Discipleship strategy began with the church’s name
By Jeff Campbell
In early 2015, the Revs. Eric and Geovanna Huffman opened the doors to The Story, a church plant in Houston, Texas. It was their sixth church to lead from the beginning.
Seasoned church planters, the Huffmans, a married couple, wanted to make sure the Bible was central to everything they did.
We want people to understand that their own story matters to God. Every story matters to God. Knowing each other and sharing each others stories is crucial to healthy relationships. We want them to know how to verbalize their own God story. Everyone has a part to play in the story of God.
“We feel like the Bible is the story of God’s relationship with mankind from the start to the finish,” said Rev. Geovanna. “We want people to understand that their own story matters to God. Every story matters to God. Knowing each other and sharing each other’s stories is crucial to healthy relationships. We want them to know how to verbalize their own God story. Everyone has a part to play in the story of God.”
Thus, the church name – The Story.
Rev. Geovanna said as pastors, she and her husband put a lot of thought about what it takes to bring non-religious Houstonians to God.
She said they look at it as a three-part system. They want people to:
- Know the Bible – They make it easy for people to plug in to a Bible study or small group where Scripture is learned and shared.
- Find community – They want people to enjoy each other and have fun together. This forms relationships.
- Serve in a community – They want them to work together toward goals that honor God.
“We also offer deeper Bible study groups where the focus is all on the Bible, even more than on community,” she said. “I believe this Bible study is one of our most important discipleship tools. In these groups, people really get to know God.”
As people graduate from sitting in the pew to taking on leadership roles in the church, they have the opportunity to grow in their own spiritual journey.
“As people grow into group leaders, they begin to oversee their groups to make sure they are learning, loving, and serving together,” Rev. Geovanna said. “Again, it’s relationships.”
Serving alongside her husband at The Story is a joy, she said.
“Eric and I count it a privilege to be able to serve together and get to do what we are passionate about,” she said. “Our leadership styles and gifts are different, which makes us a good team. We are respectful of each other’s ministry gifts, so we minister well and don’t collide. He has a strong leadership style, and I have my own way of leading.”
Rev. Eric leads the worship services and does most of the visiting. Rev. Geovanna does the administrative side, discipleship and missions.
“We have been ministering together for 20 years, since college,” she said. “We know each other very well.”
Are you interested in participating in One Matters? Contact Jacqui King by email at [email protected], or by phone at 615-340-7295. Learn more about the One Matters Discipleship Award.