The West Houston Church of Christ is typical of many churches in North America that struggle to relate in meaningful ways to the surrounding culture. Over thirty years West Houston changed from a small, vibrant young church with a thriving family-like atmosphere to a large church in a new building, yet mourning its loss of family connections. It was struggling to find a new identity. In this article I discuss the ingrained sense of family that has served as the identity of West Houston and explore both theological and practical ways—specifically those involving missional hospitality—through which a church can navigate the uncharted waters of cultural change that we see all around us.

Author Bio

Kevin Stewart served as the executive minister at the West Houston Church of Christ from 2012 to 2016. Presently, he is the chief business development officer at NextThought, a software development company in Norman, Oklahoma. He holds a DMin from Abilene Christian University. Kevin has been in full-time ministry for over twenty-nine years, serving in the roles of senior minister, education minister, singles minister and campus minister. Kevin is passionate about congregational leadership, community outreach, and evangelism. Kevin has served as the President of the Muskogee Ministerial Alliance (2005-2007), the President of Muskogee Rotary (2006-2007), and the President of Monarch, a drug and alcohol rehab center for women (2009-2012). In 2005 Kevin led an Oklahoma alliance of federal and faith based organizations that helped house Hurricane Katrina refugees. He received awards from Governor Brad Henry, USDA Rural Development, and FASTEN (Faith and Service Technical Education) for this effort. He and his wife Monica have three adult children: Ethan, Allyson and Ashley.