Christ Fellowship began in early 1993 with 13 adults and 14 children. We met from house to house with a simple desire to be the church of Jesus Christ in simplicity and power. We would get so excited when we would open the Bible to the book of Acts and say, “Why can’t we see church life like we read about here in the Bible?” We still get excited about the simple dream of being the church.
Over the next few years we enjoyed the blessing and favor of God and saw many people become followers of Christ. We were on a journey together. We did not have things figured out, but we found a deep love for God, for God’s people, and for God’s purposes on the earth. We were learning together. (We still are!) We were learning to treasure Christ, to be whole-hearted worshippers, to share Christ, to be in community, to participate in the mission of God, to pray, to study God’s Word, to demonstrate the Kingdom of God, to see others healed, and to work with God in setting things right in a broken world.
One of the key marks of our history has been enjoying, pursuing, and earnestly seeking life in Christ. We are convinced that really knowing His life leads to more life. We’ve seen that happen as individuals lead others to Christ, as LifeGroups multiply again and again, and even as the church itself multiples. As a result of this basic vision, a key part of our history has been church planting. From 1995 to 2001, the church multiplied many different times by starting new churches in different parts of the DFW metroplex and in other states.
In 2002, a new and distinct phase of our history began as we moved the church from Grapevine to Fort Worth. Some of the reasons for moving included a desire for greater ethnic and economic diversity, access to the campuses of Texas Christian and Texas Wesleyan Universities, headquarters for our church planting movement, and a strong sense of God’s call and leading to Fort Worth. We challenged our members to be “missionaries to America” and said, “You may never move to Thailand as a missionary, but would you consider keeping your same job and moving to Fort Worth as a missionary?” During the next few years many accepted that challenge, and we all sensed God’s pleasure in our steps of faith.
Since that time, we have continued to develop disciples and raise up leaders through a holistic approach to church life. We strive to create pathways for people to develop from new believers to mature disciples, and if they are called by God, to become church planters who go with a team to another place to start the process all over again. We have also developed two church-based training school, Core and Launch, which focuses on discipleship and developing missionaries and church planters. Still another key area has been the development of the mission-sending arm of the church, Share Life Now International (SLNI), which focuses on sending and supporting church planting teams across the country and in different parts of the world.
In 2008, after years of serving and partnering with the Antioch Movement in different ways, the leaders of Christ Fellowship and Share Life Now International understood that the Lord was calling them to recognize their “tribe” within the body of Christ and formally connect with Antioch in Waco, TX. This partnership really is a family-type of relationship. Resources, life, and love are shared—and they are getting to see a continuing wave of churches being planted.
When we look back, we are grateful for all that God has done and for the many lives that have been changed and impacted by His grace. Today, as we look forward, we are more excited than ever because we know that God is still wanting to use us and that our best days, our best stories, and our best testimonies are in the future as we trust our great God.