City Hope COVID-19 Plan
The Coronavirus Pandemic has presented a new challenge for the American Church. However, I’m reminded that the building is not the church, we, the people of God, are the church. And we exist for those who are not here yet. While this virus may prevent us from meeting in person during the next several weeks, it can not keep us from carrying out the great commission.
Our mission at City Hope remains the same and that is to help people Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose, and Make a Difference. I firmly believe that this can happen more now than ever before. During this new season we’ve decided that it’s best for us to pivot to a different approach so we can make the most impact here in Wichita Falls.
We desire to keep it simple during this time so we can remain focused on fulfilling the mission and vision God has given us.
Here’s how I’m envisioning this new season:
1. Outreach – find a need and fill it, find a hurt and heal it.
It may take some time before we see the full economic effect of the coronavirus. We choose to be ready to help where we can. This is the moment for the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I love what Paul said in Galatians 2:3 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”
We’re looking to meet the spiritual and physical needs of hurting people in our community. We’re committed to serving the least of these (Matthew 25:31-46).
2. Community – we may be socially distanced, but we can remain spiritually connected.
One of the core values of our church is Small Groups. From the very beginning we’ve said that we are a church of small groups, not a church with small groups. It’s woven throughout our DNA. The author of Hebrews said, “10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” We encourage all groups to continue to meet together online and continue to support each other (if your group is small enough for an in-person gathering go for it). You can continue to find community, care, prayer and fellowship in this digital age by using one of several online tools: Google Hangouts, GroupMe, FaceTime, Marco Polo, and more. Let’s be the church and continue to support one another like family online.
3. Weekend Services – the church has left the building.
While we love being able to worship with you in-person, we believe it’s best to move to an online worship experience during this pandemic. We will be live-streaming services Sunday at 10:00am. There’s something that gets me excited about church online and that is the fact that we have an opportunity to reach more people than ever before. God has given us a great responsibility to give people JESUS! So let’s do everything we can to plunder hell and populate heaven. The church will be stronger when this is all said and done!
What I need from you? GO ALL IN
You have a unique opportunity to go ALL IN during this pandemic. As the church we choose faith over fear, sacrifice over selfishness, and shining our light rather than hiding it.
Here’s how you can GO ALL IN:
1. PRAY – we need the power and presence of God like never before. Pray for complete eradication of this virus. Pray for our President and government officials. Pray for the economy. Pray for protection in your own family and friends. Pray for the medical breakthrough and cures. Pray BOLD prayer because “bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers.”
2. SERVE – You can still serve by being a greeter in our online worship communities, praying for prayer needs of those joining online worship services, writing cards, leading digital small group communities, and serving our community through outreach opportunities. Ask your team leader about other ways you can continue using your gifts and passions in the local church.
3. GIVE – I love that we are a generous church. We always have been and we always will be. As you can imagine, not meeting for the foreseeable future will have an impact on the church financially. We remain committed to be a church that is making a difference in this city and that happens because of your generosity. As always, we’re not asking you to give, we’re unapologetically asking you to ask God what you should do and then obey him as an act of worship and obedience. You can still give during the absence of gathering by going to www.cityhopefamily.com/give. You can set up recurring giving by credit/debit card or ACH. Thank you for your generosity.
We’re in this together,
Pastor Ben and Annaliese