Editor’s Note: Justin Bass earned his ThM and PhD from Dallas Seminary. His emphasis was New Testament studies. He is the lead pastor of a year-old congregation, called 1042 Church, which meets at the Embassy Suites in Frisco, Texas, every Saturday evening. Now, with credentials like his you would think that each week his congregation gets to feast on the Word of God. Indeed, it does! But the service focuses on far more than proclamation of the Word, as vital as that is. One of the major emphases of the church is its focus on missions and outreach. Half of all donations to the church are used for missions. But they don’t just give to missions; they live missions. Members of the congregation have purchased Bibles to give to their non-Christian friends twice in the past year. They have a special relationship with Haiti and the ongoing relief work there. And yesterday, the church had its services at an apartment complex where the need for the gospel—not just the kerygma, but also the praxis—was great. In addition to what is mentioned below, the church found out the shoe sizes for all the children there and will be getting the kids new shoes very soon. Below is what Justin wrote to the congregation summarizing the day’s events.
Putting Feet to Your Faith
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Cor 12:7). It was so wonderful to have the body of Christ come together to serve the community of Woodside Village Apartments on St. Patrick’s Day. This event would not have happened at all if the weather had been (as forecasted) raining all day Saturday because we were outside the entire time. We prayed for weeks that it would be overcast with no rain and that is exactly what it was the entire five hours we were there! Praise the Lord for His kindness to us (Acts 14:17).
1042 Church started planning this event over a month before. We wanted to find a low-income apartment to serve not too far from our church in Frisco; through our friend David Glover we found out about Woodside Village in McKinney. There are 100 apartments at this community and around 200 kids who live there. We ended up having over 100 kids of all ages at the service; close to 200 people came throughout the day (including the adults and people from our church). Clint Fortner received an incredible deal on bounce houses from Jump For Joy and they were a big hit as he was drowning in kids from 2pm on. Anthony and Monica Rodriguez brought 30 X-large pizzas from Papa Johns for everyone, and my wife Allison and Tim & Rebecca Maas brought 150 drinks (water and sodas). The bounce houses and the pizza brought the people out in droves.
After everyone ate, Tru Prophets Ministries provided some gospel-centered rap music that engaged the community in a powerful way; everyone was blessed by their teaching and music. There was an Easter egg hunt that Clint Fortner put together but one of the kids stole all the Easter eggs he put out so the kids ended up chasing egg phantoms. At the end I shared the gospel, challenging everyone to sit at the feet of Jesus like Mary, the sister of Martha: every time she is mentioned in the New Testament she’s is at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42; John 11:32; 12:1-3). I didn’t hear about anyone specifically trusting in Christ that day, but it was clear that many grew in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (2 Pet 3:18). In addition, Mardel’s gave us 20% off some nice, leather Bibles and we handed out 72 Bibles to the people who came. Many from our church also put together 75 Care packages for the residents of Woodside that included cleaning products, bug spray, toiletries, and toys.
The mission statement of our church is to Exalt the Son in the City; I believe Christ was exalted to the Glory of the Father by the Power of the Spirit in everything that happened at this event. The most special moment for me was near the end when the great manager of these apartments, Eric Williams, gave me two hugs that communicated something that words could not. We came wanting to embrace this community in the name of Christ and the hugs I shared with Eric were a great symbol of this.
Just a note on spiritual warfare: After most everyone had left, two Mormon missionaries showed up to go door to door. Three of us engaged them and challenged them to trust in the True Christ as opposed to “another Jesus” (2 Cor 11:4). We may get together with them later this week. I saw it as a vivid picture how Satan consistently tries to turn good into evil.
We now have 22 families’ contact information to find out about other needs they may have and we have the possibility of leading a weekly Bible study with the residents in their community room. Pray for these future opportunities to exalt Christ at Woodside Village Apartments.
Justin W. Bass, Ph.D.
1042 Lead Pastor