Looking Up – The Tangible Love of Christ


Dear Hope Church,

Life Groups have been a defining part of our experience at Hope Church since we first joined. Even before, actually! After visiting the church a few times, we were invited to a new group that was forming and quickly got into a rhythm of meeting with a small(ish) group of folks every Wednesday night. During those first few months in this new Life Group at Hope, we were able to deepen relationships, sense the strong ties to biblical teaching, and learn more about the congregation’s heartbeat in action, True Hope for Real Life. This simple invitation to a Life Group has had positive rippling effects on our lives ever since.

The Life Group’s hospitality came at a time when we needed it most: a recent move to Winston-Salem, new jobs, becoming parents for the first time. Through it all, we received consistent encouragement, exhortation, and care from our Life Group peers. It was this same hospitality that led us to start a new Life Group a few years later. We, too, wanted to provide a space for new folks at Hope to receive the same encouragement, exhortation and care that we had.

As our family has grown and responsibilities have increased, the commitment of meeting every Wednesday night can of course feel burdensome at times. Do I really have the energy to engage with others tonight? Will sharing our current challenges really make things any better? Wouldn’t it be nice just to take the night off during this busy week we are having? It can be tempting to think of Life Group as just another obligation among many.

Yet, it is often on those nights when we are surprised most by what God has in store for us: other couples walking through the same challenges we are, signs of God working in our friends’ lives, laughter from a good story. We leave the night not only more encouraged but also more connected and even rested. Our story is just a tiny part of God’s story, and meeting with one another has become, for us at least, a meaningful way to give and receive the tangible love of Christ. Never done as perfectly as Christ, but striving together, and with lots of grace.

If you are not already enjoying the benefits of being in a Life Group, I’d invite you to take this opportunity and consider the positive rippling effects it might offer you.

With grace and peace,
Vance and Melissa Faulkner