In Touch – June 15, 2012
Posted on June 15, 2012 by under News,

Re: What Will Be REVEALed?

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” (1 Samuel 16:1)

I preached my first sermon after I was called to Hopewell, almost fourteen years ago, on this text from 1 Samuel 16.  I preached my first sermon after I was called to Middlebush, New Jersey, almost twenty six years ago on this text as well.  It has been a key text for my life.  I want to be where God is breaking out, not crying by the side of the road about the good ole’ days or what might have been.

This Sunday 1 Samuel 16 came up as the lectionary text (texts appointed by the church for particular days).   As I read it again I thought of the providence evidenced encountering this scripture at this time.  I believe Hopewell is entering a new season of ministry.  I am convinced it a season of going deeper in who we are and what we are doing.  It is a season to be reminded that we don’t want to sit by the side of the road and weep for what isn’t, but it is a season to get up, get going and live into the future God is calling us to.

Many things are pointing to God’s prodding us to take a look at who we are.  The elders will meet tomorrow to spend an extended time looking at our core values of radical love, radical justice, radical welcome and radical gospel and address what kind of church we sense God is calling us to be.  Carol O’Malley came to our last elders meeting and talked about the prayer group that meets on Thursdays and its future.  This led to discussion on prayer at the heart of Hopewell.  Mark Mast and I spent a day away last week on retreat and discussed how we move into a season of deeper depth at Hopewell.  God is doing something with us right now and moving us in new directions.

I think of seasons of ministry at Hopewell.  The first seven years that I was here I have labeled a season of initiation.  We added multiple worship styles and services, we launched a small group ministry (ChristCare) that saw over 250 people engage in small groups and we began engaging adults in mission trips around the world.  The next seven years saw us reaching out in new ways in planting churches and partnering with churches.  I believe that God is moving us into a new season.  In the fall a discipleship study group will launch the REVEAL survey, which will take a look at the level of discipleship and 167 Living at HRC.  I am excited about this because I believe it will be a piece that guides us into a season of depth.

I hope that we all are willing to get up and move in directions where God is breaking out.  I believe God is calling us, as God called Samuel, to be willing to risk safety and security to see God do even greater things in our future.  I look forward to what God will reveal.

In Hope,