Building loving relationships with God and others through the hope that is in Jesus Christ.
The mission of New Hope UMC focuses on relationship building. Specifically, we are called to help people find a healthy relationship with God through Jesus Christ and to nurture healthy human relationships in the church, in our community, and throughout the world. We believe this is at the heart of what God desires for us.
We are created for relationship. From the beginning of the Biblical story, we are reminded that we were created for relationship with God, in whose image we are created. "So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27
We were also created for relationship with one another. Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner." Genesis 2:18
Jesus taught us that the two most important things in life were our relationship with God and our relationships with other people. He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment." Matthew 22:37-38
Loving others is one way we show our love for God. "And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:39-40
Jesus asked us as his followers to love one another with sacrifical love. "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35
When we relate in love to those in need, the least, the last, and the lost, we are showing love to Christ. "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40
We are called to love even our enemies and to be ministers of reconciliation. "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven..." Matthew 5:44-45
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation..." 2 Corinthians 5:18
We are to bring others into relationship with God through Christ in a relationship known as discipleship. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20
A Strategic Plan For Building Relationships
1. First, we must go into the world and make a connection with those who need help and hope in human relationships and who need relationship with God.
2. At the right time, we share with them that our human relationships only come into proper focus when our relationship with God is right.
3. We invite them to birth and build that relationship with God by joining us in worship.
4. When they are ready, we encourage that person to become part of a small group in the church where they can find Christian care and grow in discipleship until they mature in Christ.
5. We encourage participation in deeper ministries including midweek ministry, disciple bible study, special services etc.
6. We encourage that person to use their gifts and join in the ministry to help build relationships, a ministry given to all baptized Christians.
"So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrustsing the message of reconciliation to us." 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ- if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him." Romans 8:14-17