In searching for a church home, we had three priorities: biblical, thorough teaching with practical application; a loving childcare environment for our son; and a community through which we could grow and serve.
Visiting churches as first-time parents, we were understandably cautious. But when we were introduced to Anita Sisk the first morning, she lovingly held our hands through the process of registering our son. Our nerves were assuaged when we met his warm and enthusiastic teachers who made us feel comfortable with leaving our son for the first time at a Sunday service. The welcome team and children’s workers didn’t simply point us in the direction of where to go, they took the time to come with us, getting to know our family.
In addition, we were impacted by Gib’s sermons. His teachings were clearly carefully prepared and entirely applicable to our lives. Sunday after Sunday, we were convicted and challenged to be doers of the Word.
As we searched for community, we found that Living Hope prioritized getting connected in a small group. Within the first few weeks of visiting, we decided to go to the Small Group Connection where we found it easy to meet others who were looking for community as well. We were pleasantly surprised by the openness of the leaders and participants during this time. We joined an amazing small group that spurs us on in pursuit of the Lord through reading and discussing the Word and encouraging us through service to one another and the community beyond.
Now, after recently becoming members of Living Hope, we know that it is not only about the things that a church can provide you, but also about how you can come alongside the church and its mission. As we have gotten to know the leaders and members of this church, we have discovered a consistency of vision encouraging growth in the gospel, community, and mission. There is a striving for every person to be active within the church. It is wonderful to be encouraged and given opportunities to serve using our God-given talents and gifts. We can already tell that we will continue to be invited to get involved in new ways, instead of becoming complacent or spectators.
We are thrilled to call Living Hope our new church home, and we pray that we will be able to encourage others as you all have encouraged us.
Written by Neal and Natalie Martin