A Journey of
whole·heart·ed | ‘hōl-‘här-ted
1: completely and sincerely devoted, determined or enthusiastic
2: earnest commitment : undivided, free from all reserve or hesitation
‘My servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly.’
NewHope is stewarding a fresh wind of God’s Spirit and an amazing suite of effective ministries and resources. We are blessed with opportunity and challenged with responsibility. To fulfil our calling and thrive as 21st century disciples, we need ‘a different spirit’; a God-saturated approach to living, leading and loving that goes against everyday norms.
As we pursue wholeheartedness we are embracing Jesus’ invitation to be apprenticed in the abundant life. We are learning how to listen to the Father and enter God’s mission with Spirit power and uncommon joy. We are stepping up to this important spiritual work knowing full well it will require changes in the way we think about God and act towards each other.
God loves the wholehearted. They are rewarded with life and positioned on the front lines of victory. They inherit the promises of God. This is who we want to be. So, with weak knees and trembling hearts, we are taking the journey of wholeheartedness in 2020. Open your spirit and join the adventure!
Someone wisely said: “Your church may well have a mission; but does God’s mission have your church?” That focus is right. Wholehearted mission is all about God’s priorities having full claim on What we do, How we do it, and perhaps most important, Why we do any of it at all. Christians need to understand the ‘How?’ of God’s mission, and our neighbours and networks need to see the ‘Why?’
NewHope is a local church operating multiple social enterprises and growing hundreds of Communities of Hope.
We follow Jesus in the power of the Spirit, on mission, in community and through the disciplines of Bible, prayer and giving.
Communities of Hope. Since launching the vision for Communities of Hope four years ago, we have learned much and our passion for the power of community experience has grown and strengthened. We have begun to orient everything we do around the simple idea of Jesus as the essential and eternal source of life-giving relationships.
We know that experiences of genuine togetherness have evangelistic power. And we know what is required to release that power: openness (welcoming and non-judgemental), care (vulnerable and hopeful), consistency (steady and continuing) and faith (prayer and the Spirit).
In Communities of Hope two or more followers of Jesus covenant together to do three things: (1) help each other become better followers, (2) work together to make some new followers and (3) find a reason (any reason) to meet often and work on (1) & (2). That ‘reason’ might be prayer or football or food; the group purpose could be overtly faith-focused or purely affinity based. What matters is the covenant at the core – followers of Jesus becoming better followers and making more followers – together.
Here’s what we are learning:
- Communities of Hope are messy.
- There is much disappointment between the wins.
- Inconvenience and effort are required.
- Leadership is key.
- It works!
As we foster wholeheartedness in 2020 we have six key priorities:
Become a more ‘joined-up’ church (organisation). Consolidate the gains and build on the learnings of our two outreach Campuses. Strengthen understanding and inclusion alongside NewHope’s non-English Congregations. Build even better pathways of welcome and hospitality from our Social Enterprises into our Communities of Hope; from the fringes to life with Jesus. Make it easier for people to discover their ‘next step’.
Consolidate our training and development efforts. Establish a more integrated and strategic approach to courses across NewHope that supports people in following Jesus and living full and vital lives.
Foster financial health. Grow generosity in the lives of NewHope Members and Supporters. Continue to effectively and transparently steward our resources. Build a legacy for the future generations.
Grow participation where we are already strong. God is calling us to focus on His blessings at NewHope and to extend the value of what is already thriving. We will encourage greater participation across our activities, and foster numerical growth in Worship, Kids, Families, Youth, Young Adult and Older Adult ministries.
Multiply experiences of healthy community. Continue to champion Communities of Hope, multiply connection-points for new relationships and build capacity among leaders of groups. Expect character transformation and spiritual empowerment in each other as we submit to one another in love and make every effort to improve every relationship.
Invest in God’s Kingdom in our City and beyond. Resource and support Whitehorse Churches Care, LTD. Host Winter Shelter. Host the GLS. Serve God’s global mission. Give our experience away by mentoring and blessing other churches.
Embracing the Future. Melbourne is the fastest growing city in Australia. And our immediate region – Whitehorse, Manningham, Maroondah, Boroondara – is bursting with highrise construction, unprecedented immigration and ongoing gentrification. And this is to say nothing of the explosion of growth at the edges of our City. When people are confronted with the challenges of immigration, relocation, parenting, urban stress, personal health and media induced fear, they begin searching for answers. We serve in the midst of a burgeoning mission responsibility.
In recent years NewHope has been hard at work positioning our energies and resources for such a time as this. While we have been advancing the gospel together God has been blessing us with a fantastic suite of ‘tools’ for an even greater harvest: a large group of skilled leaders (unpaid & paid) who love Jesus and do fantastic work together, a network of effective Christian ministries, a purpose built Community Centre, our NewHope Community Care organisation, 5 impacting social enterprises, and a passion for hundreds of Communities of Hope. For the past several years we have been planting Seeds of Hope – our prayers, obedient service, generosity, and acts of kindness – creating the conditions for an amazing harvest. NewHope is brilliantly positioned to Embrace the Future.
A wonderful opportunity. We seek greater participation from more people.
Won’t you join us? What are your next steps in 2020?
All our measures tell us that the potential for wider engagement at NewHope is huge. We believe that 2020 will be a year of plentiful harvest and so we are asking ‘the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field’ (Luke 10:2,3).