St. Matthew UMC Lubbock recently started a new Friday evening service called Destiny Christian Fellowship. Below is a Q&A with Pastor Sammy Espinosa explaining what is different about this service and who they are trying to reach.
St. Matthew UMC Lubbock is seeking a partnership among pastors, laity, and the community that is built on a foundation of prayer; empowered by vital worship and praise; and engaging in a ministry of service and love that transforms lives, the surrounding community and the world. Through the continued growth of its members, it seeks to "change the atmosphere" of their neighborhood through the active practice of committed sacrifice and generosity.
St. Matthew, together with their pastor, Sammy Espinosa, have been very intentional about what they are doing in hopes of fulfilling what Christ called us to do: "go into all the world and share the gospel with all creation." A group came together to pray, plan, and implement the plan for continued outreach and growth.
What is the intended target for Destiny Christian Fellowship?
Although all are welcome, the intended targets are the unchurched, careered individuals, home owners, college students/graduates, and stable young families with children/teens. What we are seeing so far in attendance are third and fourth generation Latino/Hispanics that speak English as their primary language.
The world around us continues to rapidly evolve. If we, as the church, are to reach the world around us, we must learn to change some things that might have worked in the past, but may not work now. Although everyone is welcome at Destiny Christian Fellowship, we are being intentional about attempting to build a new core group that will find their destiny in Christ and the Church. If our foundation is strong and solid, it is easier to move forward and build/maintain and continue to grow. Although there is great importance in traditionally how church has been done, it is equally important to learn how to reposition ourselves to embrace change that will continue to reach out to an ever-changing world with the good news of Jesus Christ.
How is the setting of this service different?
We've been intentional about everything that we can think of including prayer/seeking God's direction, greeting/welcoming, social-media, website, lighting and worship, opening/welcome comments and scripture, sermon/message, background media presentation, and music. Some examples of that are; “Come as you are, no matter what you look like... jeans, tennis shoes, t-shirts, and caps, in the name of Jesus Christ, you are welcome in this place!”