God is doing something eternally significant through New Hope Church and we get to be a part of it. No organization, business, or institution in the world has the potential to impact lives like the local church.
It’s very simple...who we are should determine what we do. If we aren’t careful, we can spend our lives focused on pursuits that are far from the purpose and potential God has planned for us. Come join us as we look at the amazing story of Nehemiah, and how God used him to change the course of a nation for generations. His story gives us direction and hope, as we remember who we are and what God has planned for us to do.
What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the name Nehemiah? For some of us, we recall that Nehemiah rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem that was destroyed some 100 years earlier. His story of leading the rebuilding of the wall is often profiled for his leadership skills, his constant praying, and his relentless pursuit of the mission that God put on his heart. When Nehemiah heard about the condition of the wall, he cried out to God:
“When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.”
Through prayer, God gave Nehemiah ownership of the task and a vision for how it could be accomplished. The task was huge! The walls of Jerusalem are reported by Josephus to be about 2.5 miles in circumference. Other sources tell us they were 8 feet thick and perhaps 40 feet high. Given the immense task, the relatively few people he had to work with, and the constant threat of enemy attack, Nehemiah needed contributors to get the work done. Under his leadership, the sacrifice of all, and the grace of God, the wall was rebuilt in just 52 days! Nehemiah was not simply building a wall—God called him to build a legacy of God’s faithfulness and to build a people with God’s vision for His mission.
Like Nehemiah, we have recognized a need and answered a call. In 1992, a core group of 19 individuals, led by our Senior Pastor Rusty Coram and a vision by God, started New Hope Church in Northern Virginia. The church was designed to be inclusive—a safe place for those that have never been to church—to come experience what God has to offer. In this short time, tens of thousands of individuals have walked through the doors of New Hope (wherever we were meeting). It was not until the summer of 2008 that we moved into our current facility in Lorton. Having our own facility has significantly advanced our mission and has been a great tool for our ministries. Furthermore, by establishing a community hub offering resources, training, and support, we have helped hundreds more reach their God-given potential. Our childcare programs, under the Silo Center umbrella, have extended our reach to assist many families in the Lorton area.
Despite the tireless efforts of the church, the work of helping all people to become fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ is never ending. It is reported that 43% of Americans are currently unchurched. Strikingly, a recent study showed that when you include the number of people who haven’t decided to follow Jesus, the number in Fairfax County reaches closer to 80%. In order to reach these people, we continue to need contributors to ruthlessly pursue our Godordained mission. We are at a significant point in the short history of our church. Just like Nehemiah and those that banded together to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, we must take responsibility for the ministry opportunities in front of us. God instills a vision in His people, which means there is a privilege, but also a responsibility to be obedient. Some are stuck in the vision of the now. Others are struck by the vision of what could be. This is the point we are at today!
Two weeks after we moved into our facility, our bank, like many in 2008, ran into serious trouble and we were left with a significant financial shortfall. After a long search, we have been able to obtain long-term financing of our mortgage, but we still have some shortterm obligations that need to be addressed. Simply put, we need to raise $1.4 million over the next 19 months. This capital will be used to pay in full the notes we have with members who made loans during our toughest times. Paying these debts will do three things: (1) faithfully complete our obligations; (2) help our partners who risked their savings and retirement on New Hope’s future; and (3) when completed in 19 months, we will be in an excellent financial position for ministry!
Here is what we are asking all of us to consider. As we study the work of God’s people and the miraculous work of rebuilding the wall, ask God to help us come together to eliminate our debt. Together, as each of us do all we can, we will accomplish something that is significant and life changing. For those who are currently giving, ask God to show you what more you can do for this special initiative above your current giving. For those not regularly supporting New Hope, now is a perfect time to start. We will be providing clear direction on how you can get involved over the next few weeks.
We know this seems like a giant task, no different than the giant task that Nehemiah was faced with in rebuilding the wall. However, each of us doing our part makes this task very achievable.
You might be asking yourself, “But why should I give my money to the church?” Every day, dozens of organizations appeal to us for help. Whether it’s sad music and frightened animals tugging our heartstrings for a donation, or the calls and letters from our alma mater selling us on the next campus project, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of opportunities to be generous with our time and money.
We can invest in a number of good causes — and we should — but there is only one organization that will make an eternal impact and that’s the local church. There is a clear reason that God wants you and me to invest our tithes and offerings in His church— it is the only movement that will still be going from today until eternity! And, when the local church is working right, there is nothing more powerful and breathtaking in the world. It’s the place where lost people are found, found people grow to love Jesus more, addicts are set free, people who were excluded get included, hopeless people find hope, marriages are restored, forgiveness is extended to others, and God gets the glory for it all!!
“But I won’t be able to invest enough money to make a dent in the total needed.” No matter where you are with finances, no matter your stage in life, no matter your current circumstances, you can invest. The offering is an opportunity for us to give God our thanks, show God we trust Him, and fight against greed in our hearts...all while allowing us to be a part of the local church. Remember, it is equal sacrifice, not equal amounts. Even Nehemiah documents the contributions of a group of priests who were only able to repair small parts of the wall, “each one opposite his own house.” Considering the grand scope of the project, that small distance hardly seems worth mentioning, but God took notice. Each of us can rebuild our little section of the wall. Take a look at the example below and how each of us doing our own part, we can raise the funds in just 19 months:
Take a second to think about the additional ministry we could do after the short-term debt is paid off and we have additional funds—things like having a certified counselor on staff, starting Celebrate Recovery (The Landing) for our high school and middle school students, packing 1,000,000 meals for FMSC, or expanding our partnerships like our current one in Uganda. We had no idea what God had in store for us when the original 19 started New Hope in 1992, nor when we opened up the doors to our current Lorton location, but we do know that God will reward our faithfulness and there is nothing more exciting then seeing God work in the local church.
If you are currently not investing in the church, now is the time to get started. For the next 19 months, we are asking you to take part in something bigger than each of us as individuals, something that will allow us to continue to introduce people to Jesus Christ through our ministries. Remember, the church is your best investment because it invites people to an eternal impact as partners with Jesus. During the weekend services on November 15th & 16th, we will gather as a church and make our pledges together as a statement of faith and devotion to God and His purposes. This will be the beginning of the next chapter in New Hope’s story and we want everyone to be part of it! Take a look at the sample commitment card on the back cover. We will have a formal time of commitment during all three services that weekend. Please invest the time between now and then by praying and considering what you can do to invest in the ministries of New Hope Church.
God is doing something eternally significant through New Hope Church and we get to be a part of it. No organization, business, or institution in the world has the potential to impact lives like the local church. We are New Hope Church!
WE ARE NEW HOPE CHURCH
Click on the video above to see what New Hope Church is all about.
PROJECT SUMMARY FROM PASTOR RUSTY
Click the video above to watch Senior Pastor Rusty Coram outline the heart and sould of what the We Are Project is all about.
THE IMPACT OF NEW HOPE CHURCH
The above video shows the impact that New Hope Church has had on several families.