Authentic Relationships

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WordServe is amazing. It’s a small church with a family feel, and a big reason for that is community groups. Community group is where we have experienced the most depth, challenge, and growth in our faith. We have learned two big lessons in our five years at WordServe for thriving in community.

First, we had to have realistic expectations for authentic relationships. Sometimes the impression can be that as soon as you enter a community group, you will have an instant, fully-invested community. To be honest, we were not always perfectly thriving in our groups. Groups, like friendships, can be tough and take time to grow. Brand new groups, especially, struggle at first to find their groove. We were in a few different community groups, and while they were each wonderful, they were not yet home.

During this time, God worked on our hearts and developed us in exciting and unexpected ways. Meg, for example, works in a male-dominated field and was more comfortable talking to men than women for years! Through community group she formed strong bonds with the women she met and learned that her true home was with these wildly wonderful, faith-filled ladies. Through their support, she gained the courage and vision to begin attending seminary at Houston Baptist University. Matt entered community group young in his faith walk. When he started engaging with other men, especially in men’s group, and receiving the loving accountability, support, and encouragement that comes from their camaraderie, he made great strides in his maturity and his faith. Through their wisdom and support, he gained a stronger faith foundation and greater courage that ultimately led to him stepping into his role at WordServe as youth leader.

Our second big lesson… we realized we have to be courageous enough to ask for help when we need it. A dangerous, unwritten expectation can be that if we have a prayer request or discuss a need, people will automatically assume we need help and offer it. When we needed help the most, we were so busy trying to survive that we failed to ask for help from those who would’ve been most willing to give it. Outside looking in, we had it all together! This left us floundering instead of diving deeper into what community means – asking for help and being there for one anther in all of life’s circumstances in both struggles and celebrations.

God finally led us to our homes in the men’s and women’s groups. While these groups have grown and changed, their hearts for God and for each other have stayed the same. Even when we have had to step back from attending the group, we have kept our relationships with members and continued to engage them in our faith and personal lives. These men and women are people we feel we could reach out to with any need and receive support.  They are the body of Christ to us.

-Matt & Meg Lewis

 

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Refreshed, Revived, Repurposed, Renewed

 

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I am journeying through a life transition.  It was knocking my socks off, and I needed a church home to be refreshed, revived, repurposed, renewed.  WordServe centers their mission around celebrate, compassion, community and connect.  These seemed juxtaposed to what I was seeking and where God was leading me.

I have never attended a church service where the compassion of the Lord has been so alive!  I feel revived every single time I am around the members of WordServe.  Whether I am sitting next to them in service or Bible study, running into them at the grocery store, having lunch with them, or in the parking lot of PetSmart, the people who go to WordServe are genuine.  When the pastors ask how I am, they really mean it.  I am revived in this setting.  It stirs my soul to go back to be the genuine me that God created to serve him!  The hugs when I am tearing up, the laughter with others who have experienced my journey, the delight in the faces when I am greeted, have all revived my soul!  These people are Jesus with skin on.  They are real, honest, vulnerable, sinners who seek God.

The compassion of this church body is awesome.  They are involved in helping the community in the house they are building, in ministering to the children of a local school, in making meals for those who were displaced during and after the floods of Hurricane Harvey, in the washing of clothes, helping the flood victims, and joining local churches in the same area.  They know the heartbeat of this community and take care of it!  I have hungered for helping those around me, and this is where God led me.  I can make meals, wash clothes, make homey things for our Huggins’ families, visit children at school, as well as pray for them, because I can see their faces, feel their hearts and know their needs.

This church body has reached out to me and renewed my faith that God is everywhere.  They welcomed me with open arms.  They have gone out of their way to include me and let me know my skills, talents, and heart have a place here.  The Women’s Community Group on Tuesday nights have welcomed me, and I have never felt like a stranger.  Though I am unable to attend regularly, these ladies have contacted me by phone, text, lunches, asking how they can pray.  They have opened up to me on how I can pray for them as well.  They have been vulnerable with me and allowed friendships to grow.  They made the first and ongoing steps that renewed my starving soul.  I do still have a purpose, place, and peace.  I fit in!

This is the first church body I have been a part of that truly lives the church in Acts.  They get it!  They are real!  They celebrate!  They show compassion!  They know and serve the community!  They connect with those within the church body!  I thank the Lord for leading me to WordServe.  As 2018 begins, so does my furthering journey.  This will include these loving people at WordServe whom I am proud to say I am one of them.

