“What is it like to be found?”
The pastor of a church in Toronto asked me this question just as I was preparing to share a message with his leaders called “Lost and Found.” This was the second year in a row he had invited me to come share with his leaders on engaging others with the love and message of Jesus.
The question hit me. I had not expected it. In that one moment so many thoughts and feelings flooded my mind and heart. Before I could respond, I felt overwhelmed by my emotions. With tears in my eyes, I answered his question with several questions of my own:
“How do you describe what it’s like to be loved unconditionally?
How can you explain what it’s like to be completely forgiven?
How can you help someone know what it’s like to experience healing in your heart?
How can you summarize knowing the One who created you and rescued you?
How can you put into words what its like to find purpose and hope?”
In that moment, I was reminded once again how fortunate I am to have been found by Jesus.
Now if you know me, I am not an emotional person. In fact, according to the MBTI as an ENTJ our response to emotions is that we “deny they exist.”
In my journey following Jesus, He has connected my head and my heart in ways I never knew possible.
In 2016 through the insistence and generosity of a friend of mine, I started a non-profit.
My non-profit exists to help leaders reach new people, raise up leaders, and maximize their teams.
In essence, the Foundation allows me to provide resources to pastors, non-profit CEOs, and managers in the business world through training, workshops, articles, books, interviews, and www.ericbryant.org. All proceeds go back into the Foundation to resource more pastors.
I have been so fortunate – helping with a church plant in Seattle, starting campuses with Mosaic in Los Angeles, and now leading a campus planting campus with Gateway Church in Austin. I have seen my new initiatives fail and others succeed. After all 26 years of ministry, I know how to help leaders gain momentum and make a lasting impact.
In our divided world where Christians are portrayed as angry, political, hypocritical, and judgmental, I have been able to experience what a loving, diverse, and authentic community the local church can become and how to help it get there.
I wish you could meet the people at Gateway Church in South Austin.
Our people come from so many different places! They look, act, vote, and believe differently than you would think people connected to a local church would. Even still, no matter where they are spiritually when they first connect with us, we are seeing people follow Jesus and become more like Him in every way!
As I continue serving on our team with Gateway in Austin, I also want to help other church leaders navigate our more and more post-Christian world.
Jesus, the Scriptures, and loving community have never been more relevant and more important!
I want to invite you to partner with me to help us serve leaders who long to make a difference.
Through my non-profit, we want to continue to bring a practical response to the division and animosity we are experiencing in our broken world.
- We plan to train more church leaders through online workshops and leadership retreats.
- We plan to help churches train their people to engage our world in a loving way through Not Like Me.
All proceeds from the book, workshops, and retreats helps us create more resources and invest in church leaders.
Would you consider one or more of the following?
1. Give financially to the Foundation.
Your gift is tax deductible and allows us to offer training and resources at no cost or at a significantly reduced cost to leaders.
Write a check to “Catalyzing Community” or “Eric Bryant Foundation” and mail it to the following:
Eric Bryant Foundation
2308 Westoak Drive
Austin, TX 78704
2. Volunteer with our non-profit.
We are looking for people who enjoy administration, social media, editing our podcast, and making phone calls to leaders who have reached out to us.
If interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Connect with us.
We are open to conversations with leaders who are interested in the training and workshops we have already created or even coming over a weekend to serve them. If you or someone you know is interested, let us know!
If interested, email me at email@example.com.
Would you join us in praying for spiritual awakening in the Church that spreads to the cities in which we live and serve? Our prayer is that God will move in such a way that the the last verse of Ezekiel will be true of us – that people will describe our mission fields with a new name: “The Lord is There.”
**Keep your eyes out for our next newsletter as we will be sharing highlights from 2017
and giving away more than we ever have before!