You Can't Reproduce What You Aren't

Here at the V3 Movement, we cannot encourage enough the importance of planting churches from a place of community. In fact, we’re not sure it’s even possible in church planting to create something that doesn’t already exist. That is, there’s this funny thing about creating true community: you can’t reproduce what you aren’t. In light of our conviction, we bring you our latest V3 Cohort interview with another place-based church planter, Tony Villatoro of The Church in Spring Branch.
[Tweet “Funny thing about creating community: you can’t reproduce what you aren’t. DNAof#Community”]

Hello, Tony. Tell us a little about yourself and your hobbies and interests.

My name is Tony Villatoro, and I am married to Ruthie. We celebrate our fourth anniversary in November. I am a student in the Master of Arts in Theological Studies’ program at Houston Baptist University. I had the great opportunity to plant and lead a church from 2010-2014.
I love reading theology, church history, fiction and biographies. My wife and I like watching movies, especially movies based on a book or based on a true story. I listen to podcasts, mainly NPR programs. I love traveling with my wife. We especially like cruises or visiting cities with much history.

Where are you planting your church?

I am planting a new church in the Spring Branch area of Houston, Texas.

What are some of the unique aspects of The Church in Spring Branch?

The Church in Spring Branch is unique in that it is being started from the neighborhood before we have a Sunday liturgy. This is a unique approach in a city like Houston. We plan to have the work of disciple-making be done through what we’re calling Neighborhood Groups. This means we’ll celebrate God’s work in the places we live during our Sunday Liturgy.
Recognizing God’s gifts in every person who is part of The Church and giving leadership and ownership of the mission to them to make disciples are also what we are striving for.
We are not the first to do these things, but we feel we are somewhat unique in this way.
[Tweet “giving leadership/ownership of the mission to make disciples is what we’re striving for ~Villatoro”]

Why did you decide to participate in a V3 Cohort?

I found that V3’s approach to church planting focused more on the discipleship aspect of the Christian’s life. Making disciples is our mission as Christians, and a V3 Cohort trains me in training our church to do just that.
[Tweet “V3’s approach to planting focused more on the discipleship aspect of a Christian’s life ~Villatoro”]

What has been a favorite moment of your Cohort thus far?

Meeting the rest of the Cohort in person and hearing their take on things concerning our spirituality on the coaching calls. It helps to have other voices giving feedback.

How has the Cohort experience shaped your perspective in what it means to be the church?

As of now (I say “now” because I believe that I will continue to be shaped by this Cohort experience), I feel like a paradigm shift from an event-driven church to a disciple-making-driven church has been solidified in my mind and heart. Referring to church as being a people that makes disciples more than just a group of people who are inwardly focused has been the constant reminder in this Cohort for me.

What excites you about the future regarding your plant and your V3 tribe?

I’m excited to partner with a group of people who agree on some things and disagree on others. I feel like I am in a safe place when we can have our own persuasions and hold strong to our convictions. I feel like my V3 tribe offers that without judgment and encourages me to continue on this journey.

Well we’re excited for you and The Church in Spring Branch. Thanks for sharing with us!

You can learn more about Tony via his blogand you can support The Church here.
Reproduce What You Are: Register Now For a V3 Learning Cohort

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