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Andrew Stepp

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The purpose of this project is to begin the process of nurturing a culture at First Presbyterian Church of Houston that will raise up Christ-centered, outwardly focused disciples who are empowered for ministry. The church’s mission is “to carry the Gospel to Houston and the world.” This represents an audacious missions-centered vision that requires a change in how the people see themselves as the Church.

Part One of this paper presents Houston as a mission field and First Presbyterian Church as a perfectly positioned church in the center of the city. The city is home to over six million people and has become the crossroads of global cultures, and those aspects are only predicted to intensify. With a large facility, robust budget, and gifted membership, the congregation is equipped strategically to be agents of transformation.

Part Two expounds the theological essence of the church and identifies resources for its cultural shift. It focuses first on key theological resources that discuss the essence and purpose of the Church and then on resources that teach elements of organizational culture and how institutions resist and undermine change. Next it establishes three theological priorities for the Church: its covenantal nature, its “Pentecost” character, and its missional purpose.

In order to initiate a season of cultural change at First Presbyterian Church, Part Three outlines a ministry initiative that will engage two groups: a focus group from the congregation and the senior leadership team from the staff. The focus group will learn about the essence and calling of the Church in lectures, wrestle with it in small groups and weekly assignments, and then apply it to their daily lives during a directed time period. Similarly, the senior leadership will be equipped to analyze and evaluate the congregational culture in light of its mission and theological identity.

Content Reader: Dana Allin, DMin

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

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Allin, Dana

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First Presbyterian Church of Houston (Houston, Tex.); Missional church movement; Church renewal; Church group work; City missions


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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