2 years ago, the Lord brought together an incredible team of people in South Austin. We shared a common goal: to plant a life-giving church here. This has been an uphill kind of thing. Of course, we saw the slope of it before we started climbing, but still, what a climb it has been! So why did we do it? Well, we believe that people are worth it and Jesus deserves it.
One of the families that was with us from the beginning because they shared that belief was the Branhams: James, aka "T Bear", Suzy, Gabe, Glenda (and now Sophia, Ryan and Emory). I met T Bear in 2000 and through many experiences (doing ministry together, both of us getting married a month apart, moving to Texas together, serving on staff at PSM together, etc.) I have come to love him and his family. I always thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if we planted a church together?" Not that I like to brag, or point out when I'm right...but I was right, it has been incredibly "cool".
That's why it's so difficult for me to say goodbye to the Branhams as they are moving to Dallas at the end of this month (Suzy and kids moving on the 20th). They have been such a part of who we are, that it's difficult to imagine City Chapel without them. I will miss my friends. I will miss my climbing partners. They have helped so many people along their journey through worship leading, counseling, pastoring, kids ministry, small group leadership, deep friendships, real conversations, preaching, and the list goes on. I guess the real impact of their presence is only really known by those who have been touched by them. So, if you're a part of City Chapel, please join me in letting them know how much they are loved and how they have blessed you. Also, please pray for them as they make this big move for their family. May God continue to lead them and open every door that He would have them walk through.
Join us this Sunday (December 18th) as we pray over the Branhams and celebrate them.
- Pastor Harry
Want to keep a reminder of our new sermon series in front of you? Great, just download the picture below and save it to your phone!
Last Sunday, pastor Harry talked about 5 things that the leadership of City Chapel has identified as their culture values. These 5 things will define us as a leadership team, but they are also helpful for anyone wanting to move the dial (in a Godward direction) in their own lives. Check them out below.
1. We rinse our own cottage cheese (vs being lazy)
We will be described as fanatical, disciplined, rigorous, dogged, determined, diligent, precise, fastidious, systematic, methodical, workmanlike, demanding, consistent, focused, accountable, persistent, and responsible. We do whatever it takes to do exactly what we said we would do, how we said we would do it, when we said we would do it.
2. We smell like sheep (vs being judgmental)
We invest time, energy, and money in people because we believe that people are worth it. We know the state of our flocks and are always working to move them to green pasture. We celebrate each step. We are neither judgmental nor apathetic. We constantly communicate grace and truth.
3. We walk with Jesus (vs being hypocritical)
We live with honesty and transparency. We are self-feeders who are currently being transformed by our own relationship with Jesus. We actively dethrone everything in our lives but Christ so that we can have the authority to challenge others to the same. We repent often. We love the truth.
4. We are teachable (vs being opinionated)
We are always learning. We allow others to speak into our lives. We are quick to submit to authority and even to each other. We are unoffendable. We seek out opportunities to become more productive leaders. We ask the right questions; seeking personally applicable answers not “buy in” or to satisfy curiosity. We look in the mirror when giving critique (humility) and out the window when giving credit (encouragement).
5. We possess enduring joy (vs being moody)
We have fun. We smile a lot. We intentionally set the positive tone of our church by communicating the joy of the Lord. We find the life giving way to see and say everything. Because of this, healthy people are drawn to us. Blessings come out of our mouths, not curses. We never despair. We never count God out.