Hope Church is identified as a “family-centric” fellowship and expresses this uniqueness by the following distinctives:
- We are a Family-integrated fellowship.
- We are an Elder-led fellowship
- We are a Father-guided fellowship
- We are a Bible-based worshiping community
- We believe that there are some matters of faith that are worth fighting for, and there are other matters over which Christians may humbly disagree. We refer to these as essentials and non-essentials.
We believe that God created the family first, and that He intends for that family to worship and grow together. So we structure our Sunday fellowship to be "family-integrated” (i.e., there is no age-graded Sunday school, children's church, or youth group). Additionally, parents are exhorted to experience daily worship at home and to train their children in the ways of the Lord. We promote the Christian family as the core building block of the church and our society, believing that the family is a union before God between one man and one woman. A great blessing in that union is the addition of children to the family. One of the more noticeable expressions of our integrated faith is that a majority, though not all, of our families choose to school their children at home.
Over watch at Hope is provided by a team of Elders, rather than by a single Pastor, who are chosen to shepherd the church by their Godly example and willingness to serve the people in the Spirit of Christ. This elder plurality is not based on any hierarchy or absolute authority inherent in the individual or office, but is a role given to equipping, teaching, and serving the needs of the congregation. In fact, outside a commitment to the Statement of Faith, the Elders ensure that wide latitude is given to the priesthood of each believer in faith and practice. The Elders are called to encourage the family of God, facilitate the worship of God, and respond with the grace of God to meet the needs of the church.
We believe a great tragedy is taking place in our society when a father who is present in the home is not actively serving as a leader in that home. In light of that, Hope Church challenges the father to accept the responsibility to love his wife as Christ loves His Bride, the Church, and to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. To achieve that calling, our fellowship encourages the fathers to grow in servant leadership by promoting their participation in the weekly worship services and by challenging them to lead through a Godly example in Bible study, devotion, discipleship, and daily ministry at home.
Our Sunday Worship is the culminating expression of Hope Church’s distinctives. Our desire is to be Biblically based in all elements of the service. There is much Scripture to be found in each service and the teaching time is provided by various capable men of the congregation, who focus on the sound exposition of God’s infallible Word. Our music is theologically sound and generationally diverse, incorporating the best of hymnody and current praise. During worship, our families sit together, pray together and take communion together, as a reflection of our belief that the family is God’s core building block for faith and society.
Essentials and Non-essentials
With a heart for the family and for the sake of unity, this fellowship works to distinguish between essentials and nonessentials of the faith. Essentials are those things that every family at Hope must believe. Nonessentials are those things where disagreements may be expected and must always be dealt with in love, acknowledging the freedom of family convictions. We believe that matters essential to the faith are recorded in the Bible with such clarity that their denial is rebellion against God. We have summarized those essentials in our Statement of Faith. Regarding nonessentials, Scripture may speak with less clarity—and it is there that love must abound more and more within the church body.