Christians in the UK are planning a big ‘thing’ that will be happening called ‘Hope 08’. It is going to be held in 2008, thereby coinciding with its own title. Brilliant! There is a website about Hope08 called ‘Hope08.com‘ which explains what it is about. Now there is a new website, about to be launched, called ‘Hopeinfo.co.uk‘, which is going to be ‘the public face of Hope 2008’. The front page has a video which culminates in a bus stop sign, but I’m wondering whether the site isn’t finished yet. Here is another video about the website, which explains it a bit more.
Now, here’s the thing. Over the years there have been lots and lots of large Christian initiatives. A few that come to mind include Mission England (1984 – remember that?), the Decade of Evangelism, and that one with Reinhard Bonnke called ‘Minus to plus’ where he posted a booklet to millions of homes over the UK and no-one really noticed. Posters have gone up for these various events, rallies have been organised and generally, when the choruses have been sung and the chairs have been put away, not a lot has really happened. That is of course a huge generalisation, but I do feel that compared with the hype not a lot generally results from these initiatives.
I think perhaps I am generally a bit jaded when it comes to large Christian events. I would never, for instance, take anyone who was not a Christian to a large Christian event because I wouldn’t trust the people on the platform not to utter some sort of nonsense or other. The people who run these things have blown it one too many times. Sorry if that is what you do, but that is what I feel.
It seems that Hope08 is about churches doing local things in their own local areas, but if so I am wondering why we need a special logo and name, because lots of churches are doing things in their local areas anyway and they manage this without a special logo and name.
On the other hand I really do want to support good and worthwhile things that are going on. I tend to think that small is better when it comes to Christian goings-on, but either I could be wrong or there could be exceptions. I still need a bit of convincing over ‘Hope 08’, so this is your chance, if you are involved in some way, to convince me and others of my ilk. In particular:
- What will be different about Hope 08 that will make it better than all the other large Christian initiatives I have known?
- What is going to actually happen?
- Aren’t there lots of churches already doing these things?
- Do big huge Christian initiatives actually do any good?
Thank you in advance.