The North East Ministerial Alliance began in Humble, Texas in 1991 when a group of approximately 63 pastors, ministry leaders, and Christian businessmen met for lunch. There was no agenda and no pre-conceived ideas. An invitation had been sent out to meet for lunch and get to know one another. The gathering was so enjoyable that everyone decided to meet again the next month. At the onset of the third luncheon the host asked those in attendance, “Would anyone like to host a luncheon next month at your place?” To the amazement of everyone nine hands were raised. Amazing! And now, twenty-two years later, NEMA has become the longest, consecutive, gathering of its kind in the greater Humble, Texas region. The food and fellowship has struck a cord in the hearts of spiritual leaders and Christian businessmen. It is common knowledge that an ambience for nurturing enduring relationships is a reality at our monthly network-luncheons.
NEMA’s network-luncheons are held on the second Thursday of every month, (July and August are off-months or summer break times). The gathering begins with corporate prayer from 11:00 a.m. Networking begins from 11:30 and lunch is served promptly at 12 noon. The luncheons are free and are hosted by a different church each month. Check our webpage for a listing for our monthly hosts. The atmosphere is casual, there is no program, and everyone is addressed on a ‘first-name-basis’- no titles, no formalities, just good ole Texas fun and hospitality.
The NEMA website, nemaonline.org, is ‘communication central’. Every month our network partners (no official membership) receive the NEMA Newsletter, which contains upcoming events of the various ministries, news items that are pertinent, and information concerning next month’s host church/ministry. The site also lists participating members, i.e., businesses, churches, ministry leaders, etc.
NEMA welcomes all Christian Pastors, ministry leaders, and Christian businessmen. NEMA supports activities in the region which are focused on reaching out to hurting individuals. During times of local/regional disasters NEMA cooperates with those agencies who bring restoration to our region.
There is a deep sense of unity among the NEMA network. A program or project has not manufactured this unity. The common belief that God is pleased when His people come together is perhaps one of the common bonds, which permeates our network. Dr. Doug Stringer, founder and director of Somebody Cares America, says, ‘Unity for the sake of unity has no intrinsic value. But when men and women come together to worship God and love one another, unity becomes a lasting by-product.’ Unity expressed to accomplish a short-term project it is almost never permanent. True unity endures when it is fostered through meaningful and cherished relationships. Networking has also contributed to the desire to be a part of the NEMA gatherings.
Ask any small business owner what is the ‘coal for the engine’ of his business and he will tell you, ‘Networking!’ This business principle is very clear to the businessman but remains a mystery to many pastors and ministry leaders. NEMA actually began with the understanding that networking was God’s way of getting His agenda on earth accomplished. NEMA ascribes to the paradigms, ‘A three strand cord is not easily broken’ and ‘if one can put a thousand to flight, two can put ten thousand to flight.’ The power and efficacy of networking is the Churches forgotten mandate. NEMA understands that no single church or ministry has ‘THE’ key to his or her city or region. It is foolish to think that because God is blessing a particular church that they have no need of a ‘lesser’ church. NEMA fosters the biblical paradigm that churches that have made great strides in Kingdom activity must never neglect their ‘pastoral guidance’ to those churches that are at a different place than they are. It is a beautiful thing to experience the dynamic and necessary exchange going on between seasoned ministers the younger ones at these network luncheons. There are not too many opportunities for such rich and needed exchanges to take place. What ever the challenge there is always a NEMA member willing to offer valuable insight.
Another amazing by-product of the NEMA network is the volunteer transfer of material things. The NEMA network loves to joyfully share with others. When a church or individual is in need, the network responds. Millions of dollars of materials have been shared with members and the community as well.
All of the NEMA network luncheons and prayer meetings are open to all Christian pastors, ministry leaders, and businessmen.