by Scott Nelson, lead pastor
Our church has always been about hope. We were born in the Great Recession, when people were losing their jobs, homes, and all sense of security. In the midst of that crisis, Covenant Grove Church was planted, offering God’s hope to weary souls. God‘s hope is different than wishful thinking or positive vibes. It is based on the resurrection of Jesus, which includes the suffering of the crucifixion. God’s hope doesn’t avoid the hard things of life; it is the light in the storm.
We are anchored in hope. Through the sunshine and storms, we live like we are loved by the Lord. Hope shines through in our actions and attitudes, and we face the future with faith. In the midst of the pandemic, we have talked and preached on hope many times. It’s what we continue to communicate because it makes such a difference. For over 11 years, our church has communicated God’s hope to our weary world. The world needs the hope of Jesus! It is His Spirit and His word that has grown our church, drawing people to the hope of Christ like a warm fire fire on a cold night.
In March, we will begin year three of Building Hope. Building Hope is, first, a sermon series about…hope (I bet you could have figured that out). We talk about how to grow God‘s hope in our lives, even through the hard times. Secondly, Building Hope is about God‘s mission. We do anything other than sin to reach people with the good news of Jesus. Our church has embraced the Vision to expand our facilities, plant churches, and give to mission projects. We may even get to plant a church in the next year. We have bought a big tent so that we can continue worshiping the Lord. And we continue to work on our plans for construction, even with new variables in place (construction costs have gone up). Let’s shout it out–we still believe God wants these things to happen at Covenant Grove. The pandemic has not changed the mission. We don’t have it all figured out, but we know that as we follow Jesus, He will make it clear.
The last part of Building Hope is finances. Giving to Building Hope is above and beyond “general fund” giving, and that requires sacrifice. We have been giving sacrificially to the work of the Lord, and this sacrificial giving has continued through the pandemic. That is incredible! It is truly an honor to serve sacrificially while being surrounded by sacrificial givers. It is an honor to be part of a movement like this in a moment like this. We began raising money before the pandemic, and even when the pandemic hit, we continuing giving towards this big project. What a testimony to be able to share! What a blessing to be part of a church like this, in a time like this. This church is faith-filled, prayer-led, big-thinking risk takers. I love this church! We give up things we care about for the sake of the most important things. So far over $850,000 has been raised, and the giving continues to be given for God’s work.
Isaiah 40:31 says that those who hope in the Lord will soar on wings like eagles. That is our theme verse for Building Hope this year. That verse was written in one of the lowest times of Israel’s history. Yet the prophet still spoke about God’s hope. With God’s hope, we can see beyond our current circumstances to the new horizons He is leading us towards. We will continue to give, we will continue to live God‘s mission, and we will continue to build hope in our lives and community. Thank you for reading this, thank you for your prayers, and thank you for being part of this mission!