Summit Network church planter D.A. Horton recently shared news from Reach Fellowship in North Long Beach, California. Join us in praying for Horton and his team as they prepare to launch in September and celebrating what God is already doing through them in their community.
Transition in Method
Throughout February, Horton and his launch team prepared for a transition in method. After the first two weeks of this transition, Horton reports that members of the launch team have adjusted well and with joy.
The transition included a three-fold strategy for intentional engagement with the lost and discipleship rhythms within the launch team:
- Corporate Gatherings:The team pulled back from meeting every Sunday to only having two corporate gatherings per month in the Ramona Park Community Center, which include a time of preaching, worship, and a focused time of prayer.
- Missional Sundays: On the Sundays they are not gathering corporately, the launch team is engaging the lost around them. Their goal is to gather and compile a list of 200 “missional prospects” (the unsaved with whom they desire to build relationships and share the gospel).
- Community Groups: Each of their three elders is leading a community group twice a month. They’ve asked a few men to serve under the elders as apprentices who, in three months, will lead their own community group and repeat the process of training with others.
Two weeks before their first Missional Sunday, Horton’s wife Elicia struck up a conversation with Selena, who is a Muslim, when they met one afternoon in Ramona Park. After their conversation, Elicia bought flash cards to help teach Selena English.
Then, on their first Missional Sunday, Elicia left her basketball game at Ramona Park to go on a walk with Selena. For more than two hours, they visited and shared a meal in Selena’s nearby apartment, and Selena was touched that Elicia remembered her and brought the flash cards. Since then, the two women have talked at least once a week.
Selena is a missional prospect, and the team is coupling their intercessory prayers for her salvation (and all others) with intentional missional engagement and gospel appeals.
A Door Finally Open
For 11 months, Horton has been trying to gain an in-road into the local high school through the principal, with more than a dozen emails and text messages and a couple of phone calls exchanged but no tangible results.
In April the principal texted Horton and asked if they would be able to help with the football team banquet, and Horton told him they were ready to serve. The football coach called and asked Horton to provide donuts and juice for 80 players, coaches, and teachers. A few days later, several members from the launch team delivered 10 dozen donuts from a local bakery and four gallons of orange juice at 6 a.m. to Jordan High School, and everyone there was very grateful.
The principal has already passed Horton’s number to a few teachers who need help with tutoring and two homeless families with teenagers who attend the school. Needless to say, this was the breakthrough they have been praying for!
- Pray that the launch team would reach their goal of 200 missional prospects by September.
- Pray that they would steward their relationship with Jordan High School’s faculty, administration, and student body with the Father’s care.
- Pray that the team would find a building in which to gather and from which to launch. As of now they have no prospects or options in their zip code.