Houston

Q. How do you reach a city of 6.5 million? A. Turn local churches into training centers.

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How do you reach a city? Turn local churches into training and centres that mobilise ordinary believers to do extraordinary things.

From my interview with Ray Vaughn in Houston,

We have three maybe five ongoing training centers. One is with Sugar Creek Baptist Church where we got started, and now there’s a team that got raised up there in Sugar Creek that’s doing all the training every month. So we don’t have to be there but when we do go we’re just looking to coach and to help. Now we’re guiding them more in the areas of Fields 3 and 4 (making disciples, forming churches). But Fields 1 and 2 (connecting and sharing) they’re sharing like crazy. They have teams that go out every week, sharing the gospel is starting to become part of their DNA as a church and they have members that are already training folks downstream.

Woods Edge Community Church recently is getting on board where they’ve already learned a lot of these tools, with multiple trainings at their church, but now since we’ve come alongside them we’ve been able to capture more progress and help them go through more consistency of training. Now the first Saturday of every month they’re training folks, taking them out. We’re looking for who’s obeying so we can help them start churches and groups that are multiplying.

Sagemont Church is another church in Pearland, south Houston. They’ve committed to the third Saturday of every month and are also giving us some short term missions into Houston that are tied to the training. The first one is in March, they’ll be taking them out among internationals, with lots of repetitions in the harvest, and then they’re coming back to their Saturday training. Then they’re the ones that are going to train the church there. We’re just coaching them.

Then we have some through this ministry called Hip Hop Hope through Guy Caskey and his network, it’s been a great connection working with Guy and pre-existing leaders in other networks. They’ve tightened up some of their Lesson 1 and they’ve seen lots of generations and some fruit. From that they’ve taken inner city urban poor, folks coming out of prisons, and are plugging them a network of folks really going after church-planting and making disciples to 4th, 5th, 6th generation. They have a training center maybe two times a month where they have new folks from different churches that are being trained.

Ray has set a goal of training 5,000 people in Houston in 2016. To achieve that goal, Ray and his team are training trainers.

Most weeks in Houston there’s a church somewhere training their people and going out into the harvest. Ray and the team help set them up, then hand the training over.

They circle back looking to develop emerging Pauls and Timothys.

What can a movement pioneer do in a city of 6.5 million?

Ray SaraVaughn

How do you reach a city like Houston of 6.5 million people?

That was my first question to Ray Vaughn, a movement pioneer just after congratulating him on marrying Sara (photo).

The headings are mine, the quotes are taken from his interview for the Movements podcast.

1. Begin with the end in mind—reaching the whole city. If you act like a team leader you’ll only see what you and your team can do.

We’re starting out with a macro strategy and then moving to a micro strategy. What that means is I could take my team of full-timers and just plug into an apartment complex and say, “OK, let’s go sharing, let’s try and start groups and churches and see how we can get those to multiply and increase,” but then that just makes me a team leader. As a team leader into one area that’ll be a good start but that’s not going to reach the city or see movement.

2. Train and mobilise existing believers, existing churches and form them into teams.

Instead, what does it look like, on a macro level, to start training as many people as we can on every spectrum that we can, whether it’s African Americans, Spanish-speakers or Arabic-speaking churches or people or groups, just any possible person, we’d like to train them and start mobilizing multiple teams into the harvest—that is our macro strategy

So for these next one and a half years, we’re really going to be just training, training, training any person that we can, just to get them into the harvest in a particular area, sharing the gospel, to where that becomes the norm for the culture here, as well as not just sharing the gospel and getting them to Fields 1 and 2 (connecting and sharing the gospel), but then Field 3—discipling them in their homes, in their workplaces or coffee shops or wherever it is and then, of course, forming churches around those people.

3. Keep leading by example

So that’s the clarity that’s in my head as far as how we’re attacking the city of Houston right now. We’re training existing networks, existing churches, pre-existing believers and of course we’re also simultaneously in the harvest every day, sharing, looking for people of peace that are brand new.

There’ll be more to come from my interview with Ray. Thanks to Janet for transcribing the podcast!