The FAQ’s – Part One
Anytime you choose to do something out of the ordinary, it’s gonna raise some questions. And while we readily admit we don’t have all the answers, here are some responses to the questions we have received the most.
How did this all come about?
Pastor Justin and Pastor Marcus became friends shortly after Justin moved to Brenham in 2007. Through the years, they (and their churches) have partnered together on a number of occasions and have built a deep relationship of mutual respect, trust, and affection. On July 7, 2012, Marcus initiated a conversation with Justin to begin exploring an official partnership between Christ Church Brenham (CCB) and House of Worship (HOW). In the days and weeks following, Justin and Marcus and key leaders from both churches discussed whether a merger was possible, feasible, and desirable for both communities. On July 22, 2012, both pastors announced the possible merger to their respective congregations. Pastor Justin and Pastor Marcus believe that God initiated this process so that brothers and sisters might join together to do more for our city and do it better than either church could alone.
What are some of the unique similarities between CCB and HOW?
Both churches are affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and share common doctrinal as well as philosophical convictions. Additionally, CCB and HOW share a common mission and vision: to make disciples for Jesus through the power of the Spirit for the glory of the Father and joy of all peoples.
What are the benefits of the merger?
Simply put, we are better together than we ever could be apart. We believe this partnership will empower leaders of each church to focus on areas where they are strong, rather than being stretched to do so much more away from their unique gifts and calling. We believe this partnership will help us to maintain a BIG vision for God’s work in our city and will protect us from a small-minded, short-sighted self-focus. We believe this partnership re-focuses on, re-energizes us for, and re-aligns us with our mission to make disciples, to call people to trust in Jesus. We believe this partnership will enable us to plant more well-balanced, better-equipped, and fruitful churches. In a culture of church splits, racial tension, and spiritual isolation, we choose to value and model love, reconciliation, and community. We believe this partnership is more about spiritual power than strategic pragmatism, yet it’s an easy sell as to why it makes sense.
What is the financial status of both churches?
The annual budget for CCB is approximately $110,000. The annual budget for HOW is approximately $140,000. CCB owns their facility at 1302 Washington (6000 sf) and owes approximately $330,000 (4.25%; 15 years), including renovation costs. HOW owns six acres of land on Burleson debt-free (valued at $100,000). CCB has approximately $25,000 in the bank. HOW has approximately $45,000 in the general operating fund as well as $180,000 in the building fund.
Who will be the Senior Pastor?
Both churches understand and submit to Jesus as the Head of the Church, His body. In the New Testament, the office of elder/bishop (overseer) is understood as both under-shepherd to Christ and overseer of the congregation. Both churches affirm the biblical model of a plurality of elders, whereby men of equal authority oversee and lead God’s people to fulfill their mission. Not inconsistent with this equality, both churches affirm the unique gifts and callings of the “first among equals,” the Lead Elder who serves the church by leading the elders in mission, vision, and direction. Once the two congregations become one, Pastor Justin will serve as the Lead Elder and Teaching Pastor. Pastor Marcus will serve as Elder and Community Pastor. The other non-vocational elders will serve in various capacities through the ministries of prayer, teaching, preaching, and leadership.
How will the service be done?
Beginning September 16, 2012, we will begin joint services at the Brenham Community Education Building (BCE; HOW’s current location) at 11:00 am. Childcare will be provided for children ages 3 and under. We will meet at the BCE while we finish renovations at 1302 Washington (CCB’s facility), which will most likely be January-February 2013. Once we move to 1302 Washington, we will begin a second Sunday morning service and possibly a third Sunday service in the evening.