Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
About a year and a half ago my mind was opened to many outreach opportunities that I had not previously considered. Many of these came as a part of my classes with the Pastoral Leadership Institute and others through the Texas District, itself. I have always been a proponent of letting others know of “The Way, the Truth, and the Life,” by whom all are saved; but these new ways of thinking about growing the Kingdom of God “clicked” in my mind. I had known many of the truths, but they had not been presented in a way that changed my thinking.
We are living in a country and with a whole generation of people who are biblically illiterate and far from God and, hence, salvation. We, at St. Mark, have been abundantly blessed by God with resources many congregations could only dream of. But more importantly, we have enormous harvest fields all around us. People for whom we are to share Christ with through the use these resources.
When Pastor Woolsey of CrossPoint Community Church, Pastor Steve Simon of Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, and I originally met about a mission plant in West Houston, I was excited (and still am)! There are so many people who are meeting with the Gospel at St. Mark; but there are so many, many more people all around us who are not going to step through our doors to hear about Him. It is, therefore, our privilege and responsibility to “send” us out and “seek” them; as our mission statement declares.
There are many places within 10-15 miles of St. Mark where a “more traditional” church plant could go and do well. (One being in the neighborhood I live in.) But my mind keeps going back to another vision. This has been resonating more and more as I have been with so many others praying to the Lord, “Lord, what do You want Your people at St. Mark to do to touch people with the love of Christ?” during the 2819 Club prayer time each Sunday morning.
Before I share my heart here, let me share this:
- The “target group,” in my mind, would be primarily the “busters” generation. Of course it would touch many others, but this is a generation of “post-moderns” who, by and large, do not know Christ and are completely biblically illiterate. Most of them did not grow up in church and have a very pluralistic and mystic mindset of “god.” They are very tolerant of others, but question everything.
- A meeting place needs to be where the people are, as they have no inclination of going to a traditional sanctuary or church campus. (It’s not really that they are opposed to this; it just doesn’t cross their minds.)
With those, and other factors in mind, I started thinking about a place that has countless people passing by and browsing every day – seven days a week, 365 days a year. People of all ages, races, and backgrounds meet there and interact on a regular basis. It is a place that is minimally affected by fluctuations in rain or heat.
Have you guessed it? It’s a mall. More specifically, I have been thinking of Memorial City Mall.
The opportunities boggle my mind!
This is where I am feeling led when I have been talking with the Lord about the opportunities He has in mind for us at St. Mark for the people of Houston, Texas.
What is He saying to you?
In His Plan with you,
Pastor Scott Heitshusen