Q: Are you part of a denomination?
A: It depends on what you mean by “denomination.” If you mean in the legal sense then yes, we are part of a denomination called Grace Communion International, which is something like a family of local churches all over the globe that share common core beliefs but also have the freedom to do ministry as it fits in our individual cultures and settings. If you mean are we part of the larger groups, such as Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, or Calvinist churches, then no. But we are always happy to work together with other churches, and believe God works through many different groups in many different ways. Each of us has our own purpose, history, and future (Mark 9:38-41).
Q: How are you similar to other churches? How are you different?
A: Hope Community Church emphasizes the words in our name — we want to emphasize the hope we have in Jesus Christ. This is hope in a God who is full of grace and love for humanity (John 3:16-17, John 8:11). A God who wants to see us succeed in becoming who we were meant to be: sons and daughters in close relationship with him (Romans 8:15, Ephesians 2:8-10).
We also strongly believe in community. A church that stays focused on itself is not the “city on a hill” that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 5:14. We want to share real life with our neighbors in The Colony and work together with other churches and nonprofit organizations. To that end, we started The Community Resource Network. Its purpose is to connect those groups in the North Dallas area that are already working to serve the health and safety of our neighbors, especially those in crisis. Together, we’re stronger (John 13:35).
Finally, we’re a Christian church. That means we believe in a triune God: God the Father, Jesus Christ his Son, and the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:21-22). It means we enjoy a relationship with God that is based on Jesus’ love for us and our love for him as our Lord (the one whom we trust to lead us as we obey his guidance) and our Savior (the one who saved us from living a life we weren’t meant to live, one of selfishness and self-gratification).
Q: What are your doctrines?
A: If you’re wondering about specific doctrines, you can check out our denomination’s lengthy version here. To save you some time, no — there’s nothing weird there. We’re very mainstream in terms of our protestant beliefs. Where we stand out, perhaps, is an emphasis on God’s love and forgiveness, not his alleged anger at sinners (Matthew 23:37, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 1:7). We believe in Jesus’ finished work on the cross, which allows for all to be reconciled to God in a way that blots out our mistakes. We don’t believe in condemning people every Sunday — we point to Christ, who is the only One who can convince us of his love and show us his way of life is better than anything we can dream up on our own.
Q: Are you associated with…?
A: The name of our church includes some very common words. There are other nearby organizations with “Hope” or “Community” in the name, but we are not affiliated. There is even another church with the same name not too far from us in a nearby city, but we are not two campuses of the same church. Our only direct affiliation is with Grace Communion International (see the first question, above).