There’s a difference between God’s calling and God’s timing.
Pastor John was on staff at Crossroads Baptist Church in the Woodlands, TX when God took him to the second chapter of the book of Acts. Verse 42 captured his attention. It was in that moment, as his heart began to beat faster that he knew God was calling him to pastor.
“I knew it wasn’t an immediate call, but more so, a continue to ‘be faithful and wait’ type of calling.” Fast forward – a lot of life lived, … good times, hard times, seasons of victory, dark nights of the soul, barely hanging on, rising to the occasion… God took the Sherrill family on a marathon journey. They staffed at different churches, through different seasons, for different reasons. John was filling interesting roles, as a consultant, in many different areas. Early 2001, John and Kelly began a student camp ministry, called 220. It became the only truly fulfilling ministry for John, because through it, he realized he was operating on all cylinders – pastoring people, equipping people, and empowering people.
John was able to live out vision God had given to Him, and was seeing growth in every area … but still, it was only a student camp, and only a couple of weeks a year. This left John unfulfilled most of the time, excited for the few weeks out of the year. John and Kelly remained faithful to the mundane, and continued to minister in the areas where God placed them, but they longed to be in the middle of a radical move of God that lasted longer than a few weeks a year.
John was at lunch with Jeff Wells, who was his friend, and pastor from 2006-2011. It was at this lunch that Jeff said he desired to help John fulfill the calling of pastor, & to help plant a church. “At the time, I couldn’t believe what he was saying to me, or offering me,” said John. “What an incredible honor to be sent from such an amazing church like WOODSEGE CHURCH in the Woolands, TX.” John had always looked up to Jeff Wells an amazing pastor, and a true man of God. “I couldn’t think of a better mother church, or better spiritual oversight.”
John and Kelly began to reawaken from a traumatic season of life in 2007. God began to stir. First in Kelly, then he began to shake John. Part of that waking up was HEARING GOD confirm the call He gave to John in 2003 to pastor. They both knew that God was moving, and fast. This required two things : Obedience & Faith.
John and Kelly began to pray and listen. God began to work, awakening areas of John’s heart and life that had grown dormant, as well as allowing him to begin to feel the gravity of the mantle of ‘pastor’.
Pastor Jeff challenged John and Kelly to pray about Spring, TX, on the east side of Interstate 45. They began to drive the area and realized that there were so many homes, but very few gospel centered, Jesus focused churches. It didn’t take long for them to believe that the area of the Grand Parkway corridor in Spring TX, was the location that they felt God was calling them to plant a life-giving church!
Regular meetings began to happen with WoodsEdge Church, who would become the sending church. In June of 2015, John started back on part time staff with WOODSEGE, with priority intention to GO, and plant.
During those summer months, vision began to take shape.
John began to see a church in his heart that would point people unapologetically and passionately to a God who loves them wildly. The church God began to show John would be about four key things: people coming to know Jesus passionately & intimately, finding freedom, discovering their God given purpose, and then, being sent to GO and make a kingdom difference in the world!
The Sherrill’s hearts stirred for a church devoted to prayer and worship, as well as the generations being equipped, and empowered to become ministers on mission! This new church would reach people in need of God, help people be set free in Jesus’ Name, and be a place where the life giving presence of Jesus would compel, change, heal, and move people to love Jesus passionately, live wholeheartedly for God, and lead others to do the same. After months of praying, planning, meeting with families, hosting interest socials, and fundraising, the church would be set to launch in February of 2016. The call, and vision, is now becoming a reality! God is moving in a powerful way, in and through what is known as Declaration Church!
Read About our Pastor
After months of faithfully continuing to serve where God had them, John and Kelly found themselves at a place where there was no other real option – and that the calling and timing had aligned…