The Community of Hope are a group of Christians from various evangelical churches committed to encouraging the nurture, growth and spiritual healing of the whole person. We affirm and celebrate what Jesus Christ taught and practiced, and believe the meaning of life and the answers to mankind's deepest needs are found in following him.
Originating in Sydney in 1991 by Reverend Ross Clifford - Principal of Morling Baptist Theological College; and Philip Johnson – Lecturer in Alternative Religions and Cults at the Presbyterian Theological College, it took off in Melbourne in 1996 under the direction of Reverend Harold Taylor – former Vice Principal of the Melbourne School of Theology (formerly Bible College of Victoria).
After investigating various studies conducted on how best the Gospel message can be presented to people with new age world views in new age environments, we developed various presentation methods that clearly relate the truth of the Gospel while using designs and objects often familiar in new age setting, like gemstones, cards and coloured bottles.
These methods along with the overall design of our stands, provide a comfortable setting to engage people in personal, spiritual discussions without offending them or watering down the Gospel message. Our advertising has various slogans like “Go on a Spiritual Journey” and “Exploring the Way of Jesus” and attract attention and provide a platform for us to introduce God as the ultimate source of truth. We ask seekers to be open minded to have God reveal himself to them – not us
In new age settings there are all kinds of philosophies and different ways of thinking. We encourage presenters to listen but no to agree with the various ideas, instead affirming their open minds or willingness to explore ideas. This builds mutual respect and provides presenters with a platform to share our 'ideas' also. Since the beginning, we have been astounded at the acceptance and success of the methods.
Involvement in local festivals, markets and events also creates opportunities for churches to build bridges in the community and be relevant in today's society. We believe the potential to bring the Gospel to searching people far outweighs any dangers of involvement – “You are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4 NIV).