WHAT WE DO
Houston Responds unites, empowers, and mobilizes churches to multiply collective impact on critical needs in their community.
We accomplish this by developing local coalitions of churches that collaborate with one another and other community partners and are part of a broader interconnected network of relationships covering all of Greater Houston.
Churches have massive potential to meet critical community needs.
Churches together represent vast social and material capital. They are also uniquely positioned to mobilize and multiply these resources. Why? It is part of their DNA. Second only to loving God, they are commanded, as Jesus said, to love their neighbors. They are called, as Jeremiah said, to seek the welfare of the city and are well-positioned to know the needs of their communities. Local congregations collectively represent the most significant source of volunteers in the city. In a rapidly changing world, churches are also uniquely flexible, able to quickly adapt to a crisis like a pandemic or a new wave of refugees by creatively activating the human and material resources with which they are blessed.
Our prayer, as Jesus prayed, is "may they be one." Our strategy for oneness is building trusting relationships between local church leaders. Those relationships form the foundation of a coalition of interconnected churches. The mechanism for cultivating those connections is regularly convening church leaders to develop strong bonds, share needs and resources, encourage and learn from each other, and identify opportunities for collaboration.
Coalitions multiply impact for community transformation.
Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the effect. As a team, churches can do more and better together. Local congregations are uniquely positioned to unify. Why? Again, it is part of their DNA. They are, as Jesus said, part of a single body. They seek to be, and are, part of something much bigger than themselves. Though they may default to working in silos, they desire to work in unity and simply need a mechanism to help them do so. Built on trusting relationships, congregations are also uniquely equipped to inspire, challenge, and learn from one another. Not least of all, they are designed for the duration. The “body” that is the church has stood the test of time and promises to persevere.
Church leaders often lack the resources to care for their own. Collaborating to care for their community can seem like a burden beyond their bandwidth. Houston Responds seeks to fill the gap by providing tools such as a platform for communication, shared knowledge and best practices, a model for workgroups to collaborate around specific needs, and connections to potential resources and community partners.