In May of 2005, I graduated with little or no prospects of full-time ministry. For the previous two and a half years, I served at Harwood Terrace BC as the youth pastor, but needed a full-time position. There were few places to turn, so the only prospect was the urging of my SWBTS professors to pursue a Ph.D.
Due to some arcane rules, I would first have to earn a Masters in Theology (after receiving a Masters in Divinity), so I wasn’t keen on the first steps in earning a Ph.D. Tommy Teague was a bit of a mentor for me, so I asked for his advice. He set up a lunch and encouraged Janet to come with me.
Janet and I met Tommy and Danny Roberts at Olive Garden (where Tommy would always order breadsticks without the garlic butter seasons, for some reason). After a great lunch and conversation, Janet and I left that meeting realizing that we didn’t merely have lunch but interviewed for their open missions minister position. Suffice to say, we were pretty excited.
A few weeks later, we met with the personnel committee, and were then voted on by the church. My start date as the part-time Minister of Missions and Evangelism was September 26, 2005, with the understanding that I would start full-time on January 1, 2006.
In other words, today is my 10 year anniversary of working full-time at NRHBC. With that in mind, I would like to reflect on a few of my favorite things about serving the past 10 years at NRHBC and Cross Church.
Favorite Memory with Tommy Teague
Easily, my favorite non-ministry memory with Tommy was the April fools day joke where I posted that he turned 60 on April 1, 2011. The outpouring of love and support on Facebook should make me feel bad, but I can’t look back on that date without a smile.
The favorite ministry memory is traveling with Tommy to India in 2006. We worked together sharing the gospel to thousands and later toured the ministry offices, seminary, and orphanage of Gospel Harvesters International.
The time with him was fun, invaluable, and educational as I learned a great deal about life and ministry while spending time with him. As an aside, it was also a lot of fun watching him try to order food when he didn’t like curry in a country that has curry in every dish.
Favorite Memory with Danny
I couldn’t give you the date or even the year but Danny and I were meeting in his office once when bad weather was on the horizon. We met for probably 45 minutes to an hour and when we adjourned, we walked out to an empty office building. Danny joked that we missed the rapture and were “left behind”.
Apparently, there was a tornado in the area and no one thought to warn us to take shelter while everyone else evacuated to the basement…
Favorite Memory with Scott
In February of 2013, Bryce Ulrich was ordained at an In His Presence. Scott asked that I “charge” Bryce at the ordination service. At the conclusion of the service, Scott sat me down and said nice things about what I had said. He then offered me the job as Campus Pastor for Cross Church. It was an affirming conversation that will always stick with me.
Favorite Mission Trip
From 2007 to 2012, NRHBC took 25 mission trips to Buenos Aires, Argentina, of which I led 13. About half-way through this partnership, we had a national partner church, a location to plant a new church, wonderful missionary partners, but we were missing an Argentine to lead the new work.
We were following our usual pattern of doing a major outreach event in a local park on Sunday afternoon. On a trip in 2010 (or so), a young man approached me and asked in English what we are doing. I shared with him that we are planting a church and he introduced himself as Guillermo Otero, a local pastor and worship leader.
From that random conversation, a partnership and friendship was born that propelled our ministry in Buenos Aires considerably forward.
For several years, those of us on staff had become discontent about the discipleship process at NRHBC. At the same time, Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall introduced a ministry called Drive Faith Home.
From that initiative, Cindy Leach, Brian Simmons, and I developed a new ministry called Faith@Home. The goal of Faith@Home is to equip families of every type to “become intentional about building a God-honoring home one step at a time“.
This was one of the most creative and innovate ministries that I was apart of at NRHBC and one I still think is crucial to the future of our church.
Simply put, Cross Church is a major component of the future of NRHBC and I couldn’t be more excited about where it is headed.
Cross Church is a satellite campus of NRHBC, which is to say that we are one church in two locations. The future is at hand as Cross Church serves, reaches and disciples Northwest Fort Worth with the hope of connecting the community to Jesus Christ.
As NRHBC and Cross Church finishes paying off the land and works toward raising the funds to build a faculty for Cross Church, I am confident that the future is bright for our church.
I would mention my favorite co-workers, but that’s unfair to my other co-workers. So, Cindy Leach and Derek Rowden will have to be content that I didn’t share that they are my favorite people to work alongside. Sorry guys.
That’s enough pensiveness for now.