Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jesus is alive and well at New Hope Community Church

It has been a wonderful first month at New Hope! I am finding New Hope to be a lively, joyful group of faithful Christians. A lot of good things are going on here! We need to share the good news that Jesus is alive and well and dwelling among us at New Hope Community Church.
Before my first official Sunday at NHCC, I visited a worship service. Driving up to the property, I wondered if I was either too early or way too late. From Peralta Blvd. it appeared that no one was here and nothing much was going on. I was so surprised when I pulled into the driveway and saw a parking lot full of cars, people gathered by the entrance to the ministry center, and smiling greeters passing out bulletins. I thought, “Wow, this must be the best kept secret in Fremont!” And I wondered, “How can we let our neighbors know we are here worshipping God on Sundays? This should not be kept a secret.” During worship a few simple ideas came to mind. As I share them, God might bring some more ideas to you.
I decided that could to park out on the street in front of the church on Sundays. This way folks driving by will see that something is happening here. I am hoping that other church members might join me in this. We still need some cars in our parking lot, but it would be good if a few of us could park out front. Another way to let folks know we are here is to have a few A-frame signs out front on Sundays, maybe with a few helium balloons attached to create some interest. I am looking into having some signs made. Before I do that, I also am looking for someone who would be interested in putting the signs out each Sunday before worship and putting them back afterwards. Let me know if you feel called to help.
These simple things will help get the word out, but the best and most effective way to get the word out has not changed since Jesus walked the ancient roads of Galilee. The best and most effective way to get the word out has always been by word of mouth. We have no problem telling friends if we get a good deal at a local store or find a good restaurant or a good car mechanic. Businesses rise and fail on the words shared from the mouths of their customers. It is no different with churches. The words we share have great power to build up and to tear down. Telling our friends, neighbors and people that Jesus is alive and well and dwells among us as we gather in His name at New Hope Community Church is good news and needs to be shared. Who might you share this good word with today?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Settling in at New Hope

I am still getting settled in at New Hope. My office is still filled with boxes to be unpacked and my home is filled with boxes waiting to be packed and moved. Getting in, getting unpacked, getting settled takes time and planning. I’m sure that in a few months, I’ll feel like I’ve always been here – but right now everything is new and unfamiliar and at the same time very right and good.
Getting to know and connect with new people also takes time and intentionality. It is one thing to simply get someone’s name down and another thing all together to come to know each other as fellow members of God’s family. It can seem strange and awkward at first but then before you know it you feel like you’ve known each other for years.
I hope to be getting to know all the members and friends of New Hope over the next few months. I want to learn more about you than just your names and faces. I want to hear how you came to know Jesus and how and why you connected with our church. I want to hear your hopes, joys and concerns for New Hope as we learn to follow the Lord together. I want to discover the gifts and callings God has on your lives and find ways for us all to grow together in the things of God.
I want to meet with everyone who considers New Hope to be their church family. Some of you might like to meet in my office, others over coffee, and maybe some over dinner. There are sign up sheets out on the information table after worship where you can indicate, which type of meeting suits you and some general times that might work. After folks sign up, I’ll be in contact to set up a time to meet. I’m hoping this will be a great way to start the process of getting know each other better. I’m sure there will be some awkward moments and it will take me some time to get everyone’s name and face connected, but I’m also sure that it will all be good. I’m looking forward to getting to know you all better and serving Jesus with you at New Hope Community Church!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pictures from First Sunday at New Hope

Here are some pictures from my first Sunday at New Hope Community Church. If you'd like to see more click on the link to the right called "New Hope Pictures"