In April of 2002, ten disciples of Christ met in a Frisco park with a vision of a life-changing church that would teach the Gospel, meet the needs of people, and plant new churches throughout North Texas and the world. Through faith and great sacrifice, the Shawnee Trail Church of Christ was formed.
Nearly 17 years later, the dream of these few faithful followers is going strong. Since our humble beginning, God has enabled Shawnee Trail to grow in membership to over 500, to purchase its own facility, to lead people to Christ, to establish valuable ministries, and support mission work throughout the world; currently focusing in Central and South America.
It is important to know that every individual won to Christ, every person blessed through deepening relationship, and each ministry and mission point you see at Shawnee Trail was made possible by the generosity and sacrificial giving of ordinary people. People who, through faith, believed they could be and do more together than they could individually.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
– Ephesians 3:14-21
But God has not called us to maintain the status quo. Our call to “Love God, Love Others, and Make Disciples” is ongoing. And God desires us to follow him more closely, to trust him more completely and to risk for him more greatly. For that reason, we have embraced a bold vision to move into the future. We are asking every member of Shawnee Trail to join us in pursuing this vision and to achieve the following goals:
• Create a Culture of Discipleship at Shawnee Trail
• Develop a Strategy for Handling Growth Here in Frisco
• Begin Planting Churches Throughout Collin and Denton Counties
To accomplish these goals, we are launching a capital campaign in early 2019. Over a three-year period we hope to raise between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000. We believe $2,500,000 would help us:
• Plant our first new church, supplying up-front and initial operating costs: $300,000
• Buy or be prepared to buy a new building to handle the growth of Shawnee Trail into the future: $2,200,000
This campaign provides the financial fuel for our vision to see lives transformed in Collin and Denton Counties through relationships with each other and Jesus Christ, and in turn, to see those transformed lives transforming the world. We believe God is calling each of us as individuals, and all of us as a church family, to step up to another level of faith and deeper trust in him. He is calling us to be and do More Together.
Our Three Major Goals
1. Creating a Culture of Discipleship
We believe God’s greatest calling is to become and to make fully dedicated followers of Jesus Christ. The word that’s used for this in the Bible is discipleship. Therefore, we have made creating a culture of discipleship the first and most important goal. We want to be completely committed to the ways and mission of Jesus.
Although this major goal does not necessarily require funding from our capital campaign, it is the driving force behind the two goals that do. Our faithfulness in growing as disciples; both in our personal relationship with Christ and in reaching others for Christ, is the most important thing if we’re going to have a new, larger building filling up with people who are seeking God and if we’re going to start a new church, reaching out to a new community with the message of God. If discipleship isn’t the foundation of everything we do, nothing else we do matters.
2. Church Planting in Collin and Denton Counties
The way the early church grew was through planting churches. We still believe this is the best method to accomplish our mission of making disciples who make disciples. The effort involved in starting new congregations challenges us to be serious about discipling others. These new congregations also create more opportunities in ministry for developing new leaders. It is proven that new churches are highly effective at reaching people in a community who have not previously gone to an established congregation. Finally, as a church that is attracting people from Plano to Howe, and Carrolton to McKinney, starting new churches will help us reach people that we currently cannot due to distance.
Based on the current and potential growth of the area and our ability to have a presence there, our first new church will be planted in Celina in 2021. The exact model we’ll use has not been determined but our prayer is that this church and all our plants will be partner churches with Shawnee Trail; serving, fellowshipping, and carrying out the mission of Christ together.
3. Developing a Facility Strategy to Handle Our Growth
In 2015, God blessed us with our current facility on John W. Elliott Drive. As a church of 200 members it was a perfect fit for our needs. Just over three years later, now as a church of over 500 members, our building does not have the space for us to continue to grow as we believe God desires us to do. Church growth experts state that once a facility reaches 80% of capacity, it’s potential for growth is capped. If you attend first service, you might think we’ve got plenty of room for growth. But in our classrooms, hallways, lobby, parking lot, and even some weeks in second service we are well beyond the 80% capacity, and therefore, we’re placing limits on the numerical growth God wants us to have.
As you have heard us share, we are working on a possible solution to our building need. This location could serve as a long-term home for Shawnee Trail, and allow us to grow where we could do more in our community, more in church planting, and more to help spread the gospel around the world through missions. But this deal isn’t done. And there’s a chance that this building may not be the answer to our prayers. At this point we just don’t know.
But here’s something you need to know. Whether or not this potential building is the one for us, that does not change the fact that John W. Elliott is not adequate to meet our needs and there is nothing we can do to the building that changes that. So, one way or another, we need to be prepared to move when God gives us the opportunity.
We believe that the city of Frisco needs a strong, healthy, growing Church of Christ that can be a light in our community. We feel God has called Shawnee Trail to be that church. A larger facility is essential to our ability to continue growing numerically and to increase our presence in Frisco.