Dr. Jerry Barlow once told me that the measure of a minister is demonstrated in how we answer one question: “Did we leave the church better than we found it?” It is a somewhat simple inquiry, and yet it is a tremendously significant assessment tool for those of us who have been called to serve the church in a vocational role. Our goal should always be to lead the people of God to better days than they have previously experienced.
As we prepare to send Chris and Brittany Albritton out to serve in Indiana, I am grateful that we can affirm that Temple Baptist Church is better today than when they arrived. Chris, or “Toph” as he is affectionately called, quickly stepped into an interim role in February 2011 and served so well that he was brought on to our full-time team in 2015. Throughout many different areas and across the generational spectrum, Chris has impacted our ministry. Think of his weekly work. He leads two gathering services and the Midweek (college) service while facilitating the Wednesday youth service. That effort requires planning, rehearsing, refining, and executing. In addition, he fulfilled his ministerial assignments as he visited the hospital, contributed to staff discussion, reached out to prospects, etc. And if you noticed, he always did those things with a smile. I think that is one of the things that I love about Chris the most.
No question, Chris is skilled to lead worship. I’ve seen very few with such a free, professional style as he employs on the platform. He is also gifted in relational qualities. He can build friendships/connections across the generations as he endears himself to them. And as I noted above, he is one of the hardest workers with whom I’ve ever served. No task is ever “beneath” him. If he has to fill the baptistry for the gathering, then so be it. It will be filled! You know why he is so willing to do that? Because he has the heart of a minister . . . the heart of Christ!
Of course, like all of us on staff, Chris wouldn’t be where he is without his spouse. Brittany has constantly supported his work as she has seen herself as a partner in ministry. She is faithful not only to church services, but she is engaged in ministry itself.
I am saying the Albrittons will be missed! I love them dearly, and I know you do as well. Chris has been my faithful friend, my devoted brother, my co-laborer in Christ. As much as I will miss him/them, I am excited the Lord has shown His guidance and call to them!
I hope you will join with us this Sunday, May 20, as we celebrate with them from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Temple is better than when they found us! And we should demonstrate our gratitude for their service.
On one final note, I encourage you to join us on Wednesday, May 23, for an important Business Meeting as we address staff transitions and other pertinent matters. See you Sunday!