Occasionally, I attend one of the Grace family of churches locations, Grace New Hope church. I go to this church quite often actually, so I should be able to give it a just deserved review. I could be slightly biased since I attend this church, but I will be objective as possible! Personally, I like to attend. the 9:30 am service. Why that service? Because I have more time in my day after church, and I can beat the church crowd to lunch if my family wants to meet me afterward.
To start off, I want to say that this is just one person’s opinion of this church and not take it too seriously. There are such things as good days and bad days even for churches.
Grace New Hope Church Review
I want to go over every single thing in this review and that means coffee, greeters, sermon, chairs, bathrooms, seating, study areas, and even a special story that the lead pastor loves to tell related to the gospel. With that being said, lets dive into the review!
General First Impression
First impressions are extremely important. Just like going on a first date, a church’s first impressions set the tone for new comers. Grace took this to heart a few years back when a church rater (someone who rates churches) noted their lack of greeters at the Snellville campus. Since then, they have made a greater effort on being a more inviting as a community.
Furthermore, First impressions of the New Hope Campus is a positive one. The building used to be a Baptist church before Grace bought it, so it resembles the traditional large spire and grand demeanor. Upon walking into the church, there is nothing spectacular per-say. There are plenty of smiling faces, donuts, and occasionally a setup for special events. There is a decent lobby life at this church, but most people are mainly coming to and from the worship area. With that being said, there are plenty of people to speak with and get to know if you have the desire to build community.
With general impressions out of the way, lets get more detailed about parts of the church.
Finding Grace New Hope is not too difficult if you are from the Gwinnett area. If you are not from here, you may want to get the address and follow it.
1766 NEW HOPE ROAD,-Grace Conncetions
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA, 30045,
Parking at this location is quite simple. There are spaces competently around the church 360, and a slight hill that leads to additional parking in a gravel parking area. The walk is never very far, and I have never not found a spot at this church. There is a great community, but not too many people where the noise overtakes the purpose of coming to worship.
Greeters are very important and as mentioned earlier, Grace has been focusing on this more over the years. There are greeters as you pull into the parking lot, at all of the entrances to the building, in the lobby, and at the doors before you enter the worship area. Additionally, there are people to show you to a seat if there is limited seating due to a holiday or busy season.
Over the years, this area of Gwinnett has grown more diverse on a constant basis and Grace reflects this. There are definitely all races, ethnicity groups and ages represented at this location of Grace. I can not think of anyone that would feel uncomfortable or out of place at this church. All are welcome, and all will feel welcomed.
If you know me, then you know I love my coffee. Black, no sugar no cream.
Coffee is a vital part to the worship experience in every sense. Joking but not joking. The only bad thing is there is a requested donation for coffee due to the quality of the beverage, but it is not required. Since this is a smaller venue compared to the mega churches of Atlanta with thousands of people coming weekly, they ask you to politely give back some for the effort the coffee makers put out every Sunday. Hey, you can even count it as part of your contribution (tithe) if you want. Just bring a dollar, and you are set for some delicious, spiritual filled coffee.
Once you have your coffee, you may want to sit down to study for a bit before service. Most people will sit in the worship area, get a nice spot, and do a little reading or worshiping beforehand. Additionally, there is a lovely set up outside right next to the area you get your coffee that will usually have seats. On a nice day, this is a good spot to relax, see some friends, and get into the word.
I personally love to bring a journal to church. Writing down your feelings, inspirations, and spiritual realizations is the only way to truly reflect on your growth in faith over time. In addition, it will help you get through hard times when you cannot remember specific teachings or words that chimed with your spirit.
This is always something weird to write about. The bathrooms are very simple, but there are no complaints. They are always clean and do their job well.
You may not think about the chairs before attending a church, but you should. One of my favorite things about Grace is they have amazing chairs! Ok, not a “favorite” thing but definitely a plus. You will be absolutely 100% comfortable in these chairs and have plenty of space to put belongings and your bible.
