When I read Paul’s letters to the churches in the New Testament I’m touched by a similar statement that he makes to most of those churches. Here’s what he says in Romans – “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you” [1:8]. He thanked God for their growth spiritually and numerically, for their commitment to be God’s light to the dark world, for their prayers and support of him. This pastor also is thankful to God for you! Though it would be impossible to express that gratitude fully in one article, I at least want to share some of the many things I appreciative about our church family.
I love the way you have taken Lucy and I in and loved on us for 10 ½ years. You have forgiven my many flaws and mistakes [or at least have not let them become BIG in your mind]. You have reached out to us during my three neck surgeries and consistently ask about how we are doing. Words cannot adequately tell you how much we appreciate your prayers. They have been the “air beneath our wings” and the key to anything God has done through us here. You also have accepted my parents with open arms and made them feel at home here. Thank you!
It does my heart good to see your faithful attendance at church. It certainly inspires me into better service but the key joy comes from knowing you are giving God precious time and putting yourself in an environment where you can grow and be used of God. I just love it when I see God doing His transforming work in your life. Each step of faith you take in your spiritual growth is an answer to my prayers for you. For each way you are becoming more like Jesus I want to say “Thank you”!
God has work for each of us to do for His kingdom. Our church has expressed it this way “Expanding God’s Territory”. It is exciting to see many of you seeking to do that. On a weekly basis some of you teach Sunday School, provide instrumental and vocal music, cook our Wednesday meals, lead children’s and youth ministries, work our sound system, love on our small children in the nursery, serve as ushers, and give security oversight to financial gifts to the church. Your participation in our committees and other church ministries is so helpful in our church accomplishing that which glorifies God. Loving service you provide to others when illness and death strike is also what you provide to the Lord. Guests to our church often tell me that they appreciate the way you show friendliness to them. It is a wonderful sight to see God’s family coming together to do His work. Thank you!
On occasion I receive kudos about our church or individual members from others in the community. It is so neat to see you taking God’s life outside the walls of the church. Watching