By: Heidi Keeler
Nine years ago, my husband and I welcomed our first child into our lives and officially had our world turned upside down – in a good way! (minus the sleep deprivation, of course). There is something about becoming a parent and having a little life completely depend on you for everything that causes you to take a second and third look at your own life through a new set of lenses. Now you are reevaluating your decisions, your life choices, your values, etc from a standpoint of “what is this teaching my child? Is this good for them? What conclusions will they come to about life as they watch me? Do I want them doing what I am doing??”
In short, I think it causes you to think about your legacy – what you are instilling into your child and leaving them with that will last long after you are gone.
To my husband and I, hands down the most important legacy we want to leave our children is to have a heart for God. Nothing else that we can do for them or give them even comes close. We want them to know they can never outrun God’s love for them. We want them to understand that being a follower ofChrist is not about an outward show of keeping all the rules, but rather a genuine relationship with God that brings you through both the beautiful and messy parts of life. We want them to learn to love those around them, with the hope that the love and kindness they show others could be the very thing that opens hearts to experiencing the love and hope Jesus gives. We want them to grow and develop into the person God has designed them to be. We want those same things for our lives as well.
So when it comes to choosing a church to be a part of, we are looking to see if that church lives out those same values we hold dear. That is a key part of why our family chose newhope church.
We found in newhope an authentic and genuine love for God and for our community. They believe in every generation. They don’t just teach people over programs, generosity over greed and compassion over criticism, but they live it out in how they treat each person who walks through the doors. They hold the Word of God in highest esteem and also extend grace and understanding. They unapologetically present & believe that Jesus isn’t our last hope, He is our only hope. They continually remind and encourage us that life isn’t designed to be lived alone, but we truly are better together. There is a realness about newhope – this isn’t about showing up each week and pretending like you have it all together and know all the answers – it’s about admitting none of us do and we all need the love and forgiveness of our Savior.
In short, we see in newhope the kind of Christ followers we want to be and the same legacy we want to instill into our kids.
With the 12615 Building Project, I am excited to see the heart and vision of newhope have even more opportunities to be fleshed out into real life. More ability to provide spaces and places for real community to develop and grow. A place where kids and teenagers can come and be loved, accepted and shown the hope of Jesus. A place where we can all link arms to offer resources to our city and give back to our community.
My hope is that it will feel like a second home to our family – not because of the amount of hours we spend there but because when we walk through the doors we feel welcomed, loved and wanted. It’s what we have already experienced in the two years we have been a part of newhope and I am confident the best days are still to come.
These are the best days yet in the life of newhope!
From the beginning we’ve experienced the power of partnership and seen God’s favor poured out. This is not about a building, it never has been. But rather about creating space for the Gospel to transforms the lives of every generation. The 12615 Project will allow us to boldly pivot into the future by faith.
-Jeffery & Joanne-