What is HOPE?
According to Google, hope can be defined as:
- a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
- a person or thing that may help or save someone.
- grounds for believing that something good may happen.
What is Hope for Muncie?
Hope for Muncie is our vision for a new church starting in downtown Muncie. We love Muncie and want to see a church started for the glory of God and the good of this great city. We want to bring hope to the city of Muncie and we believe that happens through the church. We want men, women and children to be able to experience the Christian faith in the context of an authentic community of real people. Simply put, we want to bring the hope of Jesus to Muncie.
Is hope the Name of the Church?
No. This is the vision that we have for our church, a place that offers the hope of Jesus to our city. The church will be called City Hope Fellowship.
What would a church for the good of the city look like?
In the most simple terms it means that the church would be a servant of God and of people. That God's purposes dominate the vision for the church, and the city is seen not as a means to an end (planting a successful church) but as a part of the end goal. That planting a church would make a real difference in the life of the city, and the people that live there. Otherwise, why do it? God has declared that His Kingdom will be manifested in this world through the church. And the church therefore must be a herald of the good news of what Jesus has done in his life, death and resurrection. The King has come and declared that there is a way for rebels of his rule and reign to be forgiven and brought into fellowship with the King. This must remain primary. But, what happens when people hear this good news and respond in faith to Jesus Christ? Do we hide away in a bunker waiting for Jesus' return? Do we flee the city and head for the hills? No. We bless the city. We bless the city and its people, systems, businessess, arts, culture, music, and even its physical structures. We serve the city. We love the city. We live in it and seek its good. This is what God has declared. In Jeremiah 29:4-7 God instructs his people to do this very thing, while they are in Exile in Babylon. In the Bible, Babylon is not a good place. It is the representation of all that is evil and broken and in rebellion against God. And yet, God calls his people to seek its good. Wow. What does this look like? It means living as salt and light in the midst of the city, building relationships, showing love, and sharing the hope of the gospel. It means making culture and seeking the transformation of broken places. And continually asking ourselves would the city look any different if the church was not here?
What will this look like in Muncie?
We don't know yet. But we do know that we are committed to seeing the gospel transform our city. We love Muncie. And it needs the gospel. It needs the transforming power of Jesus Christ to save men, women, and children from their sin and from eternal condemnation. And it needs the transforming power of Christians, filled with the Holy Spirit, seeking the good of the city, blessing it, serving its people, and not simply consuming it. This will be the mark of success for the church: Is the Kingdom of God advancing as the gospel saves and transforms people and the city? We will always return to this, so that we don't simply focus on growing our church and transfering christians from one place to another. But that we would really take the mission of God seriously and be used by Him.