We envision a church that shines brightly with the transforming light of Jesus Christ into a world of darkness, where non-churched, once churched, and badly churched people of Northwest Houston find their lifeless souls resurrected to abundant life in Christ. We dream of a church where people leave powerful worship services shaking their heads in wonder at the nearness they felt there to God. We see a church that raises up children, youth, and adults into growing disciples who meet in authentic small groups throughout the community for encouraging fellowship and who, in turn, mentor and develop new generations of fully devoted followers of Christ. We dream of a church where all people use the gifts and talents God has given them, in order that the entire church may function like a well-oiled machine or a well-tuned orchestra, with everyone contributing his or her part to the beauty of the whole. We yearn for a church that replicates the original biblical church described in Acts, where no one sits on the sideline as a non-contributing spectator, and where no one has to compensate for the pew-warmers by doing too many ministries and burning out.
We envision a church where those who have preaching gifts do the preaching, and where those having teaching gifts do the teaching. Where those with shepherding gifts do the shepherding, and where those with hospitality gifts warm things up. Where those with compassion and mercy gifts offer compassion and mercy; where administrators administrate, leaders lead, and where all the other spiritual gifts mentioned in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4 are utilized effectively. We dream of a church that refuses to be ingrown or self-focused but instead channels its redemptive power into the world through compassionate acts of service—showing God’s love to others by its involvement with local, national, and world missions, as well as planting new churches. We envision a church so full of love and amazed by grace that people cannot constrain themselves from sharing generously of their resources and material possessions with those in need. We dream of a church that stands firmly on the foundation of God’s Word as contained in the Bible, depends on prayer and fasting as its source of power, and looks to the Holy Spirit as central to all its activity—filling, guiding, and empowering our lives.
Ken Werlein, 1998