with knowing current reality, where we are right now. It is hard to get to “Point B” if you don’t know where “Point A” is. So, Sunday night will be full of ministry reports, Hope’s current reality, which will then be bathed in prayer as we seek a future where God’s light shines incredibly bright. So, even if you are not a member, come out Sunday night at 6, and see how the family of the faithful do Gospel business at Hope.
In the end, the goal is for a growing community at Hope that is deeply in love with the church’s mission… reaching people far from God and leading them really close to Christ. Sure, it is fine that folks like Hope’s style of worship, or how good the food is at a Men’s Breakfast, or that our Kids wing is so well equipped, etc. But what really creates the “church” God longs for is an insatiable appetite to see those far from God, for whatever reason, come back and serve Him. May Hope be full of them! And I pray 2019 see lots of that happen.