Areas to Serve at Redeemer

As Tyler mentioned this past Sunday, we have several opportunities available for you to serve our church family. Please read through the following opportunities and pray if there is an area in which the Lord wants you to serve. Also pray that God would lead others to join us. We are so thankful for each and everyone of you and your willingness to consider serving.

Redeemer Kids:
Redeemer Kids is looking for those willing to encourage and teach our kids about the good news of Jesus. The six classes we have range from birth all the way up to third grade. If this is something that interests you and you would like to learn more about how you can serve in this area, email Faye Cummings at [email protected].

We are looking for people who are interested and willing to be a scripture reader or communion server within the gathering. If this is something that interests you and you would like to learn more about how you can serve in this area, email Tyler Daniel at [email protected].

Our worship team is looking for those interested and gifted in not only music but everything behind the scenes that makes it happen (slides and sound). If this is something that interests you and you would like to learn more about how you can serve in this area, email Tyler Daniel at [email protected].

We are looking for those willing to serve in greeting and parking/security. This role will be the one that welcomes everyone entering the building for our gathering while also directing them and answering any questions. If this is something that interests you and you would like to learn more about how you can serve in this area, email Meghan Gatewood at [email protected].


Each week during our Proverbs series we will be posting follow up resources to help you further reflect on and apply the word preached on Sunday.

SERMON SUMMARY - This week we continued our look at the wisdom of Proverbs as we considered our need for deep, long-term friendships. We saw why we need true friends— because we often live with a distorted self-perception. (Pr. 27:1-3). This is why we need true friends. A true friend is someone who understands you, knows you (the real you), and is headed toward the same destination as you. True friends aren’t afraid to tell us the hard truths, and they stick by us through time, trials, and transitions (Pr. 27: 5-9: 18:24). Do you have friends like this? Sadly, in our culture, most people don’t. We have lots of “friendly relationships," but no true friends who know us and stick with us for a lifetime. This type of friendship is a gift from God, give to us to be a Gospel-reality— teaching us our true and eternal friendship with Christ.

Here is a link to the sermon if you missed it - LINK - Please listen if you missed our gathering.

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK - A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. — Proverbs 18:24 (ESV)


  1. Why do we need friends?
  2. What is a true friend? What does Proverbs 27 and Proverbs 18:24 teach us about friendship? How does God’s idea of friendship differ from our current culture’s idea of friendship?
  3. How are you doing with this? Do you feel like you have a true friend? (Consider the stats Jordan mentioned in his sermon). What things in your life have contributed to you having or not having rich friendship?
  4. “Friendship is a gospel reality for us to enjoy”. What does that mean?
  5. What is God saying to you in light of this discussion? What needs to start, stop, or change for you to cultivate deep, lifelong friendship?

Need pastoral prayer, help or care? If you’d like to discuss this more with one of our pastors, please email [email protected] and we would love to set-up a time for someone to meet with you.

Recommended Resources:
Messy Beautiful Friendship by Christine Hoover (specific for Women)
True Friendship by Vaughn Roberts (specific for Men)

PROVERBS RESOURCES: WEEK 2 - “Paying Attention to Your Family”

Each week during our Proverbs series we will be posting follow up resources to help you reflect on and apply the scripture preached through on Sunday.

SERMON SUMMARY - This week we continued our look into the wisdom of Proverbs as we considered our need to “pay attention” to how we live in our family relationships. We considered a single aspect of Proverbs wisdom for each person in the family. Husbands, pay attention to the way you speak to your wives (Pr. 31:28-29). Wives and women, pay attention to the expectations you put on yourself or take on from others (Pr. 31:10-31). Parents, pay attention to whats going on beneath the surface with your children. Children, pay attention to your parents instruction even though they are not perfect. Finally, we saw how the way we love one another in our families flows out of how God has loved us in Christ.

Here is a link to the sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK - Listen to your father, who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother when she is old. Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment. The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure to have children who are wise. So give your father and mother joy! May she who gave you birth be happy. Proverbs 23:22–25 (NLT)


  1. Why is it important for us to pat attention to how we relate to our families? How is this a challenge for you?
  2. Why is it important for Husbands (or Fathers of daughters) to speak praise, encouragement, and truth to their wives (or daughters)? What culture are you setting in your household for the way you use your words (consider tone, content, and quality of what you communicate)?
  3. Wives and women, what expectations do you have for yourself or do you feel others place on you? How do you stay grounded in and embrace God’s expectations for you?
  4. How do you pay attention to what is going on in the hearts of your children? What practical rhythms do you (as a Husband/Wife parenting team) need to cultivate an awareness of your childs heart and not simply react to their external behavior?
  5. What does it look like for you to honor and love your parents in the life stage you are in right now? What might this look like as they grow older?

Need pastoral prayer, help or care? If there is an area of your family life that you sense a need for more pastoral help, please email [email protected] and we would love to setup a time to meet with you.

