We believe that prayer works. God hears our prayers; he uses them to accomplish his will; and he shapes our hearts and minds as we pray. Jesus demonstrated this value all throughout his life and ministry. Prior to big decisions and events, he would spend time with the Father in prayer. Therefore, we pray first and often. Whether it’s a big event, a small group gathering, an individual meeting, unexpected conversations, or a seemingly menial daily task, we bring it all before God. (Lk 6:12-13)
All who have faith in Jesus are adopted as children of God. There is a strange story about Jesus in which people approach him and tell him that his family is looking for him. Jesus replies, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Then he identified his disciples as his true family. Our bond with all followers of Jesus extends across church-walls, traditions, cities, and nations. It is the greatest relational bond that exists in this world. Therefore, building God’s family is more important to us than building Hope Church. We fellowship and serve alongside all followers of Jesus. We talk about Jesus, not to add to the numbers of Hope Church, but to the numbers of God’s family. (Mt 12:46-50, Rm 8:14-16)
Jesus said, at the commencement of his earthly ministry, that he came “to proclaim good news to the poor… freedom to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed”. He spent much of his time meeting the physical needs as well as the spiritual needs of the poor and the outcast. In addition, the Old Testament is full of God-given laws that protect the poor and the weak and establish a just society. Our God is a God of justice and mercy. Therefore, we work for justice in our communities and our world. We care for the needy; we defend the poor and the outcast; and we work to change unjust systems that oppress and exploit people. (Mc 6:8, Lk 4:18)
We have a purpose. All who believe in Jesus are called to join him in what he is doing in the world. God wants to use us in his mission to reconcile the world to himself. We do this by “making disciples of all nations” through sharing the Gospel and teaching people to follow Jesus. This means that the work of ministry is not done only by pastors and church staff but by all who follow Jesus. (Mt 28:19-20)
Our calling to make disciples of Jesus is fundamentally multiplicative. If we are truly teaching others to follow Jesus, then we will teach them how to make disciples themselves. The early church grew through multiplication, not addition. The twelve disciples did not simply add people to God’s family, they taught others how to share Jesus with others. As a result, the Gospel spread and the church grew far beyond the regions in which the twelve disciples traveled and did ministry. Therefore, we make disciples who make disciples. We start groups that multiply. Finally, we plant churches that are committed to planting other churches themselves. (Mt 28:19-20, Acts 2:47, 2 Tm 2:2)
One of the first commands God gives us as his image-bearers is to take care of his Creation. It is one of the primary ways that we reflect who he is to the world. Old Testament laws protected Creation. Old Testament poetry displays a reverence and awe for nature. God promises that he will one day restore all of Creation to its original perfect condition. Our care for Creation is a foretaste of this restoration. Therefore, we view God’s Creation as a gift from God that we should care for. We make a conscious effort to protect and preserve God’s Creation in order to fulfill our responsibility, show our gratitude, and reflect his character to the world. (Gen 1:28, Ex 23:10-12, Ps 24:1, Rm 8:20-21)
We believe in God the Father, who is perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of each person, that He hears and answers prayer. He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus.
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son and the promised Messiah. He was conceived by the Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, both fully God and fully man. He lived a sinless life, and concerned himself with both the spiritual and the physical brokenness of humanity. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, continual intercession for all who believe in Him, and His promise to one day return to earth.
We believe in the Holy Spirit who indwells all whom believe in Jesus and is a seal guaranteeing their eternal inheritance. The Holy Spirit, in everything that he does, brings glory to the Son. He convicts, sanctifies, and empowers us for the work of ministry. He is an abiding helper, teacher, and guide.
We believe that there is one living and true God who is eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each person of the Trinity are equal in every divine perfection, and they execute distinct but harmonious roles in the work of creation, providence, and redemption.
We believe that the Bible is the living Word of God. It is without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
We believe that God created both male and female in his image and likeness to care for His creation. Though humans were created without sin, they disobeyed God and were separated from their creator. Every human is now born into sin and broken by sin.
We believe that God, because of his great love for us, sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on our behalf. Anyone who repents and believes in Jesus will enjoy eternal life with God. Not only do we receive eternal life with God, but we immediately become a new creation in Jesus Christ, receive the Holy Spirit, and enter into fellowship with God.
We believe in the universal Church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all believers are members. We are commanded by God to gather regularly as a local manifestation of the Church for fellowship, worship, acts of service, teaching, compassion, and confession. We believe that God has called the members of the local church to the primary task of sharing the Gospel of with a lost world.
We dream of one day seeing organic, Jesus-centered communities in every neighborhood of Knoxville.