The new year is upon us! Last night we sent a mission team to check on our work among an unengaged and unreached people group we adopted a few years ago. Due to the public nature of these emails I don’t want to give out many details about the people we sent or the exact location of our team. However, please keep this team in your prayers. They will be doing work in an area of the world where a Christian witness is not welcome.
In most cases, the opposition to Christianity isn’t violent but there have been an increasing number of incidents in the last year or so that are cause for added vigilance in prayer. You can pick up prayer cards in the Gathering Place for both of our partners on the ground in this area. Also, we will spend some time praying for our team this Sunday at the end of each service. Thanks to your gifts to the World Missions Offering, we’ve already seen several churches planted and many people baptized in this part of the world.
This coming February 23rd-26th there will be an opportunity for anyone (17 yrs and above) to take a trip down to New Caney, Texas to work with one of our church planting partnerships. The cost of the trip is $75 a person (which includes lodging and meals.)
The church plant (currently nameless) is being planted by North East Houston Baptist Church in Humble, Texas. Nathan Lino is the pastor and their church will be sending out John Powell (previously the pastor of FBC Hamlin) as the lead pastor of the new church plant.
Part of our 2020 Vision is to plant or revitalize five churches in North America. We feel like the Houston area is one of the most strategic places to plant a church. Houston is one of the 11 fastest growing cities in the US. People from all over the world are coming into Houston. It’s on track to be the third largest city in the US surpassing Chicago by 2025. It’s also the most diverse city in the country, even more than New York or Los Angeles.
Since the city has reached its growing capacity southward, the only place left for it to go is north. As it extends northward it will overtake rural communities such as New Caney which is why this church plant is so strategic. Some expect around 1 million new people moving to Houston within the next few years. The vast majority of these will unreached. We want to play a part in reaching them.
Our mission trip to New Caney will involve door to door evangelism, prayer walking and generally just helping spread the word about the church plant in the community. If you think you’d be interested please register on our website or contact Travis Boyd for more information. There will be an informational meeting February 5th at 5:00pm in the Gathering Place.
To close out I just want to encourage you to start 2017 with a plan for your spiritual growth. One of my favorite preachers likes to say that “it’s your direction, not your intention, that determines your destination.” It doesn’t matter how much you “want to.” If you don’t “plan to” grow spiritually this year then it won’t happen. So here’s a simple way you can start.
This month we are starting a series in the book of Colossians called “First Things First.” Consider reading the whole book of Colossians once a day and then write down what God says to you at the end of your reading. Reflect on why God is impressing on you what He did and then spend some time praying for his help to walk in obedience to what He revealed.
If you’re not currently having any personal devotional time with the Lord then this alone might very well change your life.
Here’s one more thing you can do. Write down a list of 4-5 people whom you love very much. Now pray Colossians 1:9-14 over them. Use their name in the place of the second person pronouns in the passage. You can also join us this coming Sunday at 8:25, 9:40 or 11:00 as I attempt to explain what this passage means and how it applies to our daily life. You can catch up on the series by watching this past Sunday’s message.
As always, if there’s anything I can pray for you about, please let me know. I’ve been praying Paul’s prayer for the Colossians over you every day as well. I hope you have a great rest of your week!