I think there are two main reasons this decision was needed. Our Metairie crew lost some key families due to relocation. And the leaders did not get the needed support to move the group forward. The first was circumstantial. The second revealed a weakness in leader development in our church.
Hope Church has grown slowly and steadily since we began. Over the last few years we have experienced difficult moments that caused us to evaluate and adjust as we move along. We have multiplied groups and ended groups, we have initiated discipleship plans and adjusted them, we have lost families and gained families, we have revised and reworked... This sort of ebb and flow has been the story of our church... a story of learning and growing.
In it we have learned to fail forward, to capitalize on difficult situations and to become the sort of church that will make it and will advance the Kingdom of Christ in New Orleans. Through all of the ups and downs our church is stronger, more mature, more humble and more resilient.
Ending the Metairie group may seem like a step backward BUT we believe it will yield several steps forward. This decision will lead to healthier group life in Kenner because most Metairie participants will join with this group, it will lead to multiplication in the near future and it gives us the opportunity to develop a better leader training system that will equip our people for effective ministry.
Hope family, take time to pray for our Metairie group as they transition. Love, encourage and pray for this amazing crew. Each of them have faithfully loved and served Hope and now we have an opportunity to love and serve them.
Take time to pray for your pastor and other leaders in the church. Pray that God would use us to equip the body for the work of ministry. Pray that disciples would be more effectively made in our faith family. Pray that people connected to Hope would feel included, loved, valued and utilized in the Kingdom. Pray that people in our city would come to faith in Jesus because Hope Church looks & lives like Jesus.
I love you church! There are exciting days ahead. ~ Pastor Matt