Mobilizing the Church. Transforming the World.

Houston, TX

houston_headerHouston, TX

Houston, Texas is one of the most dynamic cities in the U.S. With over 400 different ethno-linguistic people groups and a population rapidly approaching 6 million, Houston is an exciting mission field! Since Houston serves as the headquarters for NCI, we have committed ourselves to serving the church in the city. We work closely with numerous churches and several denominations to help accelerate church multiplication and city transformation.

The NCI team is working diligently to help the Body of Christ saturate the city with healthy, vibrant new churches. We are working with churches to create church multiplication centers and networks throughout the city. We believe that these churches can and will transform the city. What is City Transformation? We define it this way:

City Transformation is the ongoing, measurable process whereby the negative factors in a community decrease (e.g. crime, divorce, addictions, poverty, etc.), the positive factors increase (e.g. church multiplication, compassion ministries, healing of broken relationships, generosity, etc.), and churches thrive across all denominational and cultural lines; a natural outgrowth of evangelism and the spiritual transformation of many individuals in a given community.

What’s the future? Here’s how we see it…

THE YEAR IS 2025

Half of all the churches in the U.S. that existed at the turn of the century (2000) have closed their doors. Like most congregations, as they aged they grew less missional and increasingly out of touch with the rapidly changing world around them.

A few of these churches were able to clarify and sharpen their missional focus. They became much more intentional about making New Testament disciples. They created a culture within their congregations that embraced change for the purpose of mission. This enabled them to reach an increasingly diverse and post-modern culture. These churches began to look much different than they did in the previous century, and they continue to morph without compromising the message of the gospel.

However, had these few churches (even though some are large) been the only expression of the Body of Christ to carry the gospel forward, America would have certainly become a rapidly growing desert of spirituality. Alone, they could not have written the story of transformation that we’re seeing today! What is making the difference? It is the same reality that took place in the 1st century, as recorded in the New Testament book of Acts. Over the past 25 years we have witnessed the most unprecedented multiplication of global-minded, transformational disciples and churches in history!

We need NCI to lead our strategic church planting efforts in our diverse, multi-ethnic mission field. -Chris Seay, Founding Pastor of Ecclesia, Houston’s Holistic Missional Christian Community

HOUSTON: A GLOBAL VILLAGE

Houston, Texas is an example of what has been happening in large cities all across the U.S. During the final quarter of the 20th century, Houston experienced a dramatic demographic change that has been replicated in most of the urban centers of America. Once biracial city (predominantly white), Houston has now evolved into the most culturally and ethnically diverse city in the nation. By the year 2000, there was no majority ethnic group. Demographically the city of Houston was beginning to look like a microcosm of the entire world distilled into one large geographic setting. This brought many new challenges to the people of Houston and to the church.

City leaders in every sector of society worked together to address these challenges while most of the churches remained disengaged (and seemingly oblivious.) A few churches accepted the challenge and call to community transformation. Most importantly, the new churches that were rapidly starting incorporated this value into their “DNA” from the very beginning. Authentic Christ followers engaged through the various sectors. Churches corporately worked to relieve much of the social suffering. They lovingly and tenderly introduced individuals to their Lord, who was able to bring about transformation from the inside out. Worldviews were altered as individuals who were once far from God encountered authentic disciples. Many unbelievers became Christ followers themselves. Their lives were transformed as they became connected to these emerging communities of faith. What followed was a citywide transformation, the likes of which had never been seen in either modern or post-modern societies. That transformation continues today, not only in Houston, but also in cities around the world.

CITY TRANSFORMATION

Houston is no utopia. Many problems remain, and with the passing of time, new challenges arise. However, good things are happening on every front. In 2002 about 10% of the city’s population would gather weekly in local churches for worship. Today, nearly half of all Houstonians are worshipping in communities of faith, many of which represent new expressions of the local church. Hurting individuals and broken families are experiencing hope and healing. The poor and outcast in the city are finding real help and genuine acceptance. The successful and affluent are discovering and embracing an eternal purpose for their lives. People of all racial and socio-economic backgrounds are experiencing a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ as a result of the transforming message and the loving community of these “new era” churches.

Several million Christ followers gather every week throughout the city to worship our great God. Christ followers are living out their faith at home, at work, and in their communities. These Christ followers are living lives of integrity, moral purity, courage, and compassion. They literally saturate the city with the presence of God. Neighborhoods, businesses, corporations, schools, and civic organizations are being raised to higher standards of ethics, character, kindness, and purpose. The spiritual temperature is rising and receptivity to Biblical truth is increasing. Individuals, families, and the entire city are being transformed through the impact of this church planting movement.

A MOVEMENT

This spiritual phenomenon is being witnessed in cities all over America and its impact is expanding! These U.S. churches are mobilizing their people all over the world, especially to some of the neediest regions of the globe. These churches are bringing hundreds of thousands of people to faith in Christ each year by demonstrating the love of Christ through personal involvement and sharing of resources. Not only have American Christians been deployed in this movement, but through U.S. encouragement and support, Christians from the global south have been mobilized as well. The great spiritual movement that was so prominent in Asia, Africa, and Latin America at the turn of the century (2000) has evolved into the greatest missionary movement in history. Through the multiplication of healthy new churches the once “cultural Christianity” of America has been replaced by a more biblical, counter-cultural revolution. As American churches joined with churches from the southern hemisphere, the concept of “unreached people groups” almost disappeared. Together they continue to work to relieve oppression and suffering in the world.

What was the catalyst for this global spiritual awakening? It began just after the turn of the century (2000) with a handful of churches that networked together with the commitment to:

  • Make authentic disciples,
  • Plant reproducing churches that reached untouched people,
  • Transform their communities, and
  • Impact the world.

This network of churches prayed for God to use them to repeat Acts 17:6. They dreamed of literally turning the world upside-down.