Recommended Resources
Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel (Ray Ortlund)
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family (Tripp)

**If you have specific issues you would like recommended resources for please feel free to email [email protected] Also, we have DVD series that can be checked out on Parenting and Marriage.


Each week during our Proverbs series we will be posting follow up resources to help you reflect on and apply the scripture preached through on Sunday.

SERMON SUMMARY - This week we began our study of Proverbs by looking at the importance of pursuing wisdom. We learned that wisdom teaches us how the world works and how God would have us navigate the everyday choices we face. Walking in this wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. This means that wisdom for everyday living starts with recogning that God is God and we are not. If we want to make sense of the world and live in a way that leads to life, we start from a place of humility that says we need guidance. Thankfully, Jesus has come to forgive our foolishness and show us the wisdom of God.

Here is a link to the sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. - Proverbs 3:5–8 (ESV)


  1. Why is it important to recognize our need for wisdom? How have you recycled our first parents folly in managing good and evil?
  2. What are ways we might seek wisdom apart from the fear of the Lord? Why can’t we bypass this in our journey towards wise living?
  3. Spend some time meditating on Proverbs 3:5-8. What strikes you in those verses? How might God be inviting you to trust His wisdom?
  4. A humble heart that is open and attentive to God is the posture that leads to wisdom. What are the sources we need in our life that will help us hear the voice of God’s love? (Checkout the further reading resource for some helpful reading/graphics on this)



Where are you going in life? Each one of us is on a path to somewhere. The book of Proverbs tells us that there are two paths. There is a path that leads to life and another that leads to death. There is a way that seems right to a person but its end is the way to death. We keep finding ourselves drifting off the path of life. Have you felt this pull? We are all drawn away by different things. For some of us, we keep hurting others through the words we speak. We are surrounded by people but find ourselves lonely and disconnected from life giving relationships. Other times we can’t seem to escape the path of sexual sin, greed, identity, and addiction. The path towards death is wide and has many on-ramps. We need wisdom to help us navigate the everyday stuff of life.

God cares about your life. Did you know that? He cares about where you are going and all the details along the way. In the book of Proverbs God gives us wisdom for everyday living. God gives us Proverbs not to pile on another set of rules to live by but to help us in the follow-up experiences of life. The book of Proverbs is a good news book because it gives wisdom to foolish people like us. As Ray Ortlund says “This book is Jesus himself coming to us as our counselor, as our sage, as our life coach. The Lord Jesus Christ is a competent thinker for all times and all cultures. He is a genius. And he freely offers us his unique wisdom.”

Over the next eight weeks, we are going to seek wisdom from God for the everyday issues we are facing. Our hope is that we humbly recognize our need for wisdom and open our hearts to the wisdom of Jesus himself. As we meditate upon God’s wisdom in Proverbs we trust that the beauty of Christ will begin to shine in our everyday living. We will find a path opening up before us that leads to life.

10/1/2017 - Week 1 - Wisdom (Proverbs 3:5-8)
10/8/2017 - Week 2 - Family (Proverbs 22:6)
10/15/2017 - Week 3 - Friendship (Proverbs 18:24)
10/22/2017 - Week 4 - Speech (Proverbs 18:21)
10/29/2017 - Week 5 - Sex (Proverbs 6:27)
11/5/2017 - Week 6 - Self-Control (Proverbs 14:8)
11/12/2017 - Week 7 - Money (Proverbs 10:22)
11/19/2017 - Week 8 - Work Ethic (Proverbs 12:11)


  • Each week will have a key verse that we can share out on social media and encourage people to meditate upon.
  • Each week whoever is preaching will write a short follow-up to that sermon with a link to the audio, resources for further reading, and an invitation to meet with our pastors if further help is needed.

Harvey - Ways to Help

Over the last couple of days Harvey has moved on, the flood waters have begun to drain, and those in Houston and the surrounding areas have begun to assess the damage. There are two churches in the Houston area that we've committed to partner with going forward as they work to help their people and their communities rebuild. Yesterday I received word that they are in need of supplies and helping hands as they begin to clean up and rebuild. This is where we get a chance to love our neighbors. This is where we get a chance to do for some what we wish we could do for all. Here are two ways you can help. My hope is to see every person at Redeemer help in one of these two ways (big or small).

1. Bring relief supplies to our gathering this Sunday. Those we are partnering with are beginning to clean up and salvage homes of their church members and neighbors. They have expressed a need for supplies to do this work. As you can imagine their local Home Depot, Lowes, and Wal-Mart cannot stay stocked with enough supplies for the needed. Amazon cannot deliver for a week. So we've been asked if we can gather supplies for them this weekend. Below is a list of supplies that you can purchase and drop off at the Redeemer building this Sunday for us to take down and deliver. Some of the more specific items I have added a link to show you what to look for. Please do not bring clothes, toys, or perishable food. 

2. Sign up to join us on a clean/rebuild trip. There will also be opportunities for us to make a trip down next week/weekend to help with the clean up and rebuild. Details are still being worked out on specific dates and times. Most likely we will take multiple trips in the weeks/months ahead. If you are interested in joining us on a clean up/rebuild trip please fill out the form below. As details get finalized for work crews I will be in contact with you.

Name *

3. Donate MoneyBelow are organizations that we want to encourage you to give to. All of them will support the work of local churches in the Houston area who are ministering to those who have been displaced. 

  • Acts 29 Houston/Gulf Coast Fund – this is a centralized fund housed by Clear Creek Community Church. All of the funds will be dispersed to help meet the needs of members of fellow A29 churches who have experienced loss and damage due to Harvey. This is a great way to support other churches and church plants like Redeemer who are in need. Give online by clicking here. You can also give to this fund by texting HARVEYRELIEF to 51555. 
  • Providence Community Church – Providence is a church in Atascocita (NE of Houston) that we love and trust. They have many church members who have been displaced from their home and are in need. As of this morning they are using boats to rescue church members as their houses are flooding. They are also opening their church building as a shelter for displaced people in the community. They are expecting to receive and house 50+ men, women, and children in the days ahead. All money given will go to provide clothing and other basic necessities for those they are housing. You can give online HERE. Select the “missions” fund when making your donation. 100% of what is given to the missions fund will go to Harvey relief. 

Thanks family! If you have any questions about how you can help feel free to reach out to me. Hope to see you all Sunday. 

Jordan Elder

Hurricane Harvey - Ways to Give

Hey church family,

Yesterday I posted an update on how we want to respond as a church to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey along the Gulf Coast. If you missed it please read it HERE. In short, we are asking everyone in our church to 1) pray and to 2) do something to help.

One of the best things you can do right now is to give financially. Below are organizations that we want to encourage you to give to. All of them will support the work of local churches in the Houston area who are ministering to those who have been displaced.

  1. Acts 29 Houston/Gulf Coast Fund – this is a centralized fund housed by Clear Creek Community Church. All of the funds will be dispersed to help meet the needs of members of fellow A29 churches who have experienced loss and damage due to Harvey. This is a great way to support other churches and church plants like Redeemer who are in need. Give online by clicking here. You can also give to this fund by texting HARVEYRELIEF to 51555.
  1. Providence Community Church – Providence is a church in Atascocita (NE of Houston) that we love and trust. They have many church members who have been displaced from their home and are in need. As of this morning they are using boats to rescue church members as their houses are flooding. They are also opening their church building as a shelter for displaced people in the community. They are expecting to receive and house 50+ men, women, and children in the days ahead. All money given will go to provide clothing and other basic necessities for those they are housing. You can give online HERE. Select the “missions” fund when making your donation. 100% of what is given to the missions fund will go to Harvey relief.
  1. Trinity Klien- Trinity is a church in NW Houston that is doing great work to minister to those in need right now. They are using their facility as a shelter and are mobilizing volunteers to help with rescue efforts. They rescued dozens of people yesterday and are continuing to rescue efforts today. They have a huge need for supplies and clothing to house the people they are rescuing and sheltering. You can give online HERE. Please select “Hurricane Harvey Donations” as the fund.

One other note, these are just a few ways you can give. There are many groups doing great work right now. If you have connections to other organizations please don’t hesitate to give there. For those who do not, we want to continue to encourage you to rally around the relationships we share as a church.

As the days and weeks go on we will continue to update you with ways you can help.

Love you guys. Let’s be the church to those in need.

Gospel Foundations Begins October 1st

Gospel Foundations is a great next step for anyone at Redeemer who desires to grow as a disciple maker. Jesus Christ is our sure and steady foundation. Our life, our church, and our ministry is to be built on Him. This class is designed to found you in the story and message of Jesus. You will learn to see the redemptive thread through all of scripture, climaxing in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and culminating in the renewal of all things. You will be challenged to find where you fit in God’s story, and how the gospel informs your everyday life. 

Gospel Foundations will be six consecutive weeks beginning October 1st and ending November 5th, from 4:00-5:30pm. After signing up you will receive a free copy of The Drama of Scripture by Michael Goheen, which will be the primary book resource we will use during Gospel Foundations. 

October 1st | God Establishes His Kingdom (Act 1)

October 8th | Rebellion in the Kingdom (Act 2)

October 15th | The King Initiates Redemption (Act 3)

October 22nd | The Coming of the King (Acts 4)

October 29th | Spreading the News of the King (Acts 5)

November 5th | The Return of the King (Act 6)



Hurricane Harvey - What is Redeemer Doing to Help?

Over the last two days as we’ve woken up here in Round Rock to soaked and soggy yards, those southeast of us in Houston and the surrounding counties have experienced (and will continue to experience) historic flooding. It’s gut-wrenching to see the images of flood waters covering interstate highways and filling entire neighborhoods. It’s heartbreaking to see so many displaced as their homes and belongings have been destroyed. It’s paralyzing when I talk to friends and family members in the area that are bracing for the next wave of rain, knowing that it will likely bring water into their homes. I want to help, yet the need is so large.

I know that many of you feel the same way. I’ve heard from several of you who have reached out to our church leadership asking how you/we can help. Even before the Harvey made landfall, I was getting messages from some of our Redeemer members who wanted to open their homes to folks who were evacuating. This has been such an encouragement to us as leaders! Redeemer has truly become a family of servants where the heart of Christ for the needy is evident. Over the last 24 hours, we’ve had time to speak with friends, family members, and fellow pastors in the Houston area to assess how we can best help, and I wanted to share with you what we’ve heard.

Pray, really pray.
As I’ve spoken to my friends and family members in the area this has been a sincere request. One of the best things you can do right now is to cry out to God on behalf of those in need. Disasters like this will quickly erase the mirage of self-sufficiency that many of us live with. Many people are scared and fearful and are turning to God in their time of need. Let’s pray for their needs to be met. Pray for people you know personally. If you have family or friends who have been affected please share those specific prayer needs with us via The City or our Redeemer Family Facebook group so we can join you in prayer.

I spoke yesterday with one of our former partners, Zach Lambert, who is now living in Rosenburg, an area that has been hit hard by Harvey. Zach told me that there is a good chance he could be out on a boat today trying to rescue people who are stranded in their homes. This kind of thing is happening all across the city of Houston. Pray for Zach and all of the other volunteers and first responders who are helping people in their darkest hour. Let the social media videos and news footage you see feed your prayers throughout the day.

Kevin Aderholt will be leading a time of prayer Tuesday at 6am at the church building for those affected by Harvey. If you are able please join us to pray.

Be ready to do something.
This is the hard part. When there is so much need where do you even begin? The temptation can be to feel like the need is too big and what you can offer is too small, so you never really get around to doing anything. But I believe this is a demonic lie. I believe that when we have friends, family, and fellow human beings (image bearers of God) in major need just a couple of hours away— we must do something. So, our elders have discussed that we want to make an organized effort as a church to do something. Here is what we are working on.

We’ve reached out to other Acts 29 churches in the Houston area that we have a relationship with. We’ve communicated to them that we want to help, and we are awaiting word on the best way to do that. As needs start to come in we will communicate them to you. Keep in mind that there is more rain coming over the next few days to Houston and the surrounding counties, so it might take a couple of weeks to get a full assessment of the needs. In the mean time, pray.

As we are made aware of specific needs, we will be pointing you to ways you can give financially as well as organizing some weekend trips in the weeks and months ahead to travel down to help with clean up efforts. There will be an opportunity for you to come and swing a hammer, give a hug, or to send diapers, clothes, cookies, and other supplies that will be needed.

Not only do we want to help churches in our network, but we want to help those you know that have been affected by this storm. If you have family members who have been flooded or are displaced please let me know. Email or call me with any specific needs, so that we can assess the best way Redeemer can help.

In closing, I want to thank you for being such an amazing community of faith. Not only are you regularly extending the love and care of Christ to one another, but you are always eager to care for others outside of our church. Ok, let’s pray and let’s be ready to give and go in the days, weeks, months ahead.

May God be glorified in our efforts as a church,


We've Almost Reached our Goal!

Redeemer Family,

On behalf of the Finance Team, I wanted to give you an update on our building fundraiser. I am pleased to announce that we have currently contributed $31,436.11! That means we only need $13,563.89 more to reach our fundraising goal of $45,000.

It takes a humble heart and an exalted view of God to give generously to fundraisers such as these. I am reminded when David was making temple building preparations for his son Solomon who would soon succeed him as king of Israel. Take a look at David’s humble response (along with the people of Israel) to building God’s temple:

1 Chronicles 29:14-17

“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.”

Thank you, Redeemer family for your humble response! Since we will continue raising funds through August, I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage those who have yet to contribute to please consider making a donation. You can give online via (be sure to select the “Building Fund”) or during our initial gathering in the new building on August 13th.

Kevin Aderholt
Redeemer Finance Team

Summer Updates

NO GATHERING NEXT SUNDAY (July 2nd) - Next Sunday we will not gather as we normally do. Use this time to rest, be present with family and neighbors, and we will see you back at CD Fulkes on Sunday, July 9th as we begin our Beatitudes (Matthew 5) series.

Building Move-In Giving Request - This past Sunday Lauren Schauer shared from our finance team that we are inviting those who are part of Redeemer to give financially towards some of the items we need to furnish our new building. You can read more about this on The City and you can give online HERE.

Men’s Retreat - Redeemer is partnering with Soma Austin, Center Church Brenham, and Creekside San Marcos to put on our 2017 Men’s retreat. This will be a 2-day retreat at Camp Buckner and a great opportunity for the men in our church to grow in Christ as we pray, learn, and share meals together. Feel free to invite any men you know who would be interested in joining us. You can sign-up and find more information HERE.

Union with Christ

Redeemer Family,

Over the next five Sundays, we will be finishing our series on Colossians by looking at how we live out our union with Christ in the everyday stuff of life. My hope and prayer are that this last five weeks would really help us take the beauty and truth of our union with Christ and equip us to live this out together. Essentially what we are going to consider how what we looked at in Colossians 3:5-17 plays out in the various spheres of our life. We will be looking at each topic and going back to the first three chapters to help us connect the dots.

We are also going to try a few things for these last five weeks to help us apply what we are learning. For each of these sermons, we will have an opportunity for you to submit questions (comment or email [email protected]) about each topic that our teaching team will address. We also plan on having some team teaching during these five weeks where we get some perspectives from women and also hear from different people in our church as they seek to live out their identity in Christ. Lastly, we will have follow up resources each week that will give you clear next steps to get help in any of the topics you find yourself needing further support with.

Would you commit to praying for these last five weeks? Pray specifically that the Holy Spirit would use it to bring new life in each of these areas to those who are hurting, struggling, and in need of grace. Know that your Elders are praying for you and want to know how we can best serve you!

Here is the schedule for the next five weeks:
5/21/17 - Marriage (Colossians 3:18-19, 3:5-17)
5/28/17 - Parenting (Colossians 3:20-21, 3:5-17)
6/4/17 - Work (Colossians 3:22-25, 3:5-17)
6/11/17 - Prayer (Colossians 4:2-4)
6/18/17 - Evangelism (Colossians 4:5-6)


“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life— your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-3

As we enter into 7in7, I want to take a moment to remind us why we step into a project like this.

Why create?

Why spend time developing our craft, skill, and gifts that God has given us?

We do all of this so we may learn in our real, everyday lives that we are stewards of all that we have. Our creating, cultivating, and blessing others with our gifts is not an attempt to find value or worth, but instead, a response to the value and worth bestowed on us by the Father through the Son. We create because we have a creative God who made us in his image. We learn to steward because it is an integral part of discipleship. The way of the world says that your time, talent, and treasures are about you, but the way of Jesus is learning that all of it was a gift from Him. Giving these back to Jesus and, in turn, others is not a loss of freedom, but instead, the only way to find it.

So why 7in7?

Our hope is that through the discipline of creating, cultivating, and blessing others over seven days, we will discover more of the ways God has gifted us, and we can see the Spirit free us from fear. We can create because God created us for this very purpose. In Genesis 12, God said that he would bless Abram so that he might be a blessing to the whole world. This is our story as well. We are blessed to be a blessing.

Bring your gifts, talent, and time to the table, trust God with them, and spend seven days prayerfully creating. Let’s see what God does in us and through us!

This Sunday we will start sign-ups for 7in7 where you can share with one another how you plan on using the seven days! If you are unsure about what you might be able to do, ask someone in your missional community or DNA group for ideas on how you can participate. If you have any other questions feel free to contact me at [email protected]


  1. Painting
  2. Poetry
  3. Writing Short Stories
  4. Songwriting
  5. Baking
  6. Serving 7 Times in 7 days intentionally
  7. Woodworking
  8. Writing Confessions/Benediction for Liturgy
  9. Gardening
  10. Landscaping
  11. Cooking 7 New Recipes
  12. Photography
  13. Graphic Design
  14. Sewing
  15. Hand lettering scripture
  16. Give of your finances intentionally 7 times
  17. Give of your time intentionally 7 times
  18. Create Instrumental Music
  19. Do 7 things around your house that allows for more hospitality (rearrange furniture, paint a room, clean out clutter)
  20. Color
  21. Draw/Sketch Stories
  22. Pretend & create short plays
  23. Screenprinting
  24. Write 7 letters of encouragement to 7 friends
  25. Translate a story from the Bible into language children can understand 27-Write scripture songs for Children

7in7: Create.Cultivate.Bless

During our vision series in early January, we spent some time unpacking what it looks like as a church to have a culture of Creative Generosity. We were encouraged from 1 Timothy 6 “not to place our hope in the uncertainty of riches, but on God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” The command that follows is to “do good, be rich in good works and to be generous and ready to share.” Paul goes on to state that this is what it looks like to grab hold of that which is truly life; we find our life by losing it. Instead of storing up treasures in this life, we let go of what we think will give us life and embrace a life of radical generosity rooted in the radical generosity of the Father to us. I believe our church has modeled this in many beautiful ways, and this is a testament not to us but to how gracious God has been to us. Radical generosity can only come from those affected deeply by experiencing God’s radical provision to us in Jesus. I want to take a moment and share a few ways I have seen this happen in our church in the last six months.

  • Not only did we raise around $8,000 for the launch of Soma Austin, but we had over twenty people dedicate many hours to seeing the Anchored Project come to fruition allowing many to be blessed through the songs, instrumentation, artwork, and the release party.
  • This year as a church we will send three high school students to Young Life Camp where they will hear the good news of Jesus potentially for the first time.
  • Four high school moms involved in YoungLives have received free milestone photo sessions, and one mom had her tuition for YoungLives camp covered through the generosity of one missional community.
  • Many moms have been blessed by the generosity of Ashley Cobb, Redeemer, and the Ryan’s Crossing MC through the ‘Songs for Moms’ project. They hosted a house show in April to encourage and remind women in our city that although motherhood is tough, they are on this journey together.
  • Foster Village has seen dozens of volunteers begin to step in and help organize and deliver donations. Several musicians also helped put on a concert to help raise money and awareness for the cause. Village Fest raised around $3,000 to help serve foster families in our area.
  • Over $90,000 has been given by Redeemer this year for the sake of church planting, locally & globally, and caring for our city. This would not have been possible apart from the generous giving of our church family.

These are just a few of the ways that God has been building a culture of creative generosity at Redeemer. Our hope is that this culture would continue to grow, and we would become a people who can confidently say that we have been blessed so that we might be a blessing. Being a gospel people means not only that we have a message that is good news, but we have a message that transforms every part of our lives. One of the greatest apologetics is not how well we know theology, but how well our theology is lived out in real life. Jesus himself said they will know us by our love.

How do we keep growing in this creative generosity?
Our next step will be with a project called 7in7. This will focus primarily on seeing our time and talents as a gift from God to be stewarded. Colossians 3:17 says, "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." God has given each of us time and talent to cultivate those as worship of Him and a way to bless others. 7in7 is a seven-day creative endeavor to help us step further into stewarding those gifts God has given us.

The goal will be to create for seven days in ways that cultivate our gifts and bless others. Each day you will be challenged to step into the hard work of creating something in whatever way you are gifted.

  • If you are a songwriter, what would it look like to create seven songs in seven days?
  • If you are a baker or enjoy cooking, what might it look like to create dishes in seven days?
  • If you love woodworking what would it look like to work on seven small projects in seven days or one project each day for seven days and see it completed?

(Other ideas might include: painting, sculpting, poetry, writing confessions for Redeemer liturgy, serving neighbors, photography, landscaping, short stories, sewing, drawing, graphic design, coloring)

The goal is not the quality of the work, but to grow in stewarding our gifts and stepping out in faith to serve generously. As a church family, we will celebrate the courage and vulnerability to put our gifts on display, whatever that may look like. This will also push all of us to grow in the discipline of trying new things and finishing what we start. Next week I will follow up with a bit more on how this will work itself out, but 7in7 will run from May 21-27th and will be followed by a celebration with Soma Austin on June 4th at 6:00 pm to enjoy all that was created!

The Gift of a Sabbatical

As was announced on Sunday at Redeemer, I will be taking a break from all church leadership and ministry this summer. From mid-May to mid-August I am being given the gift of rest and spiritual renewal by the Elders of Redeemer Round Rock and the leadership team of the Redeemer Network. This is a gift that my wife Sami and I will receive with much gratitude and excitement. The idea of pastors taking a Sabbatical can often be confusing because 1) many don’t understand what a sabbatical is, and 2) pastors often need a sabbatical for different reasons (some good and some bad). Because of this, I wanted to take some time to share with you a few reasons (all good) that I’m being offered a sabbatical and will gladly receive it. I think you will see what a wise and good thing this will be for me, my family, our church family, and the Redeemer Network.

Pastoral ministry is unique work that is uniquely tiring. All work carries with it a physical, intellectual, or relational fatigue. This is why God, in his grace, commands us to keep the Sabbath— a day to rest each week. This is also why it’s important that every person maintains good rhythms of taking time off work and going on vacation. God wants us to work hard for his glory, but to rest regularly. The challenge with pastoral ministry is that it can be not only physically, intellectually, and relationally taxing, but it’s also spiritually and emotionally draining. I assure you there is nothing major going on in my life. I am just trending toward spiritual, emotional, and relational fatigue. To continue to do ministry from a place of fatigue is dangerous. It’s dangerous for me and it’s dangerous for the people God has called me to lead and care for in our church family and in the Redeemer Network.

And this is exactly why sabbaticals are such a gift to pastors! My sabbatical coach, Jim Cofield, says “a sabbatical is a time when all [ministry] work activity is suspended for the purpose of attending to one’s soul. Sabbatical was honored by our Lord when he “went apart” from the crowds and His ministry to them. He understood the time alone facilitated a work of the Spirit that can only be done in solitude.”

It will be a challenge for me to step away from all ministry work, but I’m eager to engage in focused rest and recalibration of my soul for the purpose of returning as a healthier more attentive pastor and leader. Jim will be walking with me through my sabbatical, providing counseling and coaching weekly. By God’s grace, we have many gifted and growing leaders at Redeemer who will step into my workload. The other elders (Josh and Kevin) along with Tyler Daniel (elder candidate) will give oversight to our missional communities and MC leaders while I’m out. Chad Hilliard, who was recently appointed as a deacon, will take the lead on Foundations and Leadership Development. Rich Hart (church planting resident) will join our preaching team in my place. What a gift it is that our church has so many gifted leaders! My Redeemer Network responsibilities will be shared amongst several pastors across our network.

I need time and space to examine my life and future calling. I do not doubt that God has called me to vocational ministry (He has confirmed this time and time again, even in times when I wanted to run from the calling), but I’ve come to a point where I need more clarity in regard to my calling. I never set out to become a pastor. I went to college to get an English degree so that I could be a teacher/coach and do international mission work. At the age of 21, I found myself on the leadership team to plant Redeemer Lubbock and the last 10 years since then have been a whirlwind. I started a youth ministry, grew a college ministry, and lead the group's ministries at Redeemer Lubbock all within a few years. Not long after Sami and I were married we moved to Round Rock to plant Redeemer with the Reeves, we had kids, we fostered a child, and I’ve continued to lead Redeemer in numerous roles. Additionally, for the last two years, I’ve lead Redeemer Network, which trains church planters and cares for other pastors. I am grateful to God for all of the ministries that He has allowed me to lead over the last ten years. I’ve been able to learn so much at amazing churches with amazing people. Yet, I find myself at a place in my ministry where I yearn to gain clarity on my deepest/primary calling for the next decade. In other words, I can’t keep wearing multiple hats. I’ve always been eager to do whatever I was asked to do or what was needed. It’s become clear to me in the last six months that God is asking me to seek his face and hear his voice in regard to what He is asking me to do going forward.

Last month I was talking with an older pastor, sharing with him a bit of my story in ministry. As I wrapped up my story he looked me in the eyes and said, “So, are you tired yet?”. He was on to something. It was as if he had been there himself. As I learned more of his story I found out that he had once been at a similar place that I find myself. He went on to nearly burn out in ministry. I don’t want to do that. I love Jesus and his church, and I want to serve the church as long as He will allow me. In order for me to do that I need time and space to get clarity on my primary calling.

I need to relearn how to be present with God and my family. One other unique challenge of pastoral ministry is that pastors can get so busy “doing ministry for God” that they forget how to “be with God”. The essential things in our relationship with Jesus (prayer, bible reading, life in community, worship) are also all components of a pastor’s job. These lines can get blurred at times and I can forget that my primary identity is to be a child of God before its pastor or minister. My sabbatical will be a time for me to relearn how to be with God as his child. I must stop “doing ministry” for a bit so that times in prayer and in the word can be spent for no other purpose but to enjoy God and be ministered to by Him. I’m really hungry for this, as well as focused time with my family. Sami has been such an amazing ministry partner. Aside from being a great nurse and mother, she is constantly opening our home to others, pouring into those in our missional communities, and using her gifts to make Jesus known to our children, friends, and neighbors. She has always understood and welcomed the unique role of being married to a pastor. Much of this role is a gift from God. But there are also late night and early morning meetings, Sunday mornings spent wrangling kids and getting them to the gathering on her own, struggling to find time to see our extended family, and the reality that many days “work” will come home with me despite my best efforts. We hope and pray this sabbatical will be a rich time for our marriage, with our kids, and with our extended family.

In closing, I want to ask you to pray for me during my sabbatical. Slowing down and stepping away will not be easy for me. Pray for my time with Jim whom will act as a “spiritual guide” for me during this time, doing counseling and coaching weekly. Pray for my family. We just had our third child, our daughter Madelyn Rose. Pray for Titus and Peyton as they adjust to having another sibling. Pray for all of the leaders who are taking on extra responsibilities so I can take this time of rest and renewal. Please know that we are so thankful to serve a church that cares about its pastors and invests in their health. We love you, Redeemer.

May 14th will be our last Sunday at the gathering until August. I’ll preach that Sunday and then my sabbatical will begin. If you have any questions about my sabbatical please don’t hesitate to reach out to me— just be sure to do it before May 14th. :)

Missional Community Summer Break

Hey Redeemer,

For the last 5 years we’ve made “growing as disciples and making new disciples” through missional communities our primary focus as a church. MCs have been the place where we’ve learned to live our identity in Christ (family, servants, missionaries) in everyday, ordinary life. MCs have been awesome and life changing for so many. They have also been hard, messy, and revealing! We will always be a church that makes following Jesus in community, on mission, and in all of life primary— because we believe this is what the New Testament calls us to.

With all of that said, this summer (June and July) we are encouraging all of Redeemer’s missional communities to take an 8 week break from formal gatherings. Although a lot of churches often take a break from groups during the summer or holidays, this is something that we’ve never done before. In fact, in the past I’ve said things like “a missional community is family of servant missionaries. You don’t take breaks from being family or living on mission”. While I still believe this to be true, I’ve come to see that it would be wise and good for us to take a break from formal MC meetings this summer. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Because we believe that “community” isn’t something you attend one 1ight a week, we can still live in community AND give our leaders and host homes some needed rest. Most of our leaders have been leading missional communities for several years now. As I’ve been meeting with our leaders, I think it would be a blessing to give them a break from having to prepare, plan, lead, and host. Not all of our leaders feel they need a break, but our elder team has agreed that we want to engage a church wide practice of slowing down and resting this summer. Just to be clear— we want to encourage you to continue to “share life” with those in your MC this summer. Get together with others for meals, play dates, and DNA throughout the summer, but by taking a break from MC gatherings we want to give our leaders some time to slow down and rest.

  2. We are moving into a building this Summer (woohooo!), and for the first couple of months it will take extra time and energy to get it ready. Our hope is to be able to begin Sunday Gatherings in the new space by August. In order to do this we will need to schedule several different work days at the new building. During these work days we will be asking for volunteers to come up to the building to do a variety of projects on some evenings or weekends. Taking a break from MC gatherings will allow us to focus extra energy on the space for a couple of months. In the future we hope having a permeant space for our church will give us more energy for missional communities, but it will take us a couple of months to get there.

  3. Slowing down is a spiritual practice that we need to practice more. Psalm 116: 7 says, “Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has been good to you.” Stopping (breaking) from regular rhythms to rest and reflect on God’s faithfulness is a spiritual practice that we often ignore. Over the last few years “missional community life” has become a regular practice in many of our lives. I think it will be a really good practice for us to take a break so that we can reflect and consider all that God has done and is doing in our missional communities.

Missional Communities will officially “break” the week of June 4th and begin again the week of August 6th. I’m confident this is going to be a uniquely rich summer for us as a church family! If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to let me or your MC leader know.

No Gathering This Sunday (April 30th)

NO GATHERING - Sunday, April 30th

We will not be gathering on Sunday, April 30th due to the majority of our women being out for the Women’s retreat. For those not going to the Women’s retreat we want to invite you to join us for breakfast at Hat Creek. Here are the details:

Sunday Breakfast at Hat Creek (3700 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78665) 9:30 - 11am Kids can run and play while we eat together. Anyone welcome to join us!

Exciting Facility News!

Redeemer Family,

Over the past 6 weeks, we have been prayerfully exploring a potential facility purchase. Our Elders working with our finance team and deacons have been able to agree upon a contract purchase price. Then following that we had an inspection, meeting with the City, and secure financing. Over the past 3 weeks, the Lord has given us the green light in each of these areas paving the way for us to set a closing date on the new facility on May 3rd. So sometime in the next 3-6 months, we will be moving into our new permanent gathering space located off of AW Grimes, just north of 79!

Here is a little bit of what we have been working through over the past month. After securing a contract price on the purchase we had three remaining hurdles to jump before it was smooth sailing to closing on the deal. First, we needed to have the building inspected to make sure there were not major issues with it and to give us a good idea of what work we would need to prepare for. Last week we had the inspection and it went better than we expected. There were many little things needing to be repaired, but nothing that would be a deal breaker or major construction expense. From this inspection, we have a really good idea of what we need to get repaired and are confident we can do this well within our budget. Secondly, we wanted to meet with the city to gather more info about the property and make sure we could use the connected residential part of it in the future. This meeting also went better than expected as we learned that a church can use residentially zoned properties without needing to rezone. We also got some valuable info from the Fire Marshall and engineers that will help us when we do some of the improvements needed to the parking lot and future parking lot expansion. Third, we needed to secure financing for the part of the purchase that will not be funded by our donors and savings. Just last Friday we received word that the bank has approved our funding and we should be on track to close on the property on May 3rd.

Overall this is very exciting news! We still have to officially close on the property but all of the major checkpoints and roadblocks have been checked off. We don’t have an exact timeline yet on when we might be able to move in but we are projecting (Lord willing) that it will be some time from July to August. Don’t hold us to that but we think it's a reasonable estimate.

Would you please pray for smooth sailing through closing and for wisdom as we plan work days, construction, and improvements over the coming weeks?

Lastly, our Elders want to thank our Finance Team, Deacons, and Partners who have given much time to pray, discern, give feedback, and input into this decision. It has been awesome to see how the Lord has used the different gifts and talents in our church to help make this happen. I am really excited to see how this new facility continues to help us move forward in the mission God has given us here in Round Rock.

More updates on timeline and move in process as they develop.

In Christ,

Redeemer Elders