What is the key to growing a church? Bro. Kevin and Janetha Martin of The Pentecostal Church of Atascocita in Humble, TX, had this to say, “Number one is to love people. Also, fresh anointing and a deeply ingrained mindset to stick with it. In tears, while laying on the ground, I made a covenant with the land and God that we were here to stay.”

 

Touching Lives

Bro. Martin goes on to say, “Keep in touch with the old songs and stay current with fresh new ones. Prayer, good worship services, be friendly and feed the people the Word of God.” He believes a pastor should place his priorities on, “Praying and studying the word of God because the Word of God changes people.”

To increase attendance, Bro. Martin suggests, “Have something that is appealing for every age group.” He adds, “Have a user-friendly website and a nice attractive sign, digital is preferable. The main thing to bring out is to always treat the church like it is large, full of people. No matter how few people showed up, we always gave it our best and created an atmosphere of praise and worship to God. We functioned even in our small abilities as if we were big, meaning we did whatever it took to meet a need for the church. For example, we took Sunday school outside because of needing more room. We took the motto, ‘The Little Church with a Big Church Feeling.’”

Organization

Ministries include Music, Ignite Student Ministries, Kid Zone, Heaven’s Princess Ministry, Hyphen Ministry, Global Missions, Young at Heart (YAH, elderly socials), Care Ministry, Ladies’ and Men’s Ministry, Married Couples, Discipleship Class, In-reach and Outreach. Departments are the Safety Team, Sound Team, Multi-Media, Hostess and Usher Team, Custodian Services, Maintenance, and Sunday School Department. “Our Safety Team is both in the halls and out in the parking lot, always monitoring and communicating via cell phones. They are our protection,” Martin said.

Bro. Martin has an annual meeting with his leaders, “then a continual keep in touch as needed throughout the year. We utilize email and texting very strongly to communicate with each other.”

Bro. Martin chooses “qualified leaders who can lead without being micromanaged. I encourage them that it is their department to take off and run with it.”

42% of the members are involved in some form of ministry with 10% involved in evangelism. Bro. Martin encourages involvement “by media announcements, email, texting, and having someone from the department in the foyer promoting.”

Philosophy of Ministry

“Love the people, love the people, love the people.” Bro. Martin continues, “I feed the people the best that I can. That leads to wellness, salvation, healing, and restoration. I never take my personal feelings to the pulpit no matter what I’m going through. My personal motto is ‘feed the people.’”

The topics Bro. Martin preaches most on is “encouragement, faith, healing, and praise. I always use a lot of Scripture in all of my preaching and teaching.” The focus of his ministry is “the lost, the hurting, and feed the faithful.”

 

God’s Faithfulness

When Bro. Martin was in a desperate place and needed more space for the church, he didn’t know what they were going to do. “We were in a storefront for six years. The Lord had only given me two words, ‘Do something.’ I was searching, looking everywhere and couldn’t find anything. Finally, the Lord led me to this property. The Lord said to bypass the realtor and drive into the woods and talk to the owner,” Martin said. “The owner told me later that he had had a dream that there was a church on his property. He felt like we were that church. He gave us the best part of the land debt-free. We wept and called it the ‘Crossing of the Red Sea’ for our church. Property values at $250,000 an acre allowed us to get a loan and build. I started stepping out in faith, speaking that we would pay off that loan in five years and we did.”

“I want to put emphasis on this ‘Parting of the Red Sea.’ As far as our experience from starting the church until now, this was a parting of the Red Sea for us.” 

 

Lives Changed

Bro. Martin has seen many lives changed. “Last year, over 30 were baptized. 20% of our congregation are first-generation Pentecostals. These are babes that we’re trying to bring to maturity.”

“In the storefront, we averaged 75 consistently. Then, we moved to our current property, built, and averaged 175 consistently. Then, we built the building we’re in now. We’re averaging 250, membership is 330.”

For outreach, “we did door-knocking, passed out flyers, word of mouth, encouraged everyone reach one, and my counseling services in the community. We had many people in the community come to church and receive the Holy Ghost. They’re still in church today in places all throughout the United States.”

History

Bro. Martin grew up in Pasadena, Texas and was raised in the church. “I was eight when I received the Holy Ghost. My life-changing experience was in 1989 after my wife and I had been married five years or so. That was when my life became solid, instead of a roller coaster. I sat on the last seat of the back pew of the church. My life was messed up. I was about two weeks from divorce. A lady came up to me and said, ‘You’ve built a wall around you to keep yourself protected, to keep other people out, and if you don’t tear that wall down, it will fall on you and destroy you.’ I knew if I left that service the same, it would be a terrible road to travel. I went to the altar and ended up on the carpet. God fixed me, healed me, and restored my life. I’ve never been the same. It was in 1989 that I felt the call into ministry from that experience.”

“My education was secular in electronics and telecommunications. Once I became a pastor, I began external studies and received a Master’s in Clinical Christian Counseling with a minor in Christian Education. I’m a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor, board-certified in Marriage and Family Therapy and Temperament Counseling. I leaned heavily on counseling when we first started the church.”

“As soon as the Lord changed my life back in 1989, I knew I had to fill my life with the things of God to fill that void that was in me from the things I had overcome. The first thing I did is I started a telephone inspirational message line. Every day, I went to an office in the church. It had a dedicated phone line with an answering machine. I sincerely prayed for the lost souls and those that were sick. I preached whatever the Lord laid on my heart, just a short message on that machine,” Martin said. “I encouraged people to leave a message if they were in need of prayer. The Word of God says if you’re faithful over small things, you’ll become ruler over many. I was very faithful with that. People began leaving their prayer requests. If anyone left a phone number, I would contact them and drive across town and go pray for them. That was where everything started.”

Concluding Remarks

“I encourage other pastors, if they are going to start a church, they must know for sure God has called them to do that. They need to know and they need to have confirmation that God is in it and He is with them. A week before we had our first service in the storefront, we were at Texas District Camp meeting,” Martin said. “That Friday, Bro Mark Morgan preached that the fire is going to fall. The camp meeting was in Lufkin, TX, two hours from Atascocita. We went to eat at Cat Fish King. When we pulled up into the parking lot, we saw a large, bright red, ladder-type firetruck which said Atascocita on the side. I was all excited and went straight to those firefighters who were seated. They said they’d just purchased this brand new firetruck and were on their way from New York to Atascocita. That was the most amazing confirmation I could have ever received. We literally took that as a sign that the fire was going to fall on Atascocita. And we took the motto, ‘The Place Where the Fire Falls.’ That was the motto we started with. Also, after we were going for about six months, we took the motto, ‘The Little Church with a Big Church Feeling.’ I always treated it like it was a big church. It didn’t matter if there were only four people. We always gave it our best. Our worship service was like camp meeting. We always had church and worshipped and gave it our best and had a move of God.”

Similar Articles