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Our Vision


The way we see it, the work of the church in the world can be described using an analogy about Niagara Falls.  The falls are awesome and beautiful to look at, but deceptively dangerous and potentially destructive.  The view of the falls from the rocks above the falls is magnificent, and many people are tempted to crawl out on those rocks to get a better view.  In our analogy, signs have been posted at the top of the falls to warn people of the danger of climbing on the rocks.  But at the insistence of our culture, and in the name of personal freedom, many ignore the warnings and venture out on the rocks.  Tragically, the results are predictable and millions slip and fall into the rushing current and are swept over the falls to be crushed on the rocks below.  

This is a figurative analogy of course.  No one is actually going over Niagara Falls.  Rather the falls represent the dangers of ignoring God's designs for His Creation.  The culture whispers in our ears and tells us that sin is exciting and carefree.  But way too many have found their lives hopelessly crushed when they suffer the consequences of bad choices, and are figuratively left at the bottom of the falls wondering what on earth happened to them.

The vision for our church in the light of this analogy is twofold.  

1. Cry out against the madness.

We believe the church has a responsibility to stand at the top of the falls and cry out against the madness-- no matter how unpopular that might be.  We live in a culture that encourages foolhardiness in the name of personal expression.  There are some boundaries that are established for our own good.  The rocks at the top of the falls are slippery, and the current is swift and treacherous.  It is much better to stay safely on the bank and enjoy the falls from within the safety of the boundaries.  Just as it is far better to observe the commandments that God has given us for living: like those found in the 10 commandments, in the Shema, in the Sermon on the Mount, and in the writings of the Apostles.  They are commandments for our own good, to conform us to the very heart of God, and to increase the quality of our lives.  But the lies of the culture convince many to go outside the boundaries, and inevitably they get hurt when they fall into the rushing current and are swept over the falls.lighthouse

The church has a responsibility to preach the truth of Scripture.  Christ calls us to righteousness.  This means following His commandments.  It means living within the moral "fences" He has set up for us.  If the culture says otherwise, then we must oppose the culture-- whenever and however we can.  We believe we are placed in this world to be "salt and light".  Salt sometimes irritates, but more often has a preserving effect.  Light is a beacon for those who desire to find their way-- like a lighthouse on a treacherous shore, to guide the way out of the darkness.  Both are necessary for the church to be clearly identifiable as the church.

2. Heal the broken at the bottom of the falls.

But the church must also work just as dilligently at the bottom of the falls.  The tragic consequence of a permissive and godless culture is a plethora of broken and mangled lives and shattered dreams.  By the time it is discovered the culture is a thin facade for the father of liars, it is too late and horrible consequences are often suffered.  The church must be quick to help the broken with the same compassion Christ showed to the broken of His day.

New Hope Community Church has always been known as a "healing" church.  In our Philosophy, we mention that we feel God has called us to minister to everyone He sends through our front door.  We are blessed by the fact that many of these are the sad, the broken, the hurting-- those who have ended up at the bottom of the falls and desperately need help.  There are so many of us here-- from the pastor, to the elders, to the person in the pews-- who have been at the bottom of those falls and know what it is like to be broken.  We understand how desperate it feels to be there, how defiled it feels, how lonely it feels.  Therefore, we are blessed and anxious to help, when the Lord brings the hurting to our door.

Too often, churches are involved with one or the other of these endeavors, but not both.  Some are good at crying out against the madness, but seemingly care little for those who have been crushed and broken in its grip.  Others are focused on the restoration and healing of the broken, but to the exclusion of preaching the truths of Scripture.  At New Hope Community Church, we feel we should be equally involved and equally passionate about both.  So you will find us at the top of the falls-- faithfully teaching the Word and warning against the evils and the excesses of our culture.  You will also find us at the bottom of the falls-- caring for the broken, the lost, the weak, the forgotten, the humiliated, and the seemingly insignificant. 

In this, we follow in the footsteps of our Master.