Vision Sunday: Houston, We Have a Problem

Mar 06, 2023

March is here! As we launch into spring, we’re spending the next two weeks covering Vision Sundays where Pastors Eric and Alexa Jones talk about the future, share the new vision, and pray for what’s to come. In Part 1 of our new mini series, Pastor Eric brought the word and reminded us of our purpose as a church and our role as believers to be the hands and feet of the body of Christ. 

In Houston, We Have a Problem, we’re encouraged to be a rescue team, be image-bearers, and be a family as we study the concepts of evangelism, discipleship, and community. As we turn the corner into a new season as a church, following the official ‘Baton Pass’, we’re continuing as a church to be led by vision, as we always have been. Over the next 2 weeks, we’re coming around the new vision and what that means for VFC moving forward. 

Vision is a God-given thing! Without it, it’s hard to proceed, to move, to conquer goals in our lives. In this new season at VFC, we will continue to be led by vision, with our eyes on God, pursuing the plans and intentions He has for us as individuals and as a church family. 

Habbakuk 2:2 (NKJV) Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.

Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) Where there is no vision, the people perish.

Our goal for the next two weeks is to define and clarify the vision for our church as Pastors Eric and Alexa paint a picture of where we’re headed not just in 2023, but for the years to come as well. Before we dive into the new vision statement, mission statement, and cultural values, we’re first going up to the “30,000 foot level” and setting a framework for where our world is, where we are, and where we believe God wants to take us in our future. Let’s dive in!

Houston, We Have A Problem

In Houston, We Have a Problem, Pastor Eric highlights the 1970 Apollo 13 mission in which the astronauts radioed down to the ground crew those now famous words. The mission changed from journeying to the moon to mere survival. Three men were forced to survive for 90 hours in a two-man ship to try and make it back to earth safely. 

This mission emphasizes the truth that if we’re going to survive and move forward, we must be able to recognize problems when they arise and in turn have the capacity to clearly and accurately define our problems so that we can continue with our new mission successfully. 

As we look ahead to the future and all that God wants to do through us as individuals and through our church family as a whole, it’s easy to relate to the famous words, “Houston, we have a problem.” Between our schools and our political system and our nation, it’s safe to say we’re facing a serious and legitimate problem. 

“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”Albert Einstein 

Before we define our solutions and outline our future vision and dream of possibilities of what God can do in this next generation, it’s pertinent for us to be aware of and tuned in to the problems plaguing our culture, our world, our nation, and our community. God definitely has a big mission for us! Let’s get clear on the problem before we explore our mission. How we respond as a church in these problematic times can have very real, very eternal consequences. 

Our nation is more divided than it’s ever been since the Civil War. People all around us are afraid, confused, combative, isolated, anxious, and depressed. The family alter has been broken, there are combative questions surrounding sexuality, there’s nonstop fighting and mistrust among our leaders, the church, and authority at large. Extreme uncertainty surrounds us. 

Since COVID, things have changed more than any other time in human history, whether we want that to be true or not. As followers of Jesus, all this change in the world we live in can leave us feeling exhausted, exasperated, and depleted. It can feel like very day is an all out war to stay faithful to Jesus. We are very much in the midst of brutal spiritual warfare. 

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

We are at war against Satan in a supernatural, spiritual sense. We see this war in 3 key places: a war on identity, a war on truth, a war on our souls. People are lost, people are confused, and people feel alone. 

“The twentieth century will be remembered as an age of wondrous creativity, when Americans voluntarily shattered their lives into distant and dissonant fragments. America's industries learned how to assemble atomic bombs, airplanes, iPads, the genetic codes of life itself in the same era that American society disassembled the ancient overlap of family, food, faith and the field of work. Americans reached for the stars as they withered their roots, inhabited space but lost any sense of place.”The Intentional Christian Community Handbook

It’s important to be aware of the reality of the world we live in! We do not need to have an alarmist spirit, but a realistic one. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and act like everything is fine around us. We cannot adopt the spirit of the world and let anger and fear throw us into a fighting tumultuous hatred. We cannot let the hostile culture quit our faith in Jesus. 

However, we must understand our heavenly assignment. We need to meet our world in this culture with the radical and deep and transformative love of Jesus and learn to live in God’s subversive kingdom as we spread Jesus’ name to every corner of the earth. This is the world that God has called us to reach! 

So, how will we respond to these problems? What will we do? How can we be a church that thrives and makes meaningful impact despite a hostile climate? We’re covering 3 very real, very doable solutions that we have in God’s unchanging world to meet our cultural climate to see God’s Kingdom push forward more than ever before. 

In Houston, We Have a Problem, Pastor Eric shares a story about Coca Cola’s problem with “new coke” in 1985. In this instance, the company had to apply old solutions to new problems. We, too, must use old solutions to combat our new problem. We don’t need a new Bible or a different gospel. We simply need to return to the truth of God’s Word and let it frame the way we build our lives and build our church. Amen!

1. Evangelism (We are a rescue team)

Evangelism is simply the bringing or declaring of good news. It is the act and the experience of sharing the good news of who Jesus is and what He has done. 

In the war on identity, people don’t know who they are, where they are from, or where they’re going. They are seeking meaning and understanding in all the wrong places. The old solution to the war on identity is evangelism! Jesus loves the lost; He loves the world. Those who are furthest from Him, He loves the most.  

