2019 10 06 Chris Khoury THE HOPE VENUE

2019 10 06 Chris Khoury THE HOPE VENUE
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Create DateNovember 5, 2019
Last UpdatedNovember 5, 2019

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When I read the news and look around at the society in which we live, people face trials they simply cannot bear on their own. We see poverty, sickness, corrupt government, oppression of the poor, exploitation of the weak. People living without hope. When we look around we see great crowds of hurting, broken people.


Mark 4:34 They are like sheep without a shepherd.

In such a world, people need real tangible HOPE!


Colossians 1:27 (NIV) To the Gentiles God has chosen to make known the glorious riches of this mystery, which is, Christ in you, the hope of glory.

If Jesus is the hope of the world, where do we find him?

To a health Christian Church! This is our mandate! From Dr Greg Williams, to the GCI churches worldwide. We are to become a healthy church by 1 Jan 2025! How?


1 Corinthians 13:13  (NIV)

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


Based on this scripture we are to become a healthy church having as part of our Christian walk, Hope Venues, Faith Venues and Love Venues. This week I will be talking about the Hope Venue. A HOPE VENUE is the place where church happens. Our weekly Sunday service is a HOPE VENUE!

Because our hope is in Christ, our church worship services are centred on Him, offering hope to a world that has lost its way! But this does not just happen by chance. It has to be INTENTIONAL, prayerful - thought out preparation.


The focus is on inspiration that leads to transformation. So it is up to us. Each and every member of this congregation to roll up our sleeves and to be about our Fathers business. This is your church. The Hope Venue will contain the following elements. This is not my idea, it is the direction given from GCI home office. It will consist of:


  1. A CALL TO WORSHIP: A worship song and welcome, a scripture reading and an opening prayer.
  2. ANNOUNCEMENTS: The congregation will be updated on necessary issues. Review Takalani’s update. Project the vision, values and necessary highlights. Church activities, upcoming events and so forth.
  3. INTERCESSORY PRAYER: This will be kept short and to the point. Pray for sick, upcoming events and any other topical issues.
  4. WORSHIP & PRAISE: We will do this at the beginning and towards the end of the service.
  5. SCRIPTURE READING: Key passage before the sermon. We also include a short prayer at this time.
  6. SERMON: A 30 minute sermon based on a passage of scripture is given. We will also be using the Revised Common Lectionary which offers sermon outlines which aligns with the Christian Calendar. This means that we will observe Advent and Christmas. We will prepare for and observe Holy Week leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We will observe Pentecost and a number of additional Christian observances.
  7. COMMUNION: This will happen officially on the first Sunday of each month and on other important occasions. In addition, if any of the preachers feel that a communion would naturally follow on their sermon then they have the freedom to do that.
  8. BENEDICTION: A blessing over the congregation before they are sent out into the world to be a witness and a blessing to others in the world.


So for us a congregation it cannot be business as usual! As we embrace this Healthy Church Vision it will need all hands on deck. This is your church, your future and the future of your children and grand children and of all these children God has at this time entrusted to our care.

The GCI Mission is: Living and sharing the gospel.

It has to be our goal, our mission, our purpose to become a community church. If we don’t, I believe in time, we will die. If we are not growing, then we will be busy dying.

We have to change from a collected church to a community church. How we do this is the role of the Love Venue.


ATTENDANCE & COMMITTMENT: To do this we have to be here! We cannot have new people coming to church and at 10am when we are ready to start all we have are the setup crew and the children in church. We cannot have church members turning up for church 15 minutes late. We all have to be here at least 15 or 20 minutes early. Why is this so important?

  • The Hope Venue is THE place where new people will come into contact with other Christians.
  • It provides a platform for new Christians to enter the fold. If they see regular members walking in 20 minutes late, what message does that put out? What does that say about our respect and love for God.
  • Before the service it is a time of fellowship and prayer.
  • A time to greet new people who might come in.
  • Before church we need supervision for the children.


At the church service “We participate in Jesus’ worship of the Father.” It is here that we experience his love and grace. We are always in the presence of God but we become more aware when we are in a worshipful environment with other Christians.That is what makes corporate worship so powerful?


Romans 12:1-2  (NIV)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Be transformed! The word is, “Metamorphosed!”Changed from one state or being into another. It is a gradual, almost imperceptible change that happens every time

we step into a Hope Venue. We might not “feel” the change but it is the power of God that brings salvation. Faith comes from hearing the word. It is about God and what he is doing in our lives, in our church and now, in our community. When you draw back, arrive late and every time you choose not to come to church you are denying yourself the opportunity for transformation.

Randy Bloom writes in a church article. “Even when I enter into a worship service not feeling particularly worshipful, by the end of the service I often realize, I have not only worshiped, I’ve been transformed!”

This ever happen to you! Many times for me.


Ed Stetzer in his book, “Planting Missional Churches” writes.

“The purpose of worship is also to allow unbelievers to observe the divine-human encounter and to yearn for their own personal relationship with God.”

That is what we experience in worship. A divine-human encounter. God’s Spirit, touching us, transforming us, into the image of God.


PRAYER: “Father God, in our lives, homes and families, in our fellowship, church and communities, please guide us. Renew us, transform us - as we strive to walk by faith and not by site. As we commit ourselves anew to grow our fellowship - with intention - commitment and zeal, grant us hope, faith and the strength to do your will. Amen


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