The Vision of Deep & Wide
Primary Goal 100% Engagement
Each root and every branch.
We are challenging every person who calls CityRise their home to go deeper with Jesus.
We are growing in our understanding of His lordship over our lives, asking Him what it is He wants from us and what pleases Him.
We are deepening our roots of dependence on our Lord that we might develop a confident, immovable faith.
We are basking in God’s generosity toward us and extending His generosity to others because He is the first and most generous giver. Because He gave, we give!
As each of us deepens our surrender, faith, and generosity, we will see the fruit expressed in a joy that overflows, a greater burden for the lost, and a passion to lift our city and our world.
Secondary Goal $39.4 Million
To broaden our reach, we must deepen our roots in these three areas:
Deeper Relational Roots – $17.4 Million
The roots of CityRise are our ongoing ministry of worship, fellowship, Bible study, and missions. These are overseen and grown through our leadership teams and are resourced through our annual operating budget which provides resources for staffing, facilities, debt service, ministries, and missions. With an annual budget of $8.4 million in 2022 and $9.0 million in 2023, we are striving to steward with excellence the tithes and offerings you bring to the Lord. We are excited to celebrate every single gift given to facilitate the ministry and accomplish the vision God has given to us.
Deeper Structural Roots – $20 Million
With nearly 200,000 square feet of space across our three campuses, so much of the Deep & Wide Generosity Initiative encompasses investments into our physical infrastructure. We are also developing some “real estate” in the digital realm through CityRise Digital, taking the necessary steps to update our campuses and develop our online digital platform so that we can disciple people more effectively in both environments of our rapidly changing world.
Deeper Commitment to our City and World – $2 million
Through the establishment of the CityRise Network, we have linked arms with over 40 local and international partners and organizations. These resources include two cycles of our annual missions offering, with the grand total of $600,000 dedicated to resourcing our Southern Baptist missionaries here in the US and around the globe. We also hope to build infrastructure to help our network take its next steps to have an even greater impact for the city of Houston.
CAMPUS INFRASTRUCTURE Deeper Structural Roots
A big part of our goal for Deep & Wide is to build our campus infrastructure. As we talk about building up our campus infrastructure, the first phases of the work will primarily focus on our two inner loop campuses. As we launched CityRise Missouri City, we put a lot of resources there so that we could move into that facility. This generosity initiative seeks to invest in the campus infrastructure at Crosspoint and our West U Baptist campuses.
In these two facilities, faithful generations have gone before us so that we could enjoy what we have. In 2005 we opened our Crosspoint Campus to reach people we had yet to meet. That was the heart of this church when it was founded and it was the hearts of those who were here in 1954. Those faithful people erected a sanctuary at our West University campus at 6218 Auden Street, located in the heart of West University Place for people to corporately gather and hear about the love of Jesus Christ and have their lives challenged and changed.
In 1997, Julee and I came here on Mother’s Day. It was the church’s last Sunday in the sanctuary before it was renovated. It’s now time for it to be updated for the ministry we are doing today and the days ahead.
At our West U location, we will light up that Jesus-stained glass that fronts Auden street that will shine out to our community. Jesus stands at the door knocking, inviting us to open our hearts to Him. There will be a new patio that leads to a new Welcome Center building. The new sanctuary renovation will be done in such a way that it’s going to facilitate worship both for classic and contemporary services. The new sanctuary will be beautifully adorned for your classic traditional worship service, but we will also be able to incorporate electronics, digital media, and audio/visual elements that are more compelling for our contemporary services. It’s going to be amazing!
We will make the foyer a bit deeper and where the playground currently sits, build a new welcome center. We’ve been working on this since I first introduced the renovation to you in 2015, and we’ve not yet been able to take these steps. Currently we don’t have any lobby space at West U. We don’t have a place where people can get a cup of coffee, sit down together and fellowship. If we can add this, it will go a long way towards building a community and deepening our relational culture.
We also plan to have a big LED screen over a small stage. It will be a place to take family photos, and perhaps some sort of conversational broadcast service. Imagine being a young mom or grandma who needs some relief. You could put your kids in the indoor playground and go to have a cup of coffee and relax a bit.
At West U, we will build an indoor playground and move the KidRally space to what is currently the Fowler Chapel. We are taking these steps in order to provide a single secure entrance for kids. We will then move the chapel down the corridor that faces to the east and fronts Auden street. This space will be wonderful for our events and classes that take place in the chapel.
We’re going to consolidate parking at West U and seek to add as much parking as possible over the next few years as we pursue properties that are adjacent to our properties.
Let’s talk about Crosspoint infrastructure. I want you to think about the education building—those three stories. This is where our preschool will be. It’s where our elementary school education is, and that building needs a lot of work to make it as effective as possible accomplishing what God has called us to do with those ministries.
Our plan is to do a new grand entrance in the back adding an outdoor patio with a fountain that will also be used for baptisms. We hope to have coffee service here as well. It will be a wonderful use of space that is currently used for a storage shed and our chiller for the campus.
These additions outside will make the campus more appealing and the campus to flow better. As you come into the grand entrance you can go to the sanctuary, the education building, or to the new secure check in facility for kids.
