James A. Smith Sr.
Director of Public Relations
“People from healthy churches plant healthy churches,” said Master of Divinity student Charlie Houck during a recent Going Global luncheon.
For the Oct. 10 event, the World Missions Center hosted Fielder Church of Arlington, Texas, for an opportunity to share their Great Commission vision for church planting and missions, and how Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary students can partner with them in that effort.
Jason Paredes, lead pastor of Fielder Church, spoke first at the luncheon, sharing with students about the vision he believes God placed on his heart for the church. That vision, he said, “is that we would be a people who inhale the Gospel and exhale the Gospel, and make disciples who do the same.”
“Our whole church is driven by this vision,” he continued, “and one of the things our vision calls us to is to try to imitate who Jesus is in our context. This means that Jesus was radically generous, so we are radically generous people.”
Radical generosity, Paredes explained, means going beyond the tithe and living sacrificially so that one might be able to give more and do more for the Kingdom of God.
With this in mind, Fielder Church has established a 10-year vision for financial giving to “expand the Kingdom of God” through church planting and supporting and sending missionaries. Additionally, Paredes said they believe the Lord has called them to send people from their church by the hundreds, setting a goal to deploy for missions 1,400 of their church members—many of whom he believes are not yet in the church.
Connecting with Southwestern Seminary students and alumni is one way they hope to find people who have been called to church planting and missions, so that the church might support them and send them out to do Gospel work.
One such Southwesterner, Charlie Houck, was seeking next steps in his call to plant a church when he first connected with Fielder Church in 2018 at a Southwestern Seminary church planting event. Houck saw how joining a healthy church would not only connect him with a congregation who would support him, but also provide a context to learn from a healthy church model.
Paredes and Houck were joined by three other Fielder Church staff, who shared their stories and heart for missions and church planting.
Lead Pastor of Missions Jared Yates challenged students to consider that the greatest risk to their current or future ministries might not be the lack of resources or ministry skills. Rather, “the greatest limitation in all of our ministry opportunities is that we don’t believe Jesus is who He says He is,” he said.
“I want to encourage you that the best thing you can do over the next few years is to get around men or women who can challenge you to lean into trusting, asking, and expecting God to move in incredible ways to bring glory to His Son, Jesus,” Yates said. “You would be amazed at what God can do.”