A few days ago, Korista (the Pastor of our parent church) asked us to speak at Village Houston. Any time we are asked to share with a gathering, it is an incredible honor. Last week, Pastor Korista started a new series called “Final Review” that looks at the conversation that Jesus had with the disciples just before he returned to heaven. She has asked us to focus on the “Go” command that Jesus imparted to His inner-circle.
MATTHEW 28:18-20 – And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. GO therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
When Jesus was speaking to the disciples, He was also speaking to every follower that was still to come. As Christians, each one of us should read this passage and feel challenged to action. But, as we have been in preparation for Sunday, I have related these scriptures to an additional area of my life. This command challenges my life as a Christ follower, but it also defines my life as a Church Planter. Apparently, our family read these scriptures and took them quite literally! Similar to the life of a foreign missionary (who are absolute heroes) a Church Planter feels compelled to a specific region or community of people.
We are incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to Pastor in the city where we were raised. We don’t have to leave our family, friends, and familiarity to pursue what God has asked us to do. That’s so gracious of Him! But even more so, we’re honored to start a church in a place so dear to us. The obvious needs and apparent struggles are very personal to our family. Houston is OUR city.
I still remember timidly crossing the bridge over 610, in anticipation of beholding the gates to AstroWorld. I wasn’t tall enough to ride any of the big-kid-coasters, but this little dare devil could ride the Serpent all day long! I have gotten older, things have changed, and AstroWorld is now a giant field. But, I haven’t lost my dare devil streak! I am just brazen enough to believe that effecting change in Houston (the most culturally diverse city in the US) means effecting change around the world.
Along with being the most culturally diverse, Houston is also the fastest growing city in America. For the past decade, over 2,000 people have moved to the greater Houston area each week. With nearly 50,000 people living in the Greater Heights area of Houston, there simply aren’t enough life-giving churches available to meet the needs of such a vast array of people. While Houston is one of the greatest cities in the world, some very big needs are easily assessed. Houston is considered the epicenter of international human trafficking. There are over 5,000 homeless Houstonians inside the loop, on any given night. Houston is the #2 most debt ridden city in America. And, of all the major metropolitan areas in the US, Houston ranks as one of the worst at meeting mental health needs.
The goal of Village Heights is not to attempt to combat all of these needs on our own. We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel! Our goal is to partner with those in our community that are already making a difference. By being Christ centered, audaciously generous, and community crafted, our plan is to become engrained in the positive change that is already happening in Houston.
Jesus told us to GO, so that’s what we’re doing!
By Hannah White: