Current – A Christian Church in Katy, Texas is the third church where I’ve served as a student pastor. I’ve learned a lot from our previous two ministries and still have plenty of people we count as friends in those other locations. Current is a unique place, though. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
Like any gathering of imperfect individuals, our church makes for an imperfect faith community. But any failings we have as a people are far outweighed by the good things going on here. Here are a few.
We take our mission, but not ourselves, really seriously. On one hand, we plaster “Be moved” all over everything. We are pretty obsessed with people moving toward Jesus, moving forward in their faith, and moving outward to love and serve other people. As a church, we’re pretty myopic about doing what we feel called to do. The mission is no joke. On the other hand, one year we made a Christmas card video where the whole staff dressed up in ridiculous costumes. Our lead guy wore a cow costume and one of our elders wore bib overalls. I had the distinct honor of wearing a sumo outfit. Who does that?
Our lead pastor, Darren Walter, is one of the most humble, talented, unique leaders I’ve ever met. If you tell him so, he defers to his team or makes a self-deprecating joke, solidifying his position as such. This may sound like a total suck up paragraph, so let me tell you a story. When I was considering joining the staff at Current, I was being very meticulous in my research. It’s common for applicants to submit references and for businesses to call and find out the inside scoop on the potential staff member. I flipped the script and called around on Darren. I couldn’t find a single person who didn’t like and admire him. On a whim, I sent an e-mail to Bob Russell, sort of a big deal in the Christian community I run in. A forty year ministry veteran, he had thrived at Southeast Christian Church (which grew from a church of 120 to over 18,000 during his time there). He had hired Darren and lost him when Darren left to go preach in Texas at Current. When I asked what he would do if he were in my shoes, his reply was short. He made it abundantly (and respectfully) clear that I was an idiot for thinking about not going. High praise from a leader who knows a thing or two about being a senior minister.
You know what else? Our volunteer leaders are committed. Lots of churches suffer because the paid staff is pulling the wagon. As the wagon gets heavier, the staff gets tired and eventually runs out of gas. Only then do volunteers (out of desperation) grab the wagon and pull. Our leaders pull all along. In our church, elders oversee our congregation. They do so with wisdom and humility. They put in the hours talking about stuff no one else wants to spend time on. I only go to elders meeting when they want to pray over me, something that our staff takes turns doing. I’m thankful for those volunteer leaders. I’m also thankful for the other volunteers that teach kids, lead small groups, host Bible studies in their home, mow grass, and about fifty million other things.
More than anything, stuff is happening here. We have people transitioning out of high-paying jobs to focus more on ministry. We have folks adopting kids because they feel led by God to do so. We have people telling their co-workers and neighbors about Jesus. We have people getting baptized left and right. We’re engaging our community with acts of service. We had to add a third worship service this past fall. We have parents investing in their teenager’s spiritual growth. Recently, I learned of a woman who stepped in and took over her friends part-time job because her husband had a terminal illness and she wanted to be with him. The woman accepted no pay so that her friend could still be compensated even though she wasn’t doing the work. In the past two and a half years that I’ve served here, the church has grown from about 600 to about 1200. We’re building an addition because we’re running out of room. You just get the sense that God is up to something special here. It’s exciting, exciting stuff.
There are a lot of great churches all over the world. I’m not trying to posture Current as better than any of them or do any sort of competition thing. I’m just proud to serve where I serve, belong where I belong, and watch God do his thing alongside a lot of great people.
I wonder, what do you love about your church…