We’re so excited to build up campus infrastructure for our generation and the generations to come!
There’s More to Come
CityRise Missouri City
As we are able, we plan to renovate a number of spaces at our CityRise Missouri City Campus. They include:
- Enhanced Fellowship Space Between the Sanctuary and Chapel
Renovation of David’s Hall
- Addition of a Kitchen
- Finish out the second floor classroom space in the gym building
- Field Work for Athletics Ministry
Digital CHURCH EXPERIENCE Deeper Structural Roots
THE NEXT GENERATION IS ONLINE ALL DAY
When we ask the question, “why the push to digital”? Here’s the answer: If we don’t, we will lose the next generation that spends six to eight hours a day online. If we want to reach them, just as we’ve always believed we were called to do, we’ve got to go where they are and speak their language. The Word of God never changes, but the medium does.
Today’s kids here are being shaped and led through their smartphones and we all know it. So, I don’t want to be the frog in the kettle just thinking everything’s great and miss this generation and the coming generations.
We’ll keep filling our campuses up and the Lord blesses us. We’ll start as many services as we can to reach more and more people, but we can be very strategic to reach people exponentially online. So the opportunity for us in this is to break through the four walls right beyond our dense locations.
Being faithful to reach out digitally involves production. Think about Fight for It, and the production that went into that. The LifeTogether team have done a fantastic job producing it for us. They’ve done this over 500 times before we ever sat down to do it with them. This is something God’s uniquely gifted them to do, so they’ve been a big help.
We know we have only just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible if we are willing to keep stretching ourselves into the digital universe to be a light in the darkness of that world.
OUR DIGITAL IMPACT
Recently, a man visited our church, because he saw a YouTube short that we posted. He had been in Houston for two weeks and he googled us after seeing the short and came to visit! CityRise network positioned itself before the pandemic to meet our people where they are. Many of our members are all over the world at any given time, and my responsibility is to still shepherd them and challenge them and seek to lead them spiritually. Digital infrastructure is the mechanism we see that can do that.
One major impact we made was in April 2023 by launching the CityRise app! The functionality of a mobile app that can provide access to livestreamed services, sermon notes, curriculum, group messaging, event notifications and so much more will exponentially and generously take the gospel even further across our city and the world.
CityRise Network Deeper Commitment to Our City and World
In recent years, we’ve realized that we had a network of ministries and churches forming around us, so in January, 2021, we officially launched the CityRise Network to link arms with others to lift our city as we seek to generously give the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have churches, campuses, and ministry partners. We have medical partners, people working in literacy, people fighting poverty, and much, much more. The Bible says, “Where the righteous prosper, the city rejoices!”
We need to build the network to have a city reaching impact. If our vision is to lift our city and the world by generously giving the gospel, how do we go about that? When it comes to sizes of churches in this city, we’re midsize, we’re not a massive church. But my call, as I have conveyed many times, was, “through the church to the city,” and the Lord has not let me get away from that, so I just began to wrestle with vision and strategy to accomplish this.
What if we could build an organization that creates opportunity for growth of the kingdom at an individual level where people’s lives are being impacted through a collaboration of the church and parachurch? What if we begin to care for leaders’ health, and well-being? We invest in a lot of ministries here in the city and around the world. But if the leader’s physical or mental health is not good, we are risking God’s resources because as goes the leader’s life and health, so goes their ministry. We need to make sure we’re caring for and loving on leaders. So we’re doing a leaders’ conference every year now just to bring leaders in to build them up. Then we need to deploy kingdom talent to the needs of the city.
That’s what a good platform does. It helps people get to work. How do we catalyze information and relevance through collaboration? We can work through our network to connect pastors with parachurch ministry leaders who can help meet the needs of their people. For instance, we can connect a pastor with a team of medical providers and mobilize the clinic. We can connect them to Attack Poverty who works to relieve food insecurity and has an amazing after school ministry. When we meet physical, social, and spiritual needs, life change will happen and lives will be lifted. We will do this by grouping leaders together and getting them into conversations. The old model of everyone doing their own separate thing is irrelevant and inefficient. Imagine what a powerful network of ministries, sharing skills, gifts, resources, and information could accomplish. That’s the power of networking!
Imagine what a powerful network of ministries, sharing skills, gifts, resources, and information could accomplish. That’s the power of networking!
ONE FUND EXPLANATION
You may have taken part in church campaigns in the past to which you were invited to give a second gift “over and above” your usual gift in order to make special initiatives like new buildings and new ministries possible. There was a “general fund” for ongoing ministries, and a separate “building fund,” or “campaign fund” designated for capital projects and other specific needs. While this approach has served us well, we also recognize the potential for confusion; it required an explanation to make clear which “fund” did what and not everyone was able to participate. It’s time for a change! Deep & Wide will be our unifying commitment as a church to generosity. For the next two years, everything we do will be a part of Deep & Wide. Everyone can get on board and participate.
