Breaking Down Walls


Breaking Down Walls

This week’s newsletter is written by longtime Hopester and Leadership Team Chair, Joel Ybarra.

As we grow, we must break down walls. I, for one, will tell you that my growth as a person right now is more about breaking down walls than building them up. Earlier in my life, I built walls to protect me from getting hurt and to be separate and different than others, and the way I can grow at this point is to bring those walls down. I need to get outside myself, stretch myself and let go of things I have held too tightly. I think this is true for all of us at a certain point. Just think about the spiritual act of forgiveness: it is a letting go, surrendering what we could hold against someone. It is letting down a wall.

As a corporate Body at this stage in our development, it is likely that our job is now to also break down walls. For 29 years, we have been building a church – defining who we are, what we’re about, adding staff and building a nice building. Breaking down walls at this phase of life for our church is about “taking it to the streets.” Do people “out there” care about what is happening inside Hope Community Church? Maybe, but we can make it a sure thing by what we do outside its walls.

This is not a new idea. For a long time already, Hope has been about breaking down walls. If you ask someone in our community if they know about Hope, they will say “Oh yeah, the biker church.” For as long as it has been alive, Hope has been about breaking down the traditions and customs of “church” to welcome sinners, outcasts, regular old folks and many others who wouldn’t normally be interested or welcome at church. Sure, we have built a “church” with walls and all, but I have a feeling most everybody at Hope now and then would say taking Hope to the community out there is better than holing up inside the fortress of our church and avoiding the world outside. Taking it to the streets is still in our DNA and we are going to prove it this Sunday when we gather together to talk about ways we can reach our community, breaking down the walls of the church we have built to include and love all those God loves, which is everybody!

Join us for a good old-fashioned Potluck (BBQ provided, bring a side) this Sunday, July 23rd at 5 pm, when we will talk about ways we can love our neighbors and give some feet, hands and heart to Jesus’ command to “go and make disciples” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” This is what we’re all about!