This month Gospel Centered Family is focusing on church security, but we are going to take a brief hiatus today to remember and honor a godly man. It has been a rough couple of weeks for me. On Tuesday, January 6th a friend and coworker, Eric Brown, went home to be with his savior, Jesus. Eric was on staff at The Journey as a web developer and served as a pastor during our church services. Eric is the kind of man I want to be like and I hope the men in my church will become.
Eric loved Jesus
His funeral was last week and everyone said the same thing. Eric loved Jesus. It was evident in everything that he said and did. It was very apparent in every aspect of his life. During the funeral, one of the pastors who spoke began to read the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. All of these were Eric. Many times at funerals people will puff up the person who is being remembered. This wasn't true at Eric's funeral. Everything that was said was true and I don't even feel like we were able to get past the surface. These characteristics are true, because Eric spent time with Jesus, and, as a result, he looked like Jesus. Whenever he lead the congregation in taking communion you could hear and see his passion for the gospel of Jesus. He loved Jesus and he desperately wanted people to know the love of Jesus.
Eric loved his family
Eric was a web developer at The Journey. He was great at his job. But that is not what he is known for. For many men, I know they strive to be known by their jobs. They spend 60-70 a week working to provide for their families. But often these fathers are not available for their families. This wasn't Eric. He was always talking about how much he loved his wife. He took joy in his kids. Many times parents are exasperated because of their kids. Eric took his kids to football or baseball practices and sat during musical rehearsals with joy. Eric embraced his kids and found joy in them. It was fun following Eric on Twitter because he would often share "Quotes from Zoe" and "Quotes from Zion." He wanted to share the funny things his kids said with the world.
Eric loved his church
Eric was preparing to enter the Elder process at our church. He helped lead and he discipled people in a community group to serve the church and the community. Eric also served our family ministry in an advisory role. He helped the church to seek understanding of people that looked different than them. Our church wants to be a church full of broken people that look different, have different backgrounds and come to church for different reasons. Eric understood that Christ came to seek the lost. Eric was all about the work of Christ and sought for our church to do the same thing.
Eric was at the forefront of helping people to seek understanding with one another. Eric and I had several conversations to help each other to understand one another better. Eric helped me to understand what it was like for him to grow up as a young black man. He told me what it felt like as he walked past people and they clinched their purse a little tighter. I'm not saying that I've arrived, but Eric helped me to empathize and understand the problems that he had everyday. Eric helped me write my post about Talking to Kids About Race. In fact Eric was the first person I sought out for wisdom concerning the post.
I will always miss my friend Eric Brown. One of the verses read at the funeral was Hebrews 11:38: "men of whom this world is not worthy." Eric was one of these men. I know that he made me a better man. I know he will continue to help others want to become more like Jesus.
If you are interested in hearing more about the impact this amazing man has had on this world or donating to help his kids college fund you can do so by visiting http://ericthelast.org/