We are all on ONE MISSION – the mission of lifting our city and the world by generously giving the gospel of Jesus Christ, that pervasive Hope may be established on every street, for every person in Houston and beyond. And we are excited to introduce a single fund that will unify the generosity of everyone who is part of the CityRise network of churches, ministries, non-profits, and global partners seeking to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in new and creative ways, and send people around the world to partner with missionaries as they seek to share the gospel.
Over the coming weeks you will be invited to make ONE COMMITMENT. We are trusting that God will reveal what that number is that will represent your total, radical, sacrificial generosity to the kingdom over the next two years.
As you pray and discern how God would ask you to give during this time, use this gift chart as a discipleship tool – let it be something that inspires and challenges you toward greater generosity for Christ’s Kingdom as we seek to give it all for Him.
Click to fill out a commitment card
We must always remember there is much more to generosity than just a financial transaction. In God’s eyes, our growth in generosity is less about a financial transaction and more about a transformation. It is a matter of the heart!
The Generosity Journey can help us think about this transformation. Make no mistake — to move along this path requires a heart change. Moving along the path does not make us super Christians; it brings us to a greater understanding of God, not a greater view of ourselves. As you look and think about this journey, ask yourself, “What drives you to be generous?”
Pray that our efforts would be multiplied and that, together as a church, we can do abundantly more than we could ask or imagine. Ask God what gift to Deep & Wide would honor Him as a step of faith that puts Him first, before all things.
Engage in this life-changing experience and commit to do what God asks.
Ask God to show you what it looks like to give in a way that deepens your faith and changes you. Take whatever bold steps are required to see it through. If we each bring our first and best, together we will accomplish God’s vision in this next season at CityRise.
Encourage others to engage with God’s vision for them personally and for our church. Communicate your enthusiasm for all God is going to do in and among us in the next few years.
HARRY & SANDRA’S STORY
Harry: I’ve been at West University Baptist, which is now a CityRise campus, since I was five years old until I went to college in Austin. After that I came back to Houston in 1973 with Sandra. We continued to attend the West U campus until 2005, when we went to populate the Crosspoint campus where we have been ever since.
Sandra: We raised our family there because it’s a place where everyone is involved in raising the children, where being involved in the different programs that are available helps to get the kids involved. Even the capital raising event was something for families to participate in.
Sports were a big part of our lives and for our family, and we wanted to give something that would be noticed by our kids. We also took a vacation to the beach every summer, and we knew if we gave up that they would take notice as well. We wanted them to realize that it’s important to do some sacrificial giving.
We gave up the beach for a few years, but you know the saying “You can’t outgive the Lord.” We found an old beach house for sale as we were walking that we would later buy, and it just goes to show that although it’s not the motive for giving, God always blesses us and gives back to us, so you should always obey when the Holy Spirit is urging you.
We found this out when our oldest son became a minister in Bolivia. We knew that we have a tendency to want to hold onto things, but you always have to trust the Lord because he’d be safer in His hands and doing His will than here in Houston.
Giving of our time and talents is part of the way we give.
I learned when you give your time and talents that the Lord would bless that, and although I never gave to be blessed, He always blessed us when we needed it.
Harry: After college when we set up our home and employment, tithing was just part of our setup. That’s what we had been taught, and that’s what we wanted to do.
We gave a little bit of money from summer jobs, but it wasn’t until we were real adults that we began tithing with our money and time. Sandra would work with GA’s and missions, and I would work with RA’s, and from there we would see other leaders who would be mentors to us. Everybody has different talents, but the Lord can use all of them. We saw them model that for us, and it inspired us to help meet any needs we could, whether financially or with our time or leadership.
But generosity goes deeper than just giving your money, you can sacrifice a lot, which we did, but really giving of your time and talents means a lot. I’ve seen many men working and giving to the Lord when I was younger, both Chester Arnold and Hollis Waldt modeled that for me, so I continue to lead in their footsteps. And many other great men give so much of their time, which has allowed us to do some great things at CityRise.
Everything we do and give is directed by the Lord, we just try to point things in the right direction.
Sandra: Even knowing when it’s time to step down and let others take over is part of giving, especially within the church. Nobody is perfect in the church, and we won’t always get along, but sometimes getting involved with different people allows you to see things from a different perspective, and that’s part of the body of Christ. If we all had the same talents we wouldn’t be used.
Harry: Unfortunately, I lost my father when I was 14, so I had to learn a lot from other men in the church. I learned when you give your time and talents that the Lord would bless that, and although I never gave to be blessed, He always blessed us when we needed it. So even when I was working 60 hours a week, I would still carve out time to volunteer at the church. And as soon as I had more time, it was really fun to grow and meet the needs we saw around us in groups, and it continues to bless me to this day.
Sandra: The joy really comes through in our daily living, and even in tough times, we’ve been allowed to have that peace and joy.
We’re really excited about the Deep & Wide campaign, because they’re working to connect people into small groups, as we were once fortunate enough to experience 15 years ago. The transparency that comes with a small group when you’re all together sharing the deepest things in your life really opens doors for growth and community. It’s a great opportunity for young people financially and for the giving of their time and talents.
We believe so much in small groups and the change that they can bring for the Lord, and it’s really exciting for us to be a part of. God is everywhere and we want people all over the world to know this.
Click to fill out a commitment card