How do You Define Success?
By Jeff Klick
One definition of success I like is, "Success is knowing what God wants you to do and doing it with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength." This is true with individuals, families, and churches. The first task is to know what God wants. Then to pray through each step to accomplish that task given to you. If we do this, God will be pleased, and we will be successful. Each individual, family, and church will be given a different plan by a creative God. Each will be rewarded according to how they walked out their assignments, and not in comparison to any other.
This church is founded on this definition of success. My job is to help each one learn what God wants them to do and to encourage them to do it. This system of philosophy often runs contrary to normal church methods. It is not the goal of Hope Family Fellowship to have all the programs centered in the organization, but the home. Outreach will break forth from the functioning home, not necessarily the building. This can give the appearance that we are not doing anything. However, the very opposite is true!
Many people at Hope Family Fellowship are ministering and being very effective for the Kingdom of God. They just do not like the applause of men, or do not like to share publicly what they are involved in. This is exactly what I wanted when we started this Church. However, this does have some drawbacks. Most of us are from backgrounds where the Church is very visible in its programs and promotions. We gained a sense of identity with the organization, but not necessarily the people 9f the organization. We also can sense a lack of community when there is no sharing of testimonies and results of ministry. As the pastor, I often get to share in the blessings of knowing what various families are doing. I would like to pass on a few things going on within the ministry of Hope without violating the wishes of those who want to remain nameless. I would also encourage you to fellowship with people outside your normal sphere. This is the best way to see and share in what wonderful things God is doing in our midst, and build relationships in the process!
There is a family that goes on a regular basis to nursing homes and sings, shares, and loves. This is wonderful and any family could do this. Most folks left in these homes are forgotten and neglected. They would love to see and hear children, or just be read to or talked with.
One family has held vacation Bible schools for their neighborhood inviting all the children (and their parents!) to a fun day of games, study, and the Good News of Jesus Christ. We have several people who minister in local pro-life groups. They counsel, pray, and love the young ladies who were about to commit murder. One family served all summer in an inner-city youth camp reaching out to a very difficult group of young folks. Several men go on a regular basis to a homeless shelter to sing, pray, and share with the down and outer's of our city. Some have been involved in visiting those in jails presenting the message of freedom to those who are not. Another family helped a husband and children take care of his dying wife. Yard work, cooking, cleaning, and crying were all part of the ministry. Many families regularly share the Gospel wit their neighbors who do not know Christ. Through baking, helping, and just plain caring, the message shines through. Happy, obedient children open many doors to haggard, depressed mothers. One family assists single mothers with all types of problems and challenges. Many young adults help with baby-sitting, cleaning, and support of struggling families all over this city. One family holds marriage seminars to assist husbands and wives, while many are active in supporting roles with new home schooling families who feel overwhelmed. Many families have handed out Jesus Videos planting seeds of life and making friends of neighbors who they used to not even talk to. One has been a huge support to a family who lost a loved one through a senseless tragedy.
Our church has a large percentage of self-employed men who have a tremendous opportunity to share the Gospel. Christian signs and materials displayed often prompt conversations and prayers with customers and many more seeds are planted. One family sews, another knits, still another crochets for the homeless and those less fortunate. All are an effort of love and excellent training for the next generation to be givers. Many families were just involved with all aspects of the citywide crusade.
Some travel around America, others have gone overseas to share. Some we know about, most we don't, but God is pleased. Hope Family Fellowship is functioning, growing, and having an impact, and as it's pastor, I'm delighted!