Transitions and Planting Trees
Mark and Carol Welstead are the kind of people you want your children to know because they are the kind of people you yourself hope to become. Steady, reliable, and a brand of sincerity that can only be produced from one divine source. At a time such as this when we wait for God to demonstrate righteous deeds again, it’s important to see the God-fearing people in our midst now as we proceed to establish new “oaks of righteousness” for our future (Isaiah 61).
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT BEEN AROUND HARRIS CREEK FOR MANY YEARS, DESCRIBE SOME OF THE TRANSITIONS YOU HAVE WITNESSED AS LONG-TIME MEMBERS.
Mark and I have been attending worship with Harris Creek for close to 20 years, serving in a number of capacities within the church along the way. We specifically enjoy—and feel led to be involved with—anything that builds community or relationships.
When Harris Creek first made the decision to change from “Sunday School on Sunday morning” to mid-week Life Groups, we went through a period of time where we felt disconnected from our church as a whole. This was compounded by an unexpected change in staff leadership. We had several long-time Harris Creek friends (of all ages) change churches or at least actively visit other churches because of the new small group model, the staffing situation, or simply because the church seemed to be in transition.
It felt like such a loss to me when our “Sunday School” class fell apart. I loved these people, and now they were slipping out of my grasp, or I at least felt like I was slipping out of community. Each Sunday, Mark and I would come to worship, then leave feeling like something was missing. I didn’t feel any connection. We talked about visiting another church but couldn’t think of one we wanted to “try on for size,” so we kept coming to Harris Creek. We were praying for discernment since Harris Creek had been so special to our family and we couldn’t imagine leaving.
I remember telling Mark one Sunday that Harris Creek itself was a different church now then when we first started attending, and I thought we should continue attending and see how our old expectations could be shaped into new realities. After serving as the interim pastor, a baby-faced Brady Herbert was named the Teaching Pastor, and we felt a connection and enjoyed his messages. However, we still needed a Life Group and that continued to be in our prayers.
Those prayers were answered with Rob and Marianne Ward. They were brand new to Harris Creek and had been in a small group at another church. Rob and Marianne said they would be willing to lead a Life Group and were given our names as a couple desperately seeking others for Life Group. We went to dinner with them and instantly felt a connection. We said YES we would like to be in this new Life Group. That was 4 years ago, and we now have the best Life Group! Our group has been there for us through many trials (big and small). They’ve prayed for us during loss of job and of loved ones, health scares, and the trials of everyday life. Life Group is our safe place where we can share whatever is on our heart. We know they will be praying for us. We have also had such fun, bonding experiences together—laser tag, a weekend at the ranch, boat rides on the lake, serving together at Christian Women’s Job Corps and Mission Waco, and much more.
We are so happy to be at Harris Creek, to be a part of our Life Group, and a member of this wonderful Harris Creek family. It is clear that Brady and the staff are seeking God’s will for our church, and we are excited to be a part of that!
PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT YOU THINK IS IMPORTANT FOR HARRIS CREEK TO REMEMBER DURING THIS SEASON.
We believe it is important for Harris Creek to remember that we are NOT building this new sanctuary for those of us that attend now. We are NOT building it so those that attend Harris Creek currently will be certain that they can find a seat each week. We are building the larger sanctuary so we will have room to accommodate the people that God brings to Harris Creek. These people will be equipped by Harris Creek, so they may continue the mission of seeking the welfare of the city for future generations. We are “planting trees” so our children, grandchildren, and many others will have shade. We may personally never see the trees or experience the shade, but we support this campaign because we feel that is what God is calling us to do.
HOW ARE YOU SACRIFICING/REARRANGING FINANCES TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS CAMPAIGN?
We have committed to doubling our annual giving over the next two years. In order to accomplish this, we will be intentional about any discretionary spending- eating out, gifts, donations to other organizations, etc. We intend to be diligent about discerning needs vs wants. We will continue to pray, individually and as a couple, to discern God’s will for our financial role in this campaign, and any additional monies that we might be blessed with will also be prayed over and considered for the campaign.
If you would like to share your own story of how you’ve connected with Harris Creek or how you feel led to commit to the “Our Turn” campaign, we invite you to share your story with us.