-Robin Ferguson

 

Why WordServe?

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So, Why WordServe?  Simply put… because our church gets it!  Our church knows how to be overwhelmed for God’s things.  We can’t thank God enough for bringing us to this beautiful church in Fulshear.  Immediately we felt at home because God’s love was beaming right through the walls.  It wasn’t just the love everyone has for each other, but, most importantly, we saw the love that WordServe has for those outside the church walls.  That is contagious, attractive and refreshing – it’s seeing Jesus!

Serving is a huge part of life for us, and that is what we have been doing together since we got married nine years ago.  But, we have learned that serving too much can be spiritually dangerous if we don’t do it right and consult God first.  We got so busy following our agenda that we lost sight of what’s more important – growing closer to Jesus.  We craved a deeper relationship with our Lord and with each other.  Without a doubt, obeying God when He called us to follow Him to WordServe has been life changing for us.  God has shown us that He honors obedience and will blow our minds away with the impossible things He has in store for us!

Recently, we saw God’s mighty hand at work.  Jim’s dad passed away unexpectedly on September 6th, and we left for Oklahoma to prepare his funeral and be with family.  Our lives were filled with busy days trying to get things done, and we just didn’t seem to have time for soaking in His Word during that week.  We missed it dearly!  But He immediately reminded us that during the difficult times He carries us.  It’s not about what we do for Him but what He does for us.  We know many of you were praying for us and we felt the power of those prayers.  No matter how many hours we put in during the day, we always seemed to wake up with energy to keep going the next day.  God’s strength came upon us and led us through a very difficult time.

Serving is our way of saying “Thank You” to God for His many blessings.  He is teaching us that a genuine relationship with Him is what guides us in choosing the areas of church in which we serve.  When we seek Him first, His hand is with us and He blesses the offering of service.  That in turn blesses us and fills our souls and bodies with rest, strength and more love for Him and for others.

We are so happy to be serving God alongside each one of you, but even more ecstatic to be growing in Christ through the teachings and serving opportunities at our new church home.  That is why we choose to serve God at WordServe!

Together let’s allow the loving currents of God’s grace and power to carry us to live beyond the limits for His glory!

-Jim & Liz Boggs

 

I Love My Church

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“I love my church.” It’s been a refrain I’ve oft repeated over the last year and a half to anyone who would listen.  I think sometimes we overuse words like “love”, “blessed”, and others, but for this church, at this time, it’s perfectly applicable.  Through an interesting set of circumstances, my family — husband Matt and 7 year old twins Ryan and Quinn — made our way to WordServe in early 2016.  From the moment we entered the doors, we felt wrapped in the arms of some of the most awesome God-loving people I’ve had the pleasure to meet.  Churches are a funny thing, really.  It’s often an intangible feeling of why you decide to call one your “home”.  But once we attended our first Christmas Eve service, I turned to my husband with tears in my eyes and felt it was just that… home.

A little back story, but way back 10+ years ago, I worked for WordServe’s parent church, Grace Fellowship.  I remember distinctly as the leadership there prayed and mulled over name suggestions for this new birthing in Fulshear.  And now having been a part of these mission partners for 18 months, I can say with 100% certainty that the name was absolutely God-ordained.  This church so perfectly lives out that name — grounded in the Word and committed to service outside ourselves. It is just rare to have so many serve so selflessly, day in, day out, and forever transforming lives in our community.  I feel privileged to witness and participate in these acts of service.  And honestly, as a parent, nothing beats seeing my children grow and blossom into devoted followers of Jesus.  Because of the love and guidance of those who serve so beautifully in WordServe Kids, my children have since both taken the huge step of publicly proclaiming their faith through baptism.  Those are moments that I will never forget and I am forever thankful of the examples set by our mission partners to show them exactly what loving God looks like.

I am so excited to experience what God has planned for WordServe and all of the lives that will continue to be transformed both in and outside these walls.  It is an honor to worship with you all each Sunday and to do life with you regularly outside of that hour.  That is a defining characteristic of a church… living faith out LOUD.  Our tagline “Life is Different” is not just a cutesy phrase.  It’s truth.  Thank you for loving our family well.  We are forever changed.

