Alright party people, the Frazier’s have a BIG life update to share with y’all.
Yeah yeah yeah, I know that the whole having a third kid was a big life update just a month or so ago, but how about just throwing in another major life change for kicks and giggles? I mean, how hard can three kids be, amirite? *Cue nervous laughter and leaving to fervently pray for 30 minutes to intercede for the sanity of my future self*
At the beginning of November, I stepped down from my role as the Student Pastor of Austin Stone West to take a position with GVA Property Management & Investment as their Chaplain.
It’s a unique role where I will be providing spiritual care for their staff and helping facilitate social services to all properties and residents. It’s a bittersweet transition since I’ve absolutely loved serving students and their families for the past 7 years, yet more sweet than bitter because I’m deeply proud of the ministry we’ve built and excited to see it become even better in the years to come. At the same time, I’m thrilled for this new opportunity to step into a role that blends my passion for pastoral care, strategic partnership and social services.
Don’t worry though, we’re not leaving Austin and you can still find us around the Stone. Chelsea and I will continue to serve in our roles as Deacons, just in a new capacity with fewer students events and way less Red Bull.
I wrote a few farewell letters during this transition and wanted to share that with y’all on this platform as well, especially for those who have been a part of our journey in some way during our time at the Stone. This is a fusion of those letters because some content was more contextual for their specific audience, while this one will be a little more broad.
A Word of Reflection & Thanks
First off, let me say what an undeserved honor and joy it has been to be a co-laborer alongside of you for all of these years. You have loved me and my family in so many ways that we could never adequately express our immense gratitude or repay the debt of love that we owe to so many of you.
Next, I must articulate that “gospel goodbyes” are incomprehensibly hard. In a small way, we have experienced what Paul must have felt when he said farewell to the Ephesians in Acts 20. He knew what the Spirit was leading him towards (v. 22-24), but he still grieved leaving the ministry he had invested in and the normal community rhythms they had shared (v. 37-38). The phrase I have been using most frequently in conversations has been that – I’m excited in the calling, but sad in the leaving. We’re truly excited for the challenge that God has called us to, but we’re sad to leave the ministry (which is really another way to say “the people” in a pastor’s line of work) I’ve loved for the almost seven years I’ve been on staff.
I was a wide-eyed eighteen year old kid (with terrible facial hair and ears pierced because I was “edgy” like that) when I entered through the doors of the Austin Stone for the first time. There was very little knowledge of God that I possessed then, but I was sure of one thing when I walked into that musty gym at Austin High in the fall of 2006 and it was that God was present. The Austin Stone has been and continues to be a church that keeps Jesus as their first love (Rev. 2). The spiritual light continues to burn bright to a dark world and the lamp stand is firmly in place.
It’s been fun to reminisce about all the things I’ve been a part of at the Stone since those early days. I served in KIDS, interned with College Ministry (God bless Todd Engstrom’s patience back then with a young Scott Frazier), led multiple MCs, took MDP more time than I can count, was the High School “Minister”, St. John PM Campus Pastor, CrossFit Renew Coach (where we would train people at 6am in the parking lot of St. John’s, blaring rock music straight into the apartment complex across the street. Good times people…good times), and most recently, the West Campus STUDENTS Director.
The Austin Stone has been an inextricable part of my Christian journey as I’ve feebly attempted to follow Jesus. I met my wife Chelsea at the homeless ministry food kitchen down town with fellow Austin Stone partners and, yes, we are aware that it does sound like the beginning of a terrible Christian rom-com. We then served in “Kids Stuff” and led a college ministry “community group” together. Chelsea was on staff as Michael Stewart’s assistant, then Kevin Peck’s assistant and then the first Director of the Austin Stone Institute We got married here, had our children here and met our lifelong friends here at this church. I taught my parents partnership class, baptized my mom during the first Easter at the Westlake PAC (where she snatched the mic out of my hand and went full on Beth Moore for a hot second) and saw more friends than I can count find new life in Jesus. This isn’t just a “church” we have attended, but a family we have loved.
The Austin Stone has also been the hands and feet of God more times than we can count. When Chelsea’s dad passed away our first year of marriage y’all were there for us. When we learned at week 20 that our first born was only given a 50% chance of survival, y’all showed up yet again. It was devastating news, but this church surrounded our family in encouragement, prayer and support. During our first five month stint at Dell Children’s, many of you came to decorate our hospital room, support us financially, and we didn’t have to buy a meal or coffee the whole time we were there. I have the coffee addiction and twenty extra pounds to prove it! Now, Davy is a thriving four year old and a constant reminder of God’s love through his church.
Little did we know that the suffering wasn’t going to subside anytime soon. Nine days after Davy’s first birthday, my mom passed away from her three year battle with cancer. Even before we left the hospital, a whole team had showed up to pray over my family. My mom also had made it clear before she passed, that I would preach the sermon and that Jimmy McNeal would lead worship. Yet, it was not to be a somber service, she told us that it was going to be “rock n’ roll” and a celebration of her new glorified life with Jesus. So that’s exactly what we did and it was the most beautiful service I’ve ever attended, especially since it was filled with the voices of the saints that call the Austin Stone home.
Furthermore, the Austin Stone has been the place I cut my teeth in pastoral ministry with an incredible STUDENTS team and some graciously patient parents! When I accepted the job as the High School Pastor in January of 2012 I had no idea what I was getting myself into or the adventure that God would have in store. My first Sunday there were five students and the next Sunday there were zero, so needless to say I was riding high on confidence in those early days!
It is truly a miracle any student came to our ministry in those early days. Literally, there were Sundays where we had more people in the band than students that would show up. There is nothing like watching five students get blasted by a six piece band in Jesus’ name. Ha! Yet, God was faithful and our team slowly found our footing as Jesus continued to build his church. All of you that have endured with us since the beginning are saints! Thank you for the grace! All of you who have joined us later in the process, you were saved from the worst of it. I’m beyond excited to have a front row seat to see how this team takes our student ministry to new heights over the coming years.
I say all of this, not simply to stroll down memory lane, but to share that my family’s soul is intertwined with The Austin Stone Community Church. We absolutely love and cherish all of you. “Thank you” seems to be a feeble offering of appreciation for all that you have done, but we deeply mean it in the fullest sense it is able to portray.
To all those who volunteered alongside of us, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Phil. 1:3). I will count laboring alongside of you as one of life’s greatest joys. Thank you for all that you did to build this beautiful ministry. No one will say that we did it perfectly, but no one can say that we didn’t have fun!
To all those who entrusted their kids to us…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Just kidding…kind of…Joking aside, thank you for honor of getting to serve your family. It has truly been a joy to be your youth pastor.
Lastly, to all my students – past and present. Thank you for being the best part of it all. I’m immensely proud of you, BELIEVE in you and I’m convinced I will watch you change the world. Not being around y’all as much will be the thing I miss most, but Chels and I are only a phone call away! Remember that Jesus is better than everything else the world has to offer and heed the words of Paul to young Timothy, “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called…”
Austin Stone, thank you and we love you. This is a letter written with tears in my eyes (not surprising for those of you who know I tend to be the crier of my family) and a smile on my face. My prayer is that we would continue to be a church that keeps Jesus as our first love, fights to make God known among the nations and serves those at the margins. May God continue to do far more than all we could ask or imagine through his power at work in us.
With Deep Love and Appreciation,
Scott & Chelsea Frazier