New Church Starts/Faithbridge UMC - The Woodlands Area Campus
Serving as Director of Multi Campus Operations and attending licensing school were not where Wayne Risher thought he would be at this phase of his life. As Faithbridge UMC looks northward to launch a new campus, however, he is thrilled to play a pivotal role in “making new and stronger disciples of Jesus Christ” in a new neighborhood.
Wayne Risher served as a lay leader for more than 13 years at Faithbridge UMC. “In 2012,” he says, “I sold my company and felt God tapping me on the shoulder to engage somehow beyond what I understood. Through an interesting story of God's handiwork, I am knitting together my passion for His mission and years of business experience that has prepared me for this moment in time.”
According to Wayne, Faithbridge started as a church plant over 15 years ago in the Klein area, north of Houston. Intentionally focused on making disciples in the local community with prayer-led pragmatism, leaders have developed a unique ministry niche in the church that is reaching thousands of families in our community every day.
He adds, “At Faithbridge, we’ve always seen ourselves as a community of life-changing small groups who serve, grow and worship together. Around here we say that rather than being a church with small groups, Faithbridge is a church of small groups. Our new worship campus near Hwy. 2978 near The Woodlands is an extension of this principal: we aren’t creating a new church, we are simply creating a new environment where Faithbridge small groups can come to worship.”
There were two factors behind choosing this location as their next worship site. Explains Wayne, “First, we have a number of families who are already driving 10 miles or more to worship at Faithbridge, so this provides a place for them to worship nearer to their homes. Our second reason is missionally-driven: the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Demographers estimate that tens of thousands of new families will be relocating to this area in the next few years. We are praying that God can use us to introduce these young families to Christ, and help them start a lifelong discipleship journey.
So, as a first step to launching a new campus in a school in this area, Faithbridge is starting small groups in the immediate vicinity to build new relationships and stronger, deeper disciples. “With any new venture, you have challenges,” says Wayne, “and ours relate to funds and faith…in that it takes money to take your mission to a new location and it takes faith to trust God about who will come.” He is working on the logistics of renting the school in November to have a preview praise and worship service. Leaders anticipate launching the new service in January. Watch this video to learn more about the church planting process.