Why Hope Matters
How do we reach our community with the love of Jesus?
That’s a question the church has asked for centuries. The Great Commission doesn’t just reach across the globe; it also reaches across the street. In some ways, it is easier to share the gospel in a foreign context where you can minister quickly, then go home. But to share the good news with people in your hometown can be trickier, because it involves long-term relationships.
When Jesus came to His hometown of Nazareth, he told everyone what He was about to do by reading from Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, to preach good news to the poor, … to proclaim deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).
In other words, He had come to bring hope to those who needed it most.
The best way for us to love our own community is to follow the mission Jesus followed.
Next month, churches and organizations all around Lane County will come together in a united effort to do just that. Project Hope aims to show the hope of Jesus to those who need it in our own context: children, schools, and families.
Here’s what will happen: on August 26th, more than 40 churches will prepare grounds & facilities of local schools. The following day, more than 70 churches and community partners will host five Kids’ Fair Back-to-School Giveaways. There, we will give new shoes, socks, backpacks, school supplies, haircuts and small meals to more than 3,200 children in need.
Through the years, Project Hope has become a powerful witness to the Willamette Valley. Church and school leaders have become friends. Principals and pastors have realized they are on the same team, working for the common good of our community.
When we share the hope of Jesus like this, the whole community wins. Rather than enforcing an “us vs. them” mindset, this type of ministry tells our neighbors that we are with them, we are for them, and we are here for the long-haul. Rather than being seen as a cultural opponent, the Church becomes an ally to the city. As a result, hearts soften. And doors we thought were shut suddenly open.
This is why hope matters. It opens people’s hearts and points the way to God Himself.
We hope you’ll join us on August 26th and 27th as we share that hope together.
One Hope Blogger