Join Us on our Big Gospel Adventure
There’s a story going around, and maybe you’ve heard it. It says the Church is in decline, and the future of Christianity looks bleak. You may have even seen stats like the one in this chart.
Stats like this point to the fact that the church’s influence in society is decreasing, and the church is moving from the center to the edges of society.
In their book, Prodigal Christianity, David Fitch and Geoff Holsclaw explain that this change in the church’s position and influence means the church of the future will exist in a Post-Christian culture which can be described as:
Post-Attractional: People don’t want to come and see.
Post-Positional: People won’t assume the church is right or authoritative.
Post-Universal: People won’t talk or think like we do.
These changes at the pace we’re seeing them are disorienting and can be scary. We hear dire predictions about the future of the church, and we may ask ourselves “What is this world coming to? Is there any hope?”
The Good News
But there is hope in the midst of the changes! God is still at work, and God’s good news is still GOOD NEWS FOR THE WORLD!
We can look at the future with fear, or we can look at it as a great opportunity to be faithful, as more people than ever before will need to hear about and experience God’s love. However, the changes in society also are making it more challenging for churches to share this good news message with the world.
New Hope Community Church is trying to communicate the good news to a changing world, and we, like many other churches, are feeling stuck. We know there are key pieces at the core of every church’s mission.
The Church is Called To
When the church was at the center of the culture, we tried to communicate the gospel in culturally relevant ways that fit our position.
But in a culture where the church is becoming Post-Attractional, Post-Positional, and Post-Universal, these ways of communicating the good news are going to fall flat.
So, if the methods we have been using to share the good news are going to be less and less effective as time goes on, what should New Hope and other churches be doing instead? Well, to be honest, we don’t know exactly. So we’re working with the missional training organization Forge to help find the answers. Forge provides resources and training to teach men and women to live as missionaries in their neighborhoods and the places where they are already doing life.
No two churches are the same, and no two churches’ contexts are the same, so Forge’s resources and training helps churches find the most effective ways to live out their missions wherever we live.
So what does this mean for New Hope? We’re excited to announce that we’re going on a Big Gospel Adventure with Forge Middletown!
Joe and Gwynne will be participating in the 2016-17 Forge Cohort beginning June 2016. This will give them the training and resources to help equip New Hope for the future in a changing culture and prepare us to live as missionaries in our local neighborhoods, as we join God on his mission, sharing the good news of Jesus in Vandalia and Butler Township.
In order to allow New Hope to focus resources on putting what we learn into practice, we are raising the funds for our training, similar to the ways missionaries raise support to enter the field, only our mission field is right where we are.
So, how can you join us on our adventure?
Give a one-time gift or sign-up for a monthly sponsorship
To help cover the cost of the cohort, our goal is to raise $3,600 by partnering with people like you. We are looking for 10 people or families who will make a one year commitment of $20/month, which would go a long way in helping us reach our goal. If that’s not you, but you’d still like to support Joe and Gwynne, you can set your own monthly amount or give a one-time donation as well. You can set up monthly payments and give one-time gifts online any time clicking the button and going to the New Hope Giving page.
You can also send checks made payable to New Hope Community Church to:
New Hope Community Church
c/o Forge Fundraiser
PO Box 13161
Dayton, OH 45413
Follow our Newsletter Updates
If you give a donation online you will automatically be signed up to receive our monthly e-newsletter, but if you’re donating by check, or if you’d like to join us on this adventure without giving a donation, you can click the button below to be added to the email list.
The newsletter will include updates about how the Forge training is impacting our ministry in Vandalia, reflections from Joe and Gwynne on the experience, and notes about what they’re learning each week. It’s meant to be a way to bring others along on the journey to see what God is doing in the neighborhood, and to consider how He may be calling others to participate in His mission.
Above all else, Pray.
Our entire goal is to follow the leading of God’s Spirit into the neighborhoods. We invite you to join us in prayer, seeking the Spirit’s leading and wisdom, as well as the courage to walk in faithfulness as we follow Jesus.