Why Hope Church Is Committed to Missions
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Before returning to the Father, Jesus promised his disciples they would be filled with the Holy Spirit and then proclaim the gospel in their community and to the ends of the earth. This simple verse gives us not only a powerful mandate to make disciples, but a strategy as well.”
Each of the geographic areas mentioned by Jesus reminds us of our need to declare this glorious gospel to all people and to all people everywhere. Jesus first spoke these words in Jerusalem. Jerusalem represents our immediate community – the community where we live, work and play. Hope Church strives to serve our immediate community in a number of ways.
- First, we believe the best gift we offer our local community is an inviting, healthy, gospel-centered and mission-driven church. As though we were welcoming Jesus himself into our midst, we strive to be the warmest and friendliest place in South Dayton.
- Hope Church initiates and/or supports at least three major outreach programs a year.
- Outreach programs are offered within the walls of Hope Church – or by actively going into the community to serve.
We pray we welcome everyone with grace and that they do not just “come and see,” but rather “go and be” small missionaries in the community – and world.
Jesus next mentioned the adjacent areas of Judea and Samaria. These areas near Jerusalem had often been neglected and even avoided. These communities, similar to many in our current day either defined by geography or lifestyles, were filled with hurting and marginalized people. Hope Church understands that this “mission field” is best served when we partner with others already doing ministry in these areas. We work and strive, prayerfully using the gospel, to touch and uplift every corner of this region.
- We serve and support Brigid’s Path – a nonprofit organization, dedicated to providing inpatient medical care for drug-exposed newborns and support for families.
- We support people in recovery and their family members through Joshua Recovery Ministries and our Mission Addiction support group.
- We work with local food pantries, Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Resource Center, other community outreaches and our own Christmas with a Cause.
Finally, we are to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. We are excited to support international missions and to help spread the gospel globally through:
- Jessica’s Hope Maternity Center, Zambia
- Naomi’s Heart Mission in the Philippines
- Hope’s own Elmerick family serving in Berlin, Germany.
How are we able to do all of this, and prayerfully even more in the future? Consider first that the verse Acts 1:8 states that “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” The evidence of the receiving of the Holy Spirit is a desire to live righteously and fruitfully and the desire and ability to be witnesses wherever we go.
Secondly, we must be committed to ministry everywhere. Notice Jesus uses the word “and” rather than “or” in describing the reach of the gospel. We are not to neglect our local community in order to assist foreign missions. Neither are we to ignore the rest of the world while we focus on ministry in our own community. It is not an “either/or” but rather a “both/and” mentality.
Finally, we serve as best we can where we can. One of my dear friends, Mr. Hawkins, passed recently. In a wheelchair and then homebound for the final months of his life, he never stopped sharing the redemptive love of Christ with people. In the final stages of his life, he led two of his home care nurses to Christ just before he passed. He made sure that the message went out, even when he could not leave his own home. Some people may never be able to drive across town or board a plane, but we can each pray for and support those around us and those willing and able to go and serve.