Imagine stepping into a place where you're not just another face in the crowd, but a cherished member of a tight-knit family. This is what Christ Family Church represents—an inclusive community of believers who care for each other deeply.

How Christ Family Church began

Pastors Paul and Delia Russell are experienced church planters and mentors with over 40 years of ministry. In 2005, they moved to Houston to fulfill their vision of establishing Christ Family Church in Northwest Houston. Pastor Paul serves as the Lead Pastor, while his son Kennis Russell serves as the Co-Pastor and leads the Serve Team, using his talents in media, production, music, and worship leadership.

Paul described the church's inception as a humble beginning with just 12 people. Despite the modest start, the church has experienced gradual and wonderful growth, changing hundreds of lives in the process. The church's focus is on transparency and authenticity, with a strong emphasis on loving people and being attentive to their needs. The culture of love and care has become a defining feature of the church, impacting both newcomers and members alike.

"While there were many things we lacked initially, the one thing we truly possessed was the ability to love people. It has become our motto - to love people,” Paul said. “Whether someone joins or visits the church, we prioritize giving them more attention rather than less. This approach has shaped our culture and it reflects in the church's atmosphere."

When the church started, Kennis joined to lend a hand, but he and his wife, Samantha, developed a profound love for the community over time. After Paul asked him about the future of the church, they decided to work as co-pastors. Their relationship is characterized by unwavering trust and open communication.

"We're deeply grateful to have a family-like community. While we refer to it as Christ Family Church, it's not because of the Russell family, but because we genuinely believe in the power of connections formed on a familial level,” Paul said. “This is the essence of the body of Christ."

The church's core mission centers around three fundamental purposes: following God, growing together, and serving others. It emphasizes the lifelong journey of following God's guidance, never considering the task as complete. Individually and collectively, the church nurtures spiritual growth through Bible study, fellowship and supporting one another. Their ultimate calling is to serve others, reflecting Jesus's attitude of considering others more important than themselves. Embracing diversity, the church strives to view the world through God's eyes, offering acceptance to all.

“Christianity is more than a Sunday morning experience. It's a lifestyle of community and reconciliation is at the core of our message. In 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul highlighted our message of reconciliation to the world, Kennis said. “We earnestly plead with people to return to God, assuring them that through Christ, their sins are no longer held against them through Christ. Our message of hope is based on his sacrifice for us. Our focus is on fostering reconciliation, not creating dividing lines.”

What’s new at Christ Family Church

As changes come to Christ Family Church through the construction of a new building, Kennis emphasized the vital role of their added pavillion space, a cornerstone of their church culture. Regular gatherings, filled with barbecues, games and camaraderie have become a cherished tradition among the congregation. Marked by events like the Fall Fire Fest, Back-to-School Bash and a grand Easter egg hunt celebration, the pavillion area serves as a vibrant hub for their close-knit community. As the church experiences growth, they are enclosing the existing patio to create dedicated spaces for youth and fourth and fifth graders.

“As our church continues to grow, we've observed an increase in younger families and children becoming part of our community,” Kennis said. “To accommodate this growth, we are committed to providing ample space for all these kids and students to be actively involved.”

In the kids' ministry of Christ Family Church, the focus extends beyond fun; it is equally essential for children to gain knowledge about God, Jesus and the Bible.

“We've made it a deliberate effort for kids to genuinely know God, Jesus and the scriptures throughout their time at the church. Even in our youth ministry, we follow a verse-by-verse curriculum, ensuring that over the years, they cover the entire Bible,” Kennis said. “This approach allows young individuals to complete a comprehensive study of the scriptures by the time they finish middle or high school.”

Discovering God-given gifts

Discovering God-given gifts is a significant focus for Paul and the church. They hold their serving team in high regard, consisting of more than 100 dedicated individuals who have undergone church-specific training. This serve team even includes experienced pastors who now devote their talents in various capacities within the church.

“We recognize that not every church will be a perfect fit for everyone, but we strive to create a welcoming space for those seeking a sense of belonging and personal attention in the community,” Paul said. “Our church values transparency and openness and we make it a priority to create a safe and healthy environment. We believe in helping people discover their unique gifts and encouraging them to utilize those gifts to their fullest potential, not only in ministry but also in their daily lives.”

Are you ready to experience the warmth and love of Christ Family Church? The church invites you to learn more about their close-knit community, vibrant kids' ministry and commitment to serving others.

The above story was produced by Holly Galvan with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team. Our integrity promise to our readers is to clearly identify all CI Storytelling posts so they are separate from the content decided upon, researched and written by our journalism department.