Eleven Things You Should Know About Hope Church
Recently, I was attending a meeting when someone asked me the question, “Jason, what makes your church so unique from any other church in Dayton?” I was rather taken off guard by the question. There are more than 800 churches in the Dayton area, and I really didn’t have “one thing” that describes Hope that is not true for at least some other churches. Many churches have nice people, missional outreach, Bible teaching, different musical styles and other things.
However, I think there are at least 11 things about Hope Church that everyone ought to know.
- We strive to keep things simple. You will notice that we don’t have a lot of activities at the church. We believe that a person grows best by:
- We are deeply committed to Christ and Scripture. Hope is primarily a worshipping and teaching church. At Hope, we are committed to the Bible and believe it’s the authority in our lives and ministries. We believe the Christian grows deepest thought the regular, expositional teaching of scripture. On a normal Sunday, we will read a portion of scripture, teach about that passage, connect it to our lives, and then pick up where we left off next week.
- Participating in worship regularly (Like, every Sunday that you can.)
- Being part of a community group that studies the Bible, prays, serves and laughs together.
- Exercising his/her gift in ministry in area of importance, gifting and passions.
- We don’t take ourselves all that seriously. Hope is for both Christians who want to go deeper in their faith and those who wouldn’t consider themselves yet Christians, but want to explore the truths of Christianity. It’s deep enough for the believer, but relaxed enough for the unbeliever. The more we understand the glory and perfection of God, the more we are aware of our shortcomings. Hope is a place for people that are willing to admit that we are sinners and we need Jesus. One of my favorite expressions is that “It is ok to be ‘not ok’, but it is not ok to stay ‘not ok.’”
- We encourage everyone to be doing something. If you consider Hope your home, we want to help you find your most effective place in ministry. God has given every believer a gift in order to contribute to His kingdom, and we want to help you discover that gift and your optimal “sweet spot” place of service.
- We believe that prayer works. We don’t just talk about prayer, we really pray and we believe that God hears it. Each week, there are groups that meet before both services, a prayer group that meets at 10:00 on Sunday morning and a group that meets on Wednesday nights to pray for our church family and community. Also, at the close of all our worship services, we have a prayer team that is available to pray with you. We want you to know that if you come to Hope, someone will be available to pray for/with you.
- We strive to make worship music both reverent and relevant. Currently, we have a 9:00 service that is labeled as “classic” that features mostly familiar hymns led by a piano and guitar. This service features a rotation of music that includes an orchestra, choir and bell choir. Our 11:00 service is fully contemporary (fast and loud—and getting louder) and is led by a full band. In both services, music is simply tool in order to focus our attention on worshipping God.
- Children and youth are a priority. Our children and youth staff recognize that they are able to teach children only hour out of a 168-hour week. So we try maximize the time by having fun activities, a consistent, multi-year curriculum (see the Gospel Project), and often the same teachers with your children for at least three years. Our family outreach events are not only a blast to host, but also serve as an entry point for many to people into our church family. And yes we run background checks on our student volunteers.
- We don’t have Bible study classes. Yes, you read that right. We have community groups that do study the Bible, but they also pray for one another, serve together, do fun activities and support missions.
- Although not perfect, we are striving to be the warmest, place in the south Dayton area. We have hundreds of members and a 175-year legacy. So we have a lot that we are really proud of—and a lot that we have to work on now. However, we are doing all that we can do to be the warmest, most caring place in our region.
- Christmas is a really big deal around here. I was reminded recently by another pastor, that “Hey it is Jesus’ birthday, and not yours. Do something for Him at that time.” Each Christmas our families sacrificially give to something that is desperately needed in our community or world. In that past few years, we have built a maternity hospital in Zambia, helped remodel a Christian coffee shop in Bellbrook, and raised resources to help construct a facility here in Montgomery County for children that are born with an addiction to opiates.
- We don’t care what you wear to church. We don’t care if you dress up or if you dress down; we are just glad you are here. Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable.
And in the words of Forrest Gump, “I believe that is all I got to say about that.”