InnerChange

Growing our Faith by Changing our Ways

Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth.

— A. W. Tozer

If you’re like me, there are aspects of how you live your life that you want to improve — especially in your relationship with Jesus. It can be easy to become content with how things might be, so much so that we might not even realize that there is room for growth! Working against us are cultural norms, peer pressure, bad habits — or simply a lack of encouragement to take the next step toward making a change.

Well, Houston’s First wants to be that source of encouragement. From October through Easter in late April, we’re providing helpful resources related to a different spiritual discipline each month. The goal of this intentional focus — called InnerChange — is to deepen our faith by incorporating practices that will turn our attention to Him and align our hearts with His.

As followers of Christ, let’s commit to never becoming complacent with where we are in our relationship with our Savior. If you do not already know Jesus, I invite you to ask questions and seek answers here at Houston’s First. Take a step toward making the greatest inner-change you could ever make — giving your life to Jesus Christ.

In Him,

Pastor Gregg Matte

Text Updates

Text INNERCHANGE to 41411 to subscribe to occasional words of encouragement, ideas, and resources to help you change your ways

Previous Months

Be Still (Oct) • Be Thankful (Nov) • Be Together (Dec)
Be Prayerful (Jan) • Be Generous (Feb) • Be Selfless (Mar)


Be Evangelistic.

From fall 2018 through spring 2019, we’ve looked at deepening our faith by incorporating practices that turn our attention to Jesus and align our hearts with His. We’ve sought to exchange what our natural inclinations might be for what we know God calls us to be — being still, being thankful, being together, being prayerful, being generous, and being selfless.
As we conclude the InnerChange emphasis, our focus is on being evangelistic — being intentional about sharing our faith with others and not being hesitant or complacent about telling others about Jesus. As Pastor Gregg reminds us below, Houston’s First began with a desire to be an evangelistic church. Let’s live that out as a church family and as individual followers of Jesus.

Message from Pastor Gregg

Turn back the pages on the history of today’s global organizations and you’ll often find humble beginnings. A pharmacist created a flavored syrup and mixed it with carbonated water in 1886. Now, Coca-Cola is served an estimated 1.9 billion times every day. College drop-outs tinkered with computer parts in a garage in the mid-‘70s. Now, Apple’s revenue exceeded $265 billion in 2018.
What about Houston’s First? At our founding moment on April 10, 1841, there was a small group of believers on the banks of Buffalo Bayou gathering to worship Jesus. The City of Houston was only five years old, and Texas was still a sovereign nation. The simple formula for our church’s growth since then can be traced back to that day in 1841 — and it can be narrowed down to one powerful word.

In the minutes of that founding meeting, those original members noted they had gathered “for the purpose of forming an evangelistic church.” Evangelistic! Their focus then continues to be our focus now — to tell others about the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.

Easter presents us with an opportunity to invite friends and neighbors to come to church where they will hear that Good News. But, for followers of Jesus, being evangelistic is an overflow of the love we have for Him. It is not limited to the calendar or special events. An invitation to church is important, but so is sharing with a co-worker what God has done in your life, offering to pray for a neighbor in crisis, and simply being intentional about pointing people to Jesus.
Building on 178 years of ministry, Houston’s First’s impact is far-reaching as we follow God’s call to advance the Gospel here at home and around the world while lifting up the only name that truly matters—the name of Jesus. Let’s continue to be that evangelistic church!

In Him,
Pastor Gregg Matte


Suggested Actions

Below are some ways you can be evangelistic:

Pray

Pray for God to give you a burden for people who do not know Jesus as their savior. Ask Him to open your eyes to recognize who they are, and for the Holy Spirit to guide you from there.

Share

Share what God has done in your life to one person in your family, one person you see regularly, and one stranger. Telling your testimony can open the opportunity to share the Gospel.

Invite

Invite neighbors to an Easter service at Houston’s First and/or to an Easter lunch or neighborhood egg hunt with the intention of building a relationship beyond a simple driveway “hello.”

Memorize related Bible verses

    • "He escorted them out and said, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' They said, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.' And they spoke the word of the Lord to him along with everyone in his house." — Acts 16:30-32
    • "But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear ]or be intimidated, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you." — 1 Peter 3:14-15
    • "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith." — Romans 1:16-17

What ideas do YOU have?

We want to hear your suggestions for how to develop or demonstrate an evangelistic approach to the world. Share your ideas with us using the short form below.

YOUR INNERCHANGE IDEAS


Children & Students

Here are some reminders as you guide children and students toward developing an evangelistic lifestyle:

Preschoolers

  • Make ZIP kits with non-perishable food, hygiene items, and a Gospel tract that your family can keep in your car to pass out to people you see on the streets

Children

  • Together, make a map of your neighborhood showing who lives where and noting any prayer requests or Gospel encounters you have with them over time

Students

  • Help your student explore opportunities to share the Gospel locally in your community or on a national or international mission trip with Houston’s First

Music Video

Christians have the best news to tell, and the world needs to hear it. What if you were the one to share it with somebody for the first time? MercyMe sings about the "Best News Ever" here: