Written by Grady D. King, D. Min
His voice reverberated with frustration and weariness.
As an elder for a declining church in a changing neighborhood, what are their options?
Her voice quivered as she described the depth of her loneliness in ministry.
As the children’s minister, she was isolated, does anyone care?
Our elders and ministers are polarized and stuck. We have agreed that we need help.
Do you have someone who can help? The sooner the better.
We have a good group of elders and ministers. We need a vision.
Can you help us with a vision process and implementation?
Our minister has resigned. We didn’t expect it. We hear you have an interim ministry process.
When can we visit with you to find out more information and connect with the elders?
The conversations continue as church leaders reach out. It’s no secret that many churches are in decline. The present cultural milieu is incredibly challenging. It is, however, no more challenging than the 1st century followers of Christ experienced. Aging membership. Conflict among leaders. Confusion about mission. Cultural forces. These are common conversations. Many a leader feels a sense of failure, self-doubt and a loss of hope. One church leader summarized it well, “Everything we have depended on in the past—buildings, programs, good preaching, worship and the right location doesn’t work anymore.”
This is why HOPE Network is about empowering leaders for vibrant churches. We mentor, coach, consult and guide churches in a variety of ways depending on the need. In short, we CONNECT. ASSESS. GUIDE. It begins with listening and prayerful dialogue rooted in biblical hope—confident expectation in the power and promises of God through the Holy Spirit.
HOPE is the heartbeat of this network which began 23 years ago (1996) by Lynn and Carolyn Anderson. The Anderson’s knew that church leaders needed hope in turbulent times. In April of 1997, Lynn released his most popular work: THEY SMELL LIKE SHEEP: Spiritual Leadership for the 21st Century. In this work, Anderson explores the biblical models of shepherding, mentoring, and equipping which has characterized the Anderson’s life, ministry and focus of HOPE Network to this day.
In 2013, Grady King and Jon Mullican became the co-leaders of HOPE Network. Now guided by an 18-member board, 19 partners and five associates committed to four core values.
1. We value GOD’s MISSION for his kingdom, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the lordship of Jesus Christ, Scriptures as God’s Word; therefore, we submit to God’s authority.
2. We value CHURCH LEADERS: therefore, we provide mentoring and guidance for the purpose of equipping leaders for shepherding and service among local churches.
3. We value TRANSFORMED DISCIPLES: therefore, we provide spiritual formation resources for fostering transformation of church leaders and churches for spiritual kingdom ends.
4. We value HEALTHY CHURCHES as the heartbeat of God’s action, mission and community; therefore, we provide relational and collaborative processes to foster healthy relationships with God and each other.
HUMILITY, NOT ARROGANCE
We are a network of helpers who understand the challenges of ministry.
We have failed and been stuck and empathize with you.
We have lines on our faces and scars on our hearts.
We too feel the insecurity of our changing culture and uncertainty.
We come from a variety of universities, geographic locations, backgrounds and church contexts.
We offer friendship, collaboration, resources, best practices, experience, and most importantly, HOPE.
“Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy that we are
engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.
We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to
practice cunning or to falsify God’s word; but by the open statement of the
truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God.
2 Corinthians 4.1-3
Contact us to begin the conversations that matter!
HOPE Network is one of our sponsors/advertisers this month. We advertise with them because we believe they do good kingdom work and we would like our readers to know about them in case their services are ever needed. We want you to know which articles are part of advertising and connected with those who are sponsoring this site. Thanks for reading! – Matt