February 10, 2013
What is an ACTS Community? More important than asking, “what?” is asking, “why?” Why is Memorial launching ACTS Communi>es? To extend the community of Christ in the heart of Katy. That is the heartbeat of everything we do at Memorial. We want to see Christ’s community of faith grow, and broaden its reach in the Katy & West Houston area. We believe our disciples (that’s you) are the prime catalysts for such increase. From our worship to our studies, from Livin in 3D to choir and youth ministry -‐ everything we do is aimed at growing disciples and extending the Kingdom of God in Katy. Sadly, almost 3-‐out-‐of-‐4 people who are not in church on a given Sunday (unchurched or de-‐ churched) will not darken the doors of an established congrega>on such as Memorial to receive the life giving Word of Christ or be blessed with faith through the Sacraments of Bap>sm or Holy Communion. That’s a travesty. But, before we throw in the towel we must realize that the answer to the above problem is right in front of us. If the community isn’t likely to come to us, we must go to the community. And that’s not too hard, because WE ARE THE COMMUNITY.
We live in Katy and its environs, we work in Houston and we shop, eat and celebrate at the local shopping centers and entertainment complexes. This is our city. These are our neighborhoods. These are our family and friends who need the Gospel to come to them. And we’re the ones who are going to bear the Gospel in thought, word and deed. How? Not only by our individual witness, but in collec>ve eﬀorts known as ACTS Communi>es. Memorial launches, supports and gathers in missional communi>es of believers pursuing passionate spirituality, living in radical community and engaging a neighborhood or people group with missional zeal. ACTS itself stands for Accep>ng; Connec>ng; Training and Serving. ACTS communi>es seek to be accep>ng of any and all, connect with each other in formal and informal ways, train each other as disciples following Christ and serve their neighborhood or a par>cular people group. Cont’d on the reverse side...
They consist of 15-‐50 people and are led by one individual or a group of individuals forming a core leadership team. The community is led by normal folks, who hold normal 9-‐5 jobs and endeavor to lead with a small budget, a lightweight leadership load and a low-‐maintenance schedule. Leaders are supported by Memorial staﬀ, who oversee their development and provide guidance and encouragement. ACTS Communi>es are small enough to care and large enough to dare. They are natural and organic, not coerced or stressful. They are simple. They are reproducible. They are deﬁned by disciples who want to live lives bringing glory to God, serving one another and blessing the community of Katy. The vision for each ACTS Community is diﬀerent, shaped by leaders and par>cipants who believe God is calling them to extend the community of Christ in a par>cular way, in a par>cular place.
Our hope is that in the coming year our ﬁrst ACTS Communi>es will provide space for con>nued learning and growth when it comes to extending the community of Christ in Katy. We also pray that these ACTS Communi>es will reach lost people and results in Bap>sms of new believers. We also hope to double the number of ACTS Communi>es we support by this >me next year. We would like to see these ﬁrst ACTS Communi>es mul>ply, but are delighted to add new ACTS Communi>es as well. So, what’s the next step for you? Get involved. Connect. Be trained. Serve. You can: 1) Sign up today to learn more, or be a part of, one of our new ACTS Communi>es, listed below 2) Contact Vicar Ken for more informa>on on star>ng your own ACTS Community
La Familia (“the family,” in Spanish) is a missional community led by Pastor Dimas and other leaders from our Hispanic service. They've been meeAng for a few months now, seeking to grow deep in their relaAonships with God and one another, and reach the lost in Katy.
Adelphos (“brothers and/or sisters,” in Greek) will be partnering with a house church ministry in the 3rd Ward led by Pastor John Ojode, a Kenyan by birth. Elizabeth Chitwood & a group of ladies are currently spearheading this project. They are going to serve alongside the Ojodes to provide a mul>cultural front for the Gospel in the 3rd Ward.
GPS Gathering with a Purpose, purposeful ScaGering will be led by Nathan Engman, April Ramsey and one other disciple at Memorial. Members of their exisAng discipleship huddles will gather for the purpose of idenAfying individual mission contexts and encouraging/challenging each other each month to pursue mission through vocaAon.
The Publicans ("town oﬃcial," known as a tax collector in Jesus' day & as a tavern keeper in the middle ages, hence "The Pub") aren’t a poliAcal group. Instead, they will be seeking to extend the community of Christ in Katy by meeAng at No Label Brewing Co. etc. Vicar Ken will lead, because he enjoys beer, loves people & is passionate about Jesus and extending his Kingdom.
This newsletter describes the why, what and how of ACTS Communities at Memorial Katy.