Thursday, October 20, 2005

Taking Root

When WHCC undertook five years ago to begin a relocation plan the driving purpose was to put us in a position to make a greater impact on our surrounding community, what we have referred to as “Copperfield and the surrounding areas.” That purpose continues to drive us. Our capital campaign slogan was “Building Up, Reaching Out.” Unstated but implied was the middle clause “in order to.” We were building bigger in order to better reach out. Our congregational slogan, imprinted in FIXED letters on our main sign at the intersection of Queenston and West which is seen by thousands of motorists each day, is “Seeking God, Sharing Jesus.” Unstated but implied is the middle clause “and as a natural consequence.” We seek God in our lives and the natural outflow is to share Jesus with others.

We have been on our new campus almost a third of a year now and I see many evidences of this driving purpose taking root and beginning to blossom. This kind of “missional” change does not take place overnight, individually or as a congregation. But I am inspired by things that are happening, some of which are:

Our Building a Successful Step-Family Conference with Ron Deal on November 5-6. This is a seminar for WHCC members, of course, but also for the community, which says, “Here is a challenge that many of you are facing. We want to come alongside you and offer resources and help in whatever way we can.” We are advertising this heavily in community publications, including the Houston Chronicle.

As quaint as it may seem (no offense Cindi and Suzy!), our Pumpkin Patch is making connections with people from our community. My office faces the front parking lot. Every day I see families who are not WHCC members park and get out and look for a pumpkin. In the process they have conversations with our friendly and welcoming members (thank you, Pumpkin Patch volunteers!), receive some literature about WHCC and upcoming children’s ministry events, and leave (we intend) a little more aware of WHCC (and having made a donation to our children’s playground!).

This week I met with the principal and her staff at Aragon Middle School, across the Queenston & West intersection from us. They are putting together an emergency evacuation plan in the event of a fire, gas leak, bomb threat, food fight, Astros game, etc. They wondered if West Houston would consider partnering with them in this. Here is what I told them: “We relocated for just this purpose, to be more available to the community and more invested in the community. We would be DELIGHTED to partner with you in this. Furthermore, let’s explore other ways in which WHCC can be of service to you.” Finally, almost as an afterthought, I said, “By the way, we have a great guy named Tim Davis who would count it a privilege to serve as a detention hall supervisor for any of your kids with disciplinary problems; just send ‘em on over!” (Tim, is this okay with you?).

This is our kingdom purpose, to join in God’s redemptive mission to the world as followers of Christ, who “spoke the Good News to people” (Mark 2:2) and “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). Exciting things are taking root at West Houston. Go Astros.


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