New Church Starts: Spotlighting The Shout, Houston

Date Posted: 8/28/2014

Learn what is involved in launching a new church as Rev. Hannah Bonner of St. John’s Downtown Houston shares her experience studying the culture in this area to learn how a new church called The Shout could be most impactful.
For the Texas Annual Conference, 2014 may go in the church planting record books. “We are launching six new churches this year,” says TAC Director of New Church Starts, Rev. Jeff Olive. “We are really moving forward in making new disciples for the transformation of the world.” He has been interviewing the new pastors for several of these new churches and will share these videos via upcoming issues of the Cross Connection, beginning with Rev. Hannah Bonner who works alongside Rev. Rudy and Rev. Juanita Rasmus in being relevant to the inner city culture through St. John’s UMC in downtown Houston.
Hannah has spent a great deal of time having coffee-shop conversations with young adults, students and downtown professionals to determine ways to create a new church that crosses boundaries in an authentic way. She is gathering input from people seeking something deeper and, in the process, reimagining worship that might include poetry and new ways to send believers forth in the world. Watch this video to learn more about her heart, enthusiasm and dreams to allow God to “create a new thing.”
Adds Jeff, “We are blessed greatly by districts paying apportionments and others making targeted donations to start new churches, and we’re excited to have a 3-year plan to launch more between now and 2016. Demographics will be a key driver in that plan. We coordinate this effort through our District Superintendents to see where the population growth is occurring and where the mission field is underserved.”