-Meagan Clanahan

 

Back to School Sunday

Whether you were ready for it or not, school officially started again this past Monday!  At the beginning of the fall semester, many students, teachers, and parents set goals and routines for the new school year after having a busy, lazy, or restful summer.  At WordServe Church, we believe that a huge part of having a successful school year means focusing on spiritual preparation and priorities, not just excelling in academics and sports.

Every year, one of our favorite Sunday celebrations is Back to School Sunday.  This past Sunday, we set the tone for the new school year by introducing our latest sermon series, The Happiness Project.

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Parents, grandparents, and friends also had the incredible opportunity of praying over their students through the Blessing of the Backpacks.  Each student brought his or her school backpack and received prayers and blessings of encouragement from the congregation.

 

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We also had three very special guests in attendance:  Doug Waddill, principal of Huggins Elementary, and Fred and Patti Shafer, namesakes of Shafer Elementary.  These people clearly love students–they allowed them to make ice cream sundaes on top of their heads!

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We hope that as you begin your fall semester, you make a relationship with Jesus a vibrant part of your daily life.  We have many opportunities for you to grow your faith and put it into action–FaithFULL Kids, Community Groups, WordServe Youth, Habitat for Huggins, and of course, Sunday morning worship.  We pray this is the best school year yet!

 

 

Joint Celebration Service with Greater Zachery Baptist Church

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A couple of years ago, WordServe Church had the vision that the best way to begin the new year would be to join forces with another local church to celebrate the work God was doing in the community, to encourage one another, and to establish unity as bodies of believers.  So, on the first Sunday of 2013, we began what we hoped would be a tradition of worshiping with the Greater Zachery Baptist Church from Fulshear, TX.  The service was a beautiful time of fellowship and worship–the music was so rocking that we even blew a breaker and momentarily lost power!

Due to scheduling issues, we were unable to celebrate together on the first Sunday of 2014, but we again joined services on Sunday, July 6 at Shafer Elementary.

Reverend Jackie Gilmore, pastor of Greater Zachery Baptist Church, shared a message from Philippians about joy that was powerfully uplifting.  His son and worship leader at Greater Zachery, Torrey Gilmore, joined the WordServe Praise Team by playing keyboard and adding his beautiful voice to the mix.  The Greater Zachery choir even made an appearance and blessed us all through song.  The service was such a success that WordServe and Greater Zachery are exploring options for coming together again soon.  Our time together was also a powerful reminder that while we all have different backgrounds, different traditions, and different styles of worship, we are all children of God and that He is so pleased when his children worship together in unity.

FaithFULL Kids Celebration

On Sunday June 8, 2014, WordServe celebrated the first anniversary of the FaithFULL Kids program.  God has blessed us and provided not only what we have needed–a meeting and storage location, food and monetary donations, and an abundant harvest of workers to serve–but He has also provided physical and spiritual nourishment for kids in our community.  Because of God’s goodness, we were able to meet (and exceed) our goals laid out for the first year of FaithFULL Kids.

Here are a few ways we have seen God at work this year:

–96 kids have received meals each week.

–In the 37 weeks of this past school year, 3,552 backpacks have been filled.

–This adds up to over $8,500 worth of food.

–There have been over 518 volunteer hours this year alone with an average of 14 volunteers each week.

–More than 220 people have been involved with an average of 6 new volunteers per week.

–Approximately 40 boxes of food were distributed during Spring Break.

–Over $23,000 has been raised to fund the program.

Our vision for FaithFULL Kids isn’t stopping with just these statistics–we have a dream to expand this program and impact even more children and families in the coming year.  This Summer, join WordServe Kids each Wednesday from 10:30-11:30 AM, as we pack meals for FaithFULL Kids at Guardian Taekwon-Do and deliver to Huggins Elementary for pick-up by our FaithFULL Kids families.  During pick-up, we have fun and faith-filled activities planned to help deepen our relationships with these children.  This is a great way for your kids to share their faith and serve the community during the summer months!  To sign up to serve or for more information, click HERE.

 

FaithFULL Kids–Sheila’s Testimony

Last week, Suzy Moore explained the impact FaithFULL Kids had on her life when she and her community group packed and distributed meals over Spring Break.  This week, Sheila Abel would like to share her experience of serving the recipients of the FaithFULL Kids backpack meals.

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“The biggest impact was the children. The children serving and the children receiving the help had only one commonality – GOD. Boundaries such as ethnicity, economic status, even age did not exist for that 30 minutes; they were all playing together enjoying each other, showing the adults that people of all backgrounds are the same inside; we want to love and be loved. For those children, playing tag and running with each other was how they loved on each other.

One child even came up to me and we created a beautiful bracelet for her out of tree bark and grass. Her little eyes were full of joy and gratitude mostly likely from the time an adult gave her. See, she plays with kids all the time; she stopped playing tag with the group and came over to the adults to join in our conversation.  Maybe to get attention that her little heart needed and our interaction gave her a little of God’s love. This I will remember because I am not in any way an “artsy-crafty person” so this was truly a God’s thing. (BTW that bracelet was really cute and would go with so many outfits, too. Next time I will be ready for her.)

The opportunity to have my kids go out and pack a few boxes of food and then hand it out provides them with a reminder of how blessed they are to always have access to food and how quickly something taken for granted could be taken away so easily. When we dropped of the food my kids were getting hungry, to provide an example for them of how it feels to be hungry, but to place others needs first. After the event they were very hungry and on the drive back home we had a delighted lesson on blessings and sharing those blessings with others.

The only risk I personally felt was how greedy I have seen myself become.  Returning home and viewing my pantry and freezer provided me with the realization that my family and I do not know truly know what it is like to ”be hungry”. Maybe we need to experiment during the summer, my children learn more by doing. 

If you are thinking about doing it, remember one thing – many of those truly in need want better they just need that hand to help them up. In all of the stories I can remember out of the Bible , God has always provided a hand from somewhere.  If He is calling you , ACT now–because the blessing you receive will have much more meaning now.”

If you would like to be a part of this awesome program, click here for more information, as well as the link to sign up!  Packing parties begin this week and will continue every Wednesday for the remainder of the summer.  Join in with what God is doing and bless children during these summer months!

FaithFULL Kids–Suzy’s Testimony

If you’ve been around WordServe for any time at all, you’ve probably heard us talk about FaithFULL Kids, a program that provides non-perishable food on the weekends to students at Huggins Elementary who receive free/reduced lunch during the school week.  We are passionate about this program because it meets basic needs in students’ lives, while providing an opportunity for them to experience the love of Christ.  This summer, we are expanding our ministry to pack and deliver meals on a weekly basis and we need your help!  One of our faithful participants, Suzy Moore, wanted to share a bit about how involvement in FaithFULL Kids has impacted her in a big way.  Over Spring Break, she and members of her community group delivered the food and found themselves making meaningful connections with the recipients.

“I knew that we were serving to form relationships inside of the Fulshear community, and at the time I arrived, I thought “I can’t even form meaningful relationships with my next door neighbors”, so I was very apprehensive about how I was going to form a relationship with a complete stranger that day. I observed Shelia Able make a connection with the most precious and sweet young girl named Erica. However, the door did not seem to open for me to make a connection on that day. Or so I thought. The next week while I was having lunch with my daughter at her elementary school, the same young girl with whom Shelia made a connection recognized me, and ran over to say “Hi Morgan’s Mommy! It’s me, Erica.” The light bulb went off for me. God called me to that serve event that Sunday to form a relationship, …with this young girl. (I was thinking it would be an adult/parent; I never saw young Erica coming – funny how God works that way). I know that I can make an impact in this community through serving Faithful Kids. I am certain that I have not fully experienced all that God will do for young Erica, but I am blessed to know that Faithful Kids allowed me to play a very tiny role that day to further His Kingdom, one (young) relationship at a time.”

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This Summer, join WordServe Kids each Wednesday from 10:30-11:30 AM as we pack meals for FaithFULL Kids at Guardian Taekwon-Do and deliver to Huggins Elementary for pick up by our FaithFULL Kids families.  During pick-up, we have fun and faith-fulled activities planned to help deepen our relationships with these children.  This is a great way for your kids to share their faith and serve the community during the summer months!  This opportunity isn’t just limited to parents and kids–we want everyone to get involved!

To sign up, visit the FaithFULL Kids website here!

WordServe Youth enjoy “Life is Different” weekend

In January, WordServe Youth took to Lutherhill Camp for three jam-packed days of fun, laughter, games, spiritual challenge, worship, and growth! It was an awesome chance for students and adults to get away and build great relationships with each other and with God.

Check out the video from the weekend: