|Rev. Josh Robinson and members of Austin’s Hope Presbyterian Church. Source: Presbyterian Mission|
If asked three years ago what Hope Presbyterian Church of Austin, Texas was known for, residents in the community would have probably just commented on the beauty of the sanctuary.
Recognizing they had mission and branding problems, the congregation accepted the denomination’s challenge to anchor mission-based ministries around the six “I was” statements of Jesus in Matthew 25 to help congregations become deeper involved in the lives of their communities.
Josh Robinson, the Senior Pastor of Hope Presbyterian, said “Before Matthew 25, if you were to ask what our mission was, you would get 50 different answers.”
Seeking to live out Matthew 25, the congregation underwent an intentional discernment phase during which they realized that all mission work needed to be framed around helping the hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick and imprisoned.
Remarking on the power of scripture to transform congregational life, Robinson said, “These righteous acts are now the basis of Hope’s mission work for the next five years…Matthew 25 has shaped the vision of our congregation,” Robinson said. “We’re now known as that congregation that feeds the hungry, gives drink to the thirsty, clothes the naked, cares for the sick, welcomes the stranger and reaches out to the imprisoned.”