A FAMILY OF CHURCHES
Sojourn East End is a local neighborhood church in and for East End Houston. We are also a part of Sojourn Houston, a family of churches seeking to share the hope of the gospel with our neighbors and seek the welfare of our city. Sojourn Houston churches are marked by shared theology, shared church structure, shared philosophy of ministry, and shared values.
JOINING THE FATHER, SON, AND SPIRIT IN THE HISTORIC WORK OF REDEMPTION
The language of our mission statement above is intentionally broad. In crafting a local church mission statement that could just as easily describe the mission of the global Church, we mean to communicate that we have no interest in being new or novel. We desire only to be faithful wherever God has us. Throughout history, God's people have been called to join God in His plan of redemption.
THAT THE GOSPEL WOULD BE MADE NON-IGNORABLE IN EAST END HOUSTON
How do we envision this happening? By making disciples and multiplying neighborhood parishes. Neighborhood parishes are smaller expressions of the church made up of men, women, and children who are learning to follow Jesus in the everyday things of life. As a parish family, we seek to live ordinary life together with extraordinary, gospel intentionality. As new disciples are added and raised up, new leaders emerge and are equipped, then sent out to start new parishes within our neighborhood until all of the East End is littered with smaller expressions of God's church, offering restoration, belonging, and purpose from block to block. We do this in hopes of meeting our neighbors where they're at.
Author and pastor Ray Ortlund says that, "In the corporate psychology and awareness of every city, there is a threshold of non-ignorability. When someone or something rises to that threshold, that someone or something is no longer ignorable." In the same vein, we long for the day when Jesus is a common topic of discussion, much like Houston sports, weather, and culture. Every Houstonian has an opinion about these things---they are non-ignorable aspects of Houston life, and we desperately want for Jesus to be so evident through his people that it is impossible for our neighbors to not have, at the very least, grappled with the claims of Jesus as God and Savior.
...AND BEYOND EAST END HOUSTON
But our vision doesn't end there. We long for the day when we see the gospel of Christ spilling over into every block and neighborhood east of I-45 and SH 288 as far out as Jacinto City and Channelview--areas that have historically been blue collar areas. Our city's current reality is this: Houston has indeed been experiencing a beautiful church planting movement that we firmly believe is God-birthed, yet this movement is taking place primarily throughout the suburbs and throughout the inner loop's westside. While this is exciting, the reality is that the east (from north to south) has been largely untouched up to this point. Our hearts burn to see this change. We're fully aware that this kind of vision is greater than what one church can accomplish in one lifetime, and although we are believing for God to move greatly within our lifetime, we are also grateful for the opportunity to lay the groundwork if God sees fit to use our next generation to fulfill this greater vision.
As stated above, we affirm three marks of a true church: (1) the faithful preaching and teaching of the Word, (2) the faithful administration of the Sacraments (Baptism and the Lord's Supper), and (3) the faithful exercise of church discipline. However, we do not believe these marks constitute all a faithful church needs. Indeed, a church should be marked by so much more! So in order to facilitate unity, clarity, and cooperation, Sojourn Houston churches share the following core values: Strategic Church Planting, Justice & Mercy, Redeemed Family, Integration of Faith & Work, and Artistic Expression.
The Sojourn Houston Confession of Faith receives the Nicene Creed, the Gospel Coalition Confessional Statement, and the 5 doctrinal distinctives of the Acts 29 Network. Although we do not require our members to agree on every point, the confession below forms the theological identity of Sojourn East End.