Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Church Families

Today, I am grateful for a few different churches that have shaped and formed the people that I am closest too. Here are a few:
1) Grace Street C of C in Crockett, TX--my dad's first preaching gig. We lived there 5 years. My sister and I were baptized at this church. I have been back to speak for 8 straight summers, and these people are still like family.
2) Mesquite C of C in Mesquite, TX--I found my calling while at this church. They were my church family through middle school and high school.
3) Highland C of C in Abilene, TX--I served on staff at this church for 2 years. Words can't express the formation that took place in me while at Highland. They will always be family.
4) Avenue B C of C in Ballinger, TX--they put up with me for 2 1/2 years. I loved preaching at this congregation. They will always have a special place in my heart.
5) Greenlawn C of C in Lubbock, TX--this church helped raise my wife from birth-college. My father-in-law still serves there as an elder.
6) Highland Oaks C of C in Dallas, TX--I was on staff at this church for 2 summers. Lot of challenges, but I saw God do some amazing things while I was there.
7) Bammel Road C of C in Houston, TX--my brother serves on staff there as the worship minister. I love them because they won't stop pouring love into my brother and his wife.
8) Decatur C of C in Decatur, TX--I've never witnessed a church pour so much affirmation over a minister and his family than this church does for my dad and mom.
9) The Met in Kellar, TX--my sister and her husband have found a place close to their home where they can experience the power of God and the power of community.
10) Richland Hills C of C in Fort Worth, TX--besides admiring many of the ministers on staff at this church, my bro-in-law and his family are nurtured here every week.
11) Grace Point C of C in Montgomery, Alabama--I don't know them well, but I know that they have been a great source of strength and support for my other bro-in-law and his family. He serves as the Youth Minister there.

I could go on and on...I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know churches through short speaking engagements: West Houston, First Colony, Conroe, Saturn Road, Westover Hills, Lakewood, Kingwood, Southern Hills, Marble Falls, Sweetwater, 10th and Broad in Wichita Falls, and others. I often enter these places to speak, but I usually leave as the one that has been touched.

And, I can't say enough about the Southwest Central Church. I love this place.

What about you?

6 comments:

Jeff said...

I grew up in Tyler at West Erwin. So many people helped guide me and shape me. I didn't realize it then but I have an incredible appreciation for them now.

In college, I had a tendency to get lost from where I needed to be heading but Southern Oaks was a place where I could find the center again.

Southside in Ft. Worth loved me when I didn't know I needed it. John Scott was a huge influence in my life there and I love him dearly. My father-in-law remains another influence in my life that I came to know at that church.

Decatur - what can I say. I see God working on this church and I believe incredible things will happen for the kingdom here. I am already experiencing it in my personal walk with God.

I am thankful this church has been a blessing to your parents. I think it fair to say the blessing they have been to this church is equal to or greater than what they have received.

I thank God for all the places that have helped form me and grow to know Him better and better.

Truitt Ross said...

Southwest Central - I love you.
- Kayci

Anonymous said...

While both of my parents were members of the Church of Christ, we were not always around a church because of my dad's job. I was shaped by different groups of believers that had at their core the belief in Jesus. At lot of the stuff that the C of C spent time on(music,etc) were not even on their radar screen. One of the reasons that I appreciate the Central Church in Houston is that when I came to it, I was not made to feel weird or wrong for having different ideas and not "being totally raised in the church". That feeling of love and being part of the body carried over to Southwest Central when we merged. There are so many people who have been there or are there that have influenced my life and helped me to grow it would be impossible to list them all.
I see so many people my age who are unchurched and I wonder if they really realize what they are missing. I know that for some people when they left Central or moved away, it was difficult to find another body they felt comfortable with. It is an area of concern for me because I care about many of them and yet I do not know how to encourage them when I do not know much about churches in the area they live in. Everyone misses out when a person leaves the church.

Rick Ross said...

Highland - smoldering faith was fanned into flame. A call to preach was kindled.

Crockett - incredibly loving family indured and encouraged a novice preacher as I "learned the ropes."

Mesquite - My ministry matured through 10 years of peaks and valleys / encouragement and discouragement.

Lake Cities - I can't say I am grateful for this church, but I am grateful for what I learned through this time. I was humbled, and God was teaching me that church is about "community" and "people" - not about worship styles, etc.

Decatur - at this point, it is absolutely the reward for my faith journey. I serve with a marvelous group of people. I love working with Jacob Baker. My elders are incredible! These people are the real deal.

Josh Ross said...

Jeff, Anonymous, and Rick (dad), thanks for a peek into your faith journey. It was fun reading.

Josh said...

Hey, did a blog search on "Richland Hills Church" and yours was one of the blogs that came up.

Anyways, My wife & I have been attending for a little while now & we love it!

Well, take care.