by Jim Herrington
This past year has been one of laying a solid foundation. We’ve been clarifying purpose, launching our training process, clarifying our curriculum, and developing our communications streams. It is our intention to honor God by succeeding at what God has put in our hearts to do, and we’ve worked diligently this year to listen to Him as we clarify success for this ministry.
For many of us, Faithwalking has provided a fellowship of like-minded people. Faithwalking is largely led by those who have a sense of urgency about the condition of our city and who are committed to working from a new mental model that guides our understanding of discipleship and service to the common good. While it is tempting to measure success from the sense of fellowship that is present or from the personal enrichment that we gain, we have resisted that temptation.
Ultimately our measure of success is the existence of functioning Vision Communities that serve the poor, the marginalized, and those in need, for the sake of the common good in our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces and third places. A Vision Community is
• A small group of people who spend a lot of their daily living together
• Who are living in New Testament community – transparently, authentically, practicing mutual submission under the Lordship of Jesus Christ
• Who are committed to a shared vision for serving the common good.
Our best information tells us that we currently have twenty-two (22) individuals participating in ten (10) Vision Communities.
1. 5th Street in Stafford – Todd and Denise McCombs have just launched a community that is committed to the transformation of one of Fort Bend County’s most poverty stricken communities.
2. 6th Ward House Church – Steve Capper is launching a community in his home in the 6th Ward that will address needs in that community.
3. Bellaire Southwest CSA – Bob Chenoweth serves as the team leader for a group that has taken on Mission Houston’s CSA designated Bellaire/Southwest and is giving leadership to the Whole and Healthy Children Initiative in that community.
4. The Caplin Street Project – Jovon Tyler is restoring his family home in the 5th Ward while also serving as a catalyst for the restoration of his family in that community.
5. CyFair CSA – Bob Newey, Guido Piggot, Mark Day, Judy Newey, Michele Caldwell serve as the team leaders for a group that has taken on Mission Houston’s CSA designated Mission CyFair and is giving leadership to the Whole and Healthy Children Initiative in that community.
6. Gregory Lincoln Education Center – Betty Herrington has launched the mobilization of followers of Jesus in this inner city public school. Initial efforts have focused around caring for a school teacher who became disabled.
7. Harbor Church – Jim Herrington, Betty Herrington, Josh Wood, Ryan Donovan, Jovon Tyler give leadership to a house church and drug/alcohol rehabilitation community in Montrose.
8. Kingdom Advisors – Randy Schroeder and Jim Munchbach have launched a work named Kingdom Advisors, a small group ministry that mobilizes and trains followers of Jesus who work in the field of “managing other people’s money.”
9. Kirby Corporation – Jerry Gallion, Bob Livingston, Julie Pilling, Nick Attathikhun have mobilized approximately 100 followers of Jesus in the Kirby Corporation, a publicly held maritime transportation company. They serve within the company and they have mobilized believers to do mission trips and to serve in the Whole and Healthy Children Initiative.
10. The Church in the Trailer Park, Tomball – Bob Baldwin has mobilized the body of Christ to serve in a mobile home park in Tomball. The residents are first generation Hispanics and Bob and his Vision Community have dramatically improved the living conditions in the park while also offering English as a second language classes and afterschool homework assistance for the children.
11. The Gathering of Men in Fort Bend County – Andy Ramos has launched a ministry to men in Fort Bend County that focuses on discipleship and service.
We celebrate the emergence of each of these communities that are in varying stages of functioning – from just getting started to having significant missional impact. We are committed to continue to nurture, pray for, encourage and problem solve with each community.
With this foundation in place, our goals for 2009 call for the foundation to be strengthened in a way the seeds have been planted for 50 vision communities to be functioning in homes, neighborhoods, workplaces and third places across the greater Houston area. Please join us in praying for God’s favor in each of these communities.