Sojourn Houston believes in the kingdom-expanding power and effectiveness of planting churches that plant churches, so much so that church planting caps our three-fold strategy: to make disciples, multiply parishes, and plant churches. In addition, strategic church planting is one of our five core values. Why? More specifically, why is Sojourn Galleria going to so much trouble to plant another Sojourn church in another part of Houston? So glad you asked.
Why Plant a Church?
Planting churches is endorsed by the Bible, history, and statistics as the best way to see people won to Christ and the most lasting means of establishing His Kingdom on earth. The only book the Bible gives us on early church growth, the book of Acts, is essentially a book on church planting. Pastor Tim Keller writes, "The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for (1) the numerical growth of the body of Christ in a city and (2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. Nothing else—not crusades, outreach programs, parachurch ministries, growing megachurches, congregational consulting, nor church renewal processes—will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting. This is an eyebrow raising statement, but to those who have done any study at all, it is not even controversial."
Why Plant a Church in Houston?
First, as many as 10,000 people a month are moving to Houston, many of them from other nations. We need new, Spirit-filled, disciple-making churches just to reach them, not to mention the millions of unreached who are already here. Second, Houston is one of the wealthiest cities in America, boasting the second largest port and the largest medical center. This presents us with a wonderful opportunity to steward Kingdom resources on behalf of brothers and sisters in lack. Third, Houston is also one of the darkest cities in America. It’s a hub for human-trafficking and drug trade, which stands as a tragic reminder that our fellow Houstonians are in desperate need of the gospel. Finally, Houston is the most international city in the United States. The nations have come to us, so to reach them for Christ is to see the knowledge of His glory cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).
Why Plant a Church in Houston’s Galleria Area?
One demographic study shows the Galleria area as the single area of fastest growth in Houston in the next 30 years. It’s already bursting at the seams. If Houston is the most diverse city in America, the Galleria is its epicenter, perhaps the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in Houston. The nations are here, but so is all that comes with them, both the glory and the shame. Sex-trafficking, corruption, and materialism run rampant. But Christ is King, and He must reign while His enemies are put underfoot (Psalm 110). His gospel must be preached here to prisoners so they can be set free (Isaiah 61). And so He has called us here to plant His church, Sojourn Galleria.