Download e-Newsletter PDF, click here.
In the Spring of 2007 Mission Houston took the bold step of giving our word to the transformation of the public schools. This declaration grew out of two beliefs. First, we believe that city transformation requires restoring the sectors of the city to God’s original and intended purpose. Second, we believe that restoring public schools will touch every other sector of society.
We launched the Whole and Healthy Children Initiative (WHCI) as a means of inspiring and mobilizing the Body of Christ to work in unity to see the public schools transformed. The purpose of this letter is to report progress to you and to describe an important next step that we are taking in order to keep our word regarding the transformation of the public schools.
The WHCI is beginning its second year. As you can see in the chart provided, there is significant initial momentum. We’ve been welcomed into schools and have received rave reviews from administrators and teachers alike. So, we’ve been seeking the Lord asking “How do we sustain this progress and increase it dramatically without having to employ an ever growing staff to maintain the initiative?
We believe that the answer is by developing missional leaders. Persevering leadership is the first and most common principle drawn from global stories of city transformation. For more than a decade, Mission Houston has served the Body of Christ in this city by being a persistent voice for transformation.
Faithwalking is the leadership development arm of Mission Houston. We develop leaders who are particularly skilled in city transformation principles and practices. The goal is to develop leaders who mobilize the Body of Christ into missional communities for service to the common good. Since Faithwalking was launched in September 2009, we’ve succeeded in establishing 19 missional communities across the city. (For a list of these missional communities, see FAQ)
As we move into 2010, through Mission Houston’s Faithwalking enterprise, our Board and staff have set a goal of partnering with individuals, ministries, and congregations in establishing 500 missional communities by 2020. Though not all missional communities will focus on the public schools, a great many will. The goal of 500 represents approximately a 40% increase annually in the number of functioning missional communities. We believe that the nature and scope of this goal – which will become our primary focus – will impact the spiritual climate of our city, specifically in our public schools dramatically. We are committed to holding ourselves accountable for this goal to God and to you – our intercessors, our donors, and our volunteers for achieving this goal.
As we take these next steps forward, we need you to pray, we need you to volunteer, and we need you to give. On that front, there is some very good news. God has blessed us through a small group of folks who have pledged a total of $42,000 in matching funds for our end of the year fund drive. Every dollar that we raise between now and the end of the year will be matched dollar for dollar up to $42,000.
Consider making an on-line donation to Mission Houston. By doing it, you’ll help us know where we are and what we can count on. We promise, in return, to communicate regularly and clearly about progress toward the goal of equipping and deploying missional leaders for God’s use in the transformation of the city.
Jim Herrington for the Staff and Board of Mission Houston
FAQs about Mission Houston
Q: Will Mission Houston still hold prayer and unity as core values?
A: Absolutely. In the Faithwalking training, these values are embodied and taught. In the existing missional communities, there are more tangible demonstrations of protracted servant-focused unity than any other place in our work. And we will continue to partner with prayer ministries across the city that are mobilizing prayer for the transformation of the city.
Q: What does the commitment to Faithwalking mean for the Whole and Healthy Children Initiative?
A: We are committed to the transformation of the educational sector. We gave our word to that because we believe that this is a pivotal sector that the Body of Christ must serve. We will continue to deploy leaders who complete Faithwalking into the educational sector. The 4Ms of the Initiative (mentors, mobilizing prayer, money, and makeovers) are an important piece of our commitment to the sector. But they are a part of the initiative – not the whole. In the early part of 2010 our Board and staff will review progress with the 4Ms.
Q: Describe the Faithwalking training?
A: Faithwalking is a three-part process. First there is a three day weekend retreat. Second there is a 24 week small group process designed to help participants integrate the learning from the retreat into their key relationships. In part two each participant has a personal transformation coach. At the end of the second part, participants are asked to launch a new missional community or join an existing one. Each community has a community coach.
Q: Who should sign up for Faithwalking?
A: Everyone who, by faith, wants to risk living more missionally with a community of family or friends. One common mistake is that only those highly adventurous risk takers should sign up. Whether you risk starting a missional community in a high risk neighborhood or whether you join a missional community in your office building, you are encouraged to be a part of this journey.
Q: What is a missional community?
A: A small group of people who are deeply connected to each other and share the mission of measurably the Kingdom of God in a neighborhood or workplace.
Q: Where are the existing missional communities?
A: Listed at the end of this document.
Q: With Randy Schroeder becoming Board Chairman, what will Jim Herrington’s role?
A: He will continue to be intimately involved. Jim is our founding executive director and has served as the Chairman of the Board since our inception. Randy’s nomination is an intentional effort on Jim’s part in collaboration with the Board to enlarge the ministry and to move beyond what those in the non-profit world call the Founders Syndrome. Jim will continue as a lifetime member of the Board of Directors and he will take primary leadership for the design and implementation of the Faithwalking curriculum.
Current Faithwalking Missional Communities and their leaders
5th Street in Stafford – Todd and Denise McCombs, Brandon and Sara Beth Baca
6th Ward House Church – Steve Capper
Bellaire Southwest CSA – Bob Chenoweth
Caplin Street Project, 5th Ward – Jovon Tyler
Chambers Elementary Soccer League – Terry Richter
CyFair CSA – Bob Newey, Mark Day, Judy Newey, Michele Caldwell
Gregory Lincoln Elementary School – Betty Herrington
Harbor Church – Jim and Betty Herrington, Josh and Aimee Wood, Ryan Donovan, Jovon Tyler, Loren and Tanya Gardner
Jacobs Well – Andy Ramos III
Japan – Bryan Tantzen
Kingdom Advisors – Randy Schroeder, Jim Munchbach
Kirby Corporation – Jerry Gallion, Bob Livingston, Julie Piling, Nick Attathikhun
Syria – Marcos Leon
Texas Instruments – Shawn McGlothlin
The Church in the Trailor Park – Bob Baldwin
The Gathering of Men in Fort Bend County – Andy Ramos
Williams Energy – Steve Young