We often joke at Hope that “Community is our middle name.” All we have to offer at Hope is gospel and community. It’s not an option for us.
Through loving relationships and the community created at Hope Community Church, we aim to make fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ who would engage in knowing Jesus Christ through study and service. We highly value the smaller groups (mentorship relationships, small groups, etc.) that can help facilitate these kind of life long, authentic, God-centered friendships.
Hope’s vision is to help as many people as possible become fully devoted followers of Christ.
We believe that one of the ways people become fully devoted followers of Christ is through Gospel in community on mission.
The City is our online communication platform that helps you get connected to the vision and mission of Hope. In a nutshell, it’s our online venue to help foster and promote true, genuine community.
Neighborhood Groups are a way to connect people to each other and what God is doing in their neighborhood or city.
In order to get plugged into a Neighborhood Group, simply click on your geographical region on the map below and follow the link to the City group!
Why join a Neighborhood Group?
It’s a great way to connect with those who live in your area. Whether you’re looking for a babysitter, a ride to an event, or someone to go watch that really cool band in your neighborhood park, Neighborhood Groups are to place to help people get connected to community here at Hope. They are a step between the intimate community you’d get at small group and the large community you’d get on a Sunday morning service. By connecting you with your neighbors, our vision is that you would feel more connected within the larger body of Hope. Hope is getting big. Really big. And one of the ways for us to keep that family feel that we all love is to make easier places for people to connect. Neighborhood groups will help us do that.
It’s also a great way to connect with others about how to get more involved in your communities. We really value serving and blessing our city, and Neighborhood Groups are a great way to connect with other people in your area who are trying to do the same thing. Hope is just a small piece of what God is doing in our cities, and so we want to help people get connected to what He’s doing all around us!
What does involvement in a Neighborhood Group look like?
Neighborhood Groups are very low commitment. You’re not “signing up” for anything, but it’s more that you’re joining a communication hub to get connected. Neighborhood Groups are simply groups on the City to connect people in the same area. Think of it more like a community bulletin board.
There is one substantial thing that will make Neighborhood Groups successful – YOU. We value you and we value your input. These groups are a place for grassroots community to develop, and for you to contribute. The group will actually be better off and blessed by your involvement.
How is this different from a Small Group?
Small groups at Hope exist to foster biblical community. While we want neighborhood groups to be an example of this as well, neighborhood groups are geographically based. These are not a replacement for the smaller environment at small group, whose time is focused on community, studying the Word, and prayerful accountability. It might be safe to say that Neighborhood Groups are a step between the intimate community you’d get at small group and the large community you’d get on a Sunday morning service.
We would love to see everyone involved in a small group at Hope, so make sure to get plugged into one as well.
The Top 7 Tips for Getting Connected at Hope
1) You will need to be intentional and put yourself out there.
At a large church, it’s easy to be anonymous. We love that Hope is designed as a place for people to check things out. However, it’s not our desire for people to stay there. We want people to get plugged into community here at Hope. We’ve tried to make that as easy as possible with lots of different options, but it will still take being intentional, taking risks, and putting yourself out there. Take advantage of the opportunities put before you. Introduce yourself to leaders. Make yourself known.
2) You may need help navigating different options.
Though we love our Sunday services together, we don’t want them to be your end goal. It’s impossible to actually build authentic community by just attending on a Sunday. That’s why we have so many different onramps into community here at Hope. Some love that, while others get overwhelmed by it. We’d love to help you navigate all those different options. If you’d like, simply send Davis an e-mail at [email protected] and he’ll direct you to the right person. We’d love to take you out for coffee and help you figure out where to start!
3) You may need to try multiple things.
Just like in all arenas of life, sometimes you have to try lots of different things before you find the right fit. Don’t let one experience stop you. Try again. Whether it’s small groups, serving, attending specific events, interest groups… you may need to explore lots of different options.
4) Even when you find your place, relationships take time.
Trust and relationships are built over time. When trying to build community and get involved, we all need to check our expectations. It will take time for people to get to know you before you become gospel friends. It will take time for people to get to know you before you’re put into leadership positions. It will take time for people to get to know you before trust is extended. It takes time.
5) In order to find community, you need to BE community.
If we’re honest with ourselves, many of us come with a consumerism mentality. Our focus is honed in on what we get. We believe the gospel calls us to live beyond ourselves, and at times focus more on what we can do for others versus what they can do for us. This means we may have to die to our own preferences sometimes. This means we may need to be the first person to take efforts to be intentional, communicate, ask good questions, and so forth. In many ways, in order to get a good friend you need to be a good friend.
6) Be mindful of and evaluate your expectations.
As mentioned before, some people have unrealistic expectations when trying to build community and get involved. At Hope, we repeatedly say that we’re all sinners saved by grace. When you’re in community with people, you will get hurt and you will be let down. There are times when it will be difficult. Culture tends to skew some of our expectations, so we always need to ask ourselves “Are these expectations accurate or realistic?”.
7) If you haven’t noticed the thread…it takes TIME.
Time, time, time. Relationships take time. We live in such an instant gratification and impatient culture that it’s hard to remind ourselves of this. Don’t be led to believe the lie that because it’s taking time that therefore it’s not working. In fact, it’s often quite the opposite!
As a church, we meet together on a weekly basis every Sunday. Check out our Sundays at Hope page for all information regarding Sundays.
However, we want to give you opportunities to meet the smaller community amidst the large. We know it can be scary to go to something if you feel like you don’t know anyone. But chances are high there will be a lot of people there who are in the exact same situation! We really encourage you to take the risk and put yourself out there. Keep watch of our Calendar for upcoming events, as well as watch for new posts on the City.