Grace loves to celebrate. Specifically, the church will put on levents to help promote the community to celebrate as well! The above photo was a photo shoot area for the families on Mother’s Day!
Worship is always a memorizing experience at Grace. Two of the main church band members, Daniel and Sarah, are son and daughter respectively of the lead pastor at this church. Both individuals are extremely talented, and have devoted many years to serving the church through their talents. There are multiple gifted singers on the team as well, and always a good vibe circulating through the worship area before and after the message.
The Sermon is always a treat that is decently long on most Sundays. Typically, the lead pastor, guest speaker, or even one of the youth pastors will preach an inspiring message. The lead pastor of Grace New Hope church is Randy Rainwater. Randy has been in the Grace Family of churches over 20 years, and he was extremely close with Buddy Hoffman, the former lead pastor of the Grace Family.
On transition of taking over the New Hope campus, Randy had to take the place of the former lead pastor Buddy. Those were big shoes to fill, but over time the community has warmly learned to love and appreciate Randy’s teaching style and perspectives. Today, Randy and his family are the faces of the New Hope campus and ministry.
Let’s do something so big that if he’s (God) not in it, it’ll fail.-Buddy Hoffman
Randy is a fireball of a man which can best be illustrated by comparison to the apostle Peter. A bold man with a heart of passion, Randy does everything in his power to bring the gospel to those around him in new and exciting ways. What I personally like about Randy is the hint of genuine love for the people of his church. It shows in his daily life, close knit family, and community involvement.
Specifically, Randy’s style of teaching has matured over the past few years with him stepping into the lead pastor role. Over time, he has learned how to cater his message to a more saturated audience while still maintaining a significant level of enthusiasm and charisma.
I would not compare his teaching style to a Furtick or Jakes, more of a calmer softer spoken tone filled with emotion and passion. Randy does not shout to get his main points across like most pastors, he talks softer. He digs in deep to his emotions and lets the word resonate with the mood of the moment.
Randy’s Favorite Illustration of the Gospel
Time to time, there is one story Randy loves to tell to illustrate the death of Jesus and the gospel in general, The Boy and The Boat.
There was a young boy who loved to build and hand craft sail boats. The boy had wanted for the longest time to build a specific boat that was bigger than anything he had ever built. The young boy spent his entire summer one year building this magnificent boat. After finally building the boat, it made him proud of his accomplishment since it was perfect in every way to him. The sails were clean and white, the wood was polished and waxed, and the paint was one coat of solid white which made the boat stand out.
At the end of the summer, the boy finally decided to take the boat out to sail it down a small river. The boy was delighted at finally seeing his masterpiece do what it was designed to do.
Upon placing the boat in the river, a great wind came by and took the boat down the river faster than the boy could run. Before the boy could save his masterpiece, which he loved so much, the river took the boat of his line of sight. The boat was lost.
The following week the boy went to his usual boat shop, sad and angry at what happened. Upon entering the shop, the boy looked over the counter and saw a familiar looking item. It was his boat!
Without hesitation, the boy called out to the shop owner, “That’s my boat!”
The shop owner, confused and annoyed, responded back to the boy, “No son, some guy came in and brought me the boat damaged. I fixed it and now I am selling it for $100.”
The boy then knew what had to be done. He raced home and smashed open his piggy bank, scrapped up the change from around his room, and ran back to the store. Without wasting a single second, the boy was in front of the shop owner with all of his savings and spare change. He bought the boat.
Walking home, the boy held his boat proud close to his chest. Whispering to it he said, “You are mine. I have made you, and now I have bought you. You are mine.”– Randy Rainwater
The story is a parable for God’s love for each and everyone of us. We are magnificently made. God was so delighted in us, he made us and he bought us through the blood of Christ.
Going to Grace New Hope is always a positive experience. I do not recall one day I have ever felt unwelcomed or out of place. Overall, this church could be attended by anyone that is christian or non christian and of any denomination while still appreciating the community, leaders, and teachings.