Hey! I’m Chad Higgins. And, as you may have picked up from the last name, I go with Rhesa, the founder of eleven28 Ministries. I was there in the beginning (cue eerie music), not only when the idea for this ministry was born, but when the seeds were planted in fertile, waiting soil – little did we know where it all might lead.
Rhesa and I were married in Abilene, TX on 8-8-1998 (a serendipity for a lagging memory). While we met for the first time through ACU Leadership Camps, the connection goes back even farther to the first person I met at ACU while carrying up boxes to the 3rd floor of Edwards Dormitory. That young man was Trey Finely (Rhesa’s brother and fellow eleven28 board member), and the rest as they say is history. Rhesa and I have been married almost 20 years, and we look forward to our third trip to Hawaii to celebrate our 20th while we swim with turtles and avoid our children…whom we love and adore BTW. We have 3 children: Raemey (16 going on 17), Ryleigh (14 going on 28), and Caysson (11 – who will be lucky to get his shoes on the right feet each morning).
I began my professional life in ministry by working as a Youth Minister Intern and summer employee of ACU Leadership Camps. Next, I joined a year-round internship program at Southern Hills Church of Christ in Abilene that led into a halftime job as Worship Minister. I took my first full time role in NE Houston for 5 years, and then moved to Dallas, where I have served at the Highland Oaks Church of Christ for almost 15 years.
Specifically specializing in planning and leading worship, I have been blessed to see the deep waters of souls lost in praise, as well as the dark side of rituals and motions that plague all of us who do something without a deep heart connection for too long. Because, at the end of the day, what we do with our worship is more about who God is and who we are in relationship to the Trinity, rather than the aesthetics that are seen by us and others. Hollow, unfulfilling “worship experiences” are generally harbingers of deeper struggles that exist well before we get to an assembly. And, chief among those who have this internal void are those who lead and equip others to serve.
To that end, in my 23+ year career in ministry, I’ve experienced a few constants.
- Ministry must be a calling ahead of being a vocation
- Church people are the best and worst employers on the planet
- Burnout and complete disintegration are not uncommon among ministers
Those who lead spiritually are often the last to know or be aware of “how it is with their own soul.” These soft places are exactly where eleven28 steps in and provides care, direction, and accountability to “journey well” along the path of caring for the spiritual needs of others.
For my own part, I have been blessed to walk alongside a Spiritual Director and gain helpful insight – not only into where I am struggling to see and connect with God, but to develop tools that can aid me in greater relationship and walk with Him. These sessions serve as accountability for my own spiritual health, but ultimately for the health of those I equip and serve with.
The work eleven28 does is invaluable and necessary for any and all who serve the Body of Christ, and I am blessed to be a part of that mission!