Luke 19:10 (NKJV) For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Mark 16:15-16 (NKJV) 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

We have a heavenly assignment to go on the same mission that Jesus went on and to seek and save the lost! When we’re tempted to push away the world–to hate and to judge and get angry at the darkness–it is then that we are called to have the heart of Jesus and extend compassion for all who are lost. We are a rescue team! Our mission is to proclaim Jesus to everyone, everywhere. We are called to make Jesus’ last command our first priority. Evangelism is a way of living, a way in which we filter all that we do as a church and in our individual lives. 

2 Corinthians 5:20 (NKJV) Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

We live in and live from a Kingdom mindset and we represent Jesus as a church and as individuals here on earth proclaiming and declaring the message of reconciliation everywhere we go. The whole of our lives and all of our thinking and doing and posting and working and relating is in submitting to Jesus and letting our lives–the way we live, think, talk, and work–be a testimony to who Jesus is. We evangelize in all that we do and who we are at our core. 

1 Thessalonians 2:8 (BSB) We cared so deeply that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our own lives as well. That is how beloved you have become to us.

In Houston, We Have a Problem, Pastor Eric details the way that we can applicably evangelize to our world in the same way that Paul did in his time and culture. Like Paul, we evangelize at the temple and we evangelize at the table.

The definition of evangelism is not getting people saved–Jesus and the Holy Spirit do that. Our job is the proclamation of the good news. Our vision for our church is to embrace the spirit of evangelism in all that we do. We are called to be a church set on fire to make the name of Jesus known everywhere we go. We are called to be a church that’s committed to keep our doors and our hearts open to those who are seeking, hungry, or lost. Amen!


Jesus rescued us when we needed it most. In what ways can you personally operate as a rescue team for someone in your community?

What is the difference in simply sharing the gospel of God and sharing our lives with others? 

2. Discipleship (We are image-bearers)

We live in a post-Christian, post-truth culture where everything’s relative and any notion of absolute truth has been thrown out the window. This has left people feeling and living confused, fragmented lives. The old solution to the war on truth is discipleship! Jesus did not come just to make converts; He came to make disciples. 

Matthew 28:18-19 (NKJV) 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

We are called to be disciples and to go and make disciples–to embrace the idea of discipleship. Oftentimes, this concept gets misunderstood and even confusing for followers of Jesus. The definition below helps us get clear on what exactly discipleship means: 

“Discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be if He were you.” ―Dallas Willard

Discipleship is a process of becoming; it’s a journey, a process we go on to become like Jesus. If Jesus were us, who would He be in our family and our marriages and our relationships and our households and our workplaces? Discipleship is the journey of becoming like Christ. It’s embracing His teaching and adopting His ways of thinking and finding ourselves practicing His way of living. 

Matthew 4:18-20 (NKJV) 18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

In Houston, We Have a Problem, Pastor Eric details the severity of discipleship within the New Testament and reminds us that the concept of discipleship is just as pertinent, just as important today as it was two thousand years ago. Discipleship is a big deal! He has called us to be dusty Christians who change the way we live, change our goals in life, change how we relate to the world around us. 

We throw out our old lives, all that we once knew, and as believers, we put Jesus in the center and let Him define the rules of how we live. It is extreme, it is radical, and it is who Jesus has called us to be as His church. Let’s do more than just attend church; let’s give ourselves to the journey of becoming like Christ, adopting His ways and His lifestyle and His mission. Let’s draw so close to Jesus that people can’t help but see His presence when they’re around us. This is how we change the world. 

Romans 12:1-2 (MSG) So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Let’s be a church that embraces deep and life changing discipleship in all that we do. Let’s be a church that let’s God’s word shape our worldview and our daily living. Let’s be a church that lives victoriously in Jesus’ redemption and goes on the journey of becoming like Him. Amen!


Think of someone you look up to and respect as a fellow believer. How does that person represent Christ as an image-bearer? 

What changes can you implement that will further make your life a living offering to God as we’re instructed in Romans 12? 

3. Community (We are family)

We know that there is a war on our souls–the pursuit of greatness and fame has all but destroyed the human soul. Social media has become our currency where we find identity and meaning but unfortunately, that search has left many in our world feeling isolated, disconnected, alone, and afraid. The old solution to the war on our souls is community. 

We were not created to do life alone! God created and wired our being, in a way that we need community, we need to relate to one another. We were created to do life together, to walk through the highs and lows, t pray and laugh and cry and celebrate in relationship with each other. Church is about knowing each other and loving each other and experiencing life together. 

Acts 2:44-47 (NLT) 44  All the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

This type of community happens nowhere else in the world but in the church. The type of community that worships together, prays together, spends time at each other’s houses, encourages each other and cares about each other–that is the church we are called to be! 

Under the name of Jesus, we can love one another. We can support each other and depend on each other and focus on what binds us together in Christ instead of what divides us. What a beautiful resistance we can be in a world that constantly tries to tear us all apart!

Zechariah 8:4-5 (MSG) A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: “Old men and old women will come back to Jerusalem, sit on benches on the streets and spin tales, move around safely with their canes—a good city to grow old in. And boys and girls will fill the public parks, laughing and playing—a good city to grow up in.

Let’s be a church that embraces community, a church that is united under the name of Jesus, a church that loves sacrificially and serves one another. We are called to embrace being part of the family of God. Amen!


What about our church feels like family to you? How do you know you’re part of the family of Jesus?

How can we work together to make church feel more like family to our community? To those new to VFC?


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.