Seth Troutt is the newest member of the Gateway pastoral team. You can learn more about him here.
I grew up down the street from Grace Community Church in Tempe. Grace was part of the backdrop of my whole childhood. I remember running in the grass during VBS, standing on the chairs at Youth Group, sitting in the pews with my siblings, and taking communion beneath the thirty-foot stained-glass cross. By inhabiting a permanent space in Tempe, Grace has inhabited a permanent space in my memories. To this day, Grace is still a fixture in the community of Tempe — this January they are celebrating their 50th anniversary!
I tend to take for granted the institutions that others have built. It is easy for me to walk through buildings, use systems, and drive on freeways that took years to plan, fund, and build without being thankful for, or even recognizing, the blood, sweat, and tears that went into forming the environments that I reap the benefit of. Recently, God has used becoming a member at Redemption Gateway to help cultivate in me a better awareness for all that I have inherited from those who have gone before me.
Pictured // Top: me being dedicated at Grace in 1990,
Bottom: 2nd Grade Kids Group (I’m second from the right)
As we move forward in our Home Away From Home initiative, I’m seeing for the first time all the work, prayer, vision, and generosity that goes into crafting churches that endure from generation to generation.
Many at Grace who gave generously of their time, talents, and treasure have passed away, but their kingdom investments remain. They will not see the full fruit of their investment until the New Creation, when I can look them in the eyes than thank them for their sacrificial giving and the ways I benefitted from it. This is inherent in the way Jesus established his church — as Paul says, “I planted, Apollos watered” (1 Cor 3:6). Likewise, some build and some inherit. Nobody can grow up in a church that someone else didn’t build.
When faced with the decision on whether to spend money building a new congressional building in the aftermath of World War II, Winston Churchill said, “We shape our buildings, and afterward, our buildings shape us.” I have seen this reality in my life growing up on the receiving end of the generosity of others. Just as I have people I have never met to thank in the New Creation, so also I am excited about the ripple effects of what God will do through the investments we make here and now at Gateway.
Pictured // Taylor and I at High School Winter Camp.
I am genuinely excited that Taylor and I get to participate in creating for others what others created for us by giving to Home Away From Home. It will be a blessing to look back and say, “This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23). May our buildings inhabit the memories of many who will be born long after we are gone.