Nearly 4 years ago, during a time when I was having a hard time recovering from a difficult ministry season, God blessed myself and our church with an incredible gift—Christopher and Brittany Stites.
In addition to bringing a much-needed reinforcement to our leadership team, God also used them to remind me that, even though I had just experienced a ministry “failure,” he was not finished working in and through THEMOVEMENT.CHURCH. I am forever grateful.
For the last four years I have had the privilege of serving alongside Christopher, and I have had a front row seat to God’s activity through and God’s favor on his life. It has been incredible to watch, and I know the best is ahead. In less than 8 months, we are going to be sending Pastor Christopher, Brittany, and some of our church members out to plant another church in the city of Oakland! Our church plant is going to plant a church!
In an effort to honor Christopher for what he has meant to me and to encourage him (and all those who follow him) for the journey that is ahead, I want to publicly affirm why I am confident Christopher is going to make one helluva’ church planter!
#1 - CHRISTOPHER WORKS HARD.
He rises early. He stays up late. And he does this, day in and day out, to do whatever it takes to provide for his family, serve the church, and be there for those around him. He works hard to be a good husband. He works hard to be a good father. He works hard to build his coffee company. He works hard to preach good sermons. He works hard to lead and love people. He doesn't make excuses about the hard work. He doesn’t complain about the hard work. He doesn’t try to avoid the hard work. He just works hard. Christopher is going to become one helluva’ church-planter because church-planting requires hard work, and Christopher works hard.
#2 - CHRISTOPHER PREACHES STRONG.
Whether he’s given one month to prepare or one day, Christopher, every time out, preaches the Word of God accurately, boldly, and inspiringly. He preaches with a confidence and a force that comes from knowing he is called, the Bible is true, Jesus is worthy, and the gospel is powerful! Every time I sit under Christopher’s teaching, I am impacted by its strength. He preaches strongly because he has, first, been impacted deeply. He preaches strongly because the Spirit of God is in him truly. He preaches strongly because he is gifted immensely! Christopher is going to become one helluva’ church-planter because church-planting requires strong preaching, and Christopher preaches strong.
#3 - CHRISTOPHER LEARNS ALWAYS.
Christopher is a student. He is a student of people. He is a student of ministry. He is a student of the Word. He is a student of people. (I can’t make this up. While I was writing this paragraph, Christopher literally texted me a picture of a paragraph from a book he’s reading! RIDICULOUS!) His passion for learning is motivated by a humility and sober judgement of himself. He knows he doesn’t know it all, but he doesn’t learn to become a know-it-all. He takes learning seriously because he takes becoming a better version of himself seriously. He takes becoming a better Christian, husband, father, pastor, and business owner seriously. Christopher is going to become one helluva’ church-planter because church-planting requires always learning, and Christopher learns always.
#4 - CHRISTOPHER LOVES JESUS.
More than he loves his wife. More than he loves his kids. More than he loves his business. More than he loves his ministry. Even more than he loves his coffee! Christopher loves Jesus. Christopher is enamored by Jesus. Christopher is mindful of Jesus. Christopher is committed to Jesus. He loves Jesus because he is so in tune with how deeply Jesus loves him. Christopher worships Jesus through song. Christopher worships Jesus through prayer. Christopher worships Jesus through obedience. Christopher is going to become one helluva’ church-planter because church-planting requires a constant declaration of the simple phrase, “Jesus loves,” and Christopher loves Jesus.
Though it is going to be difficult to send Christopher and Brittany and their team out of our church to plant another church, I can’t wait to see how God glorifies himself through Christopher’s leadership. I can’t wait to hear the testimonies of lives being changed by Jesus as a result of Christopher allowing Jesus to continually change him. The best is truly yet to come! (Follow their church-planting journey on Instagram - @tmc.life!)
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!
If you know Christopher or have been impacted by his ministry from afar, drop a comment below and let him know why you think he is going to make one helluva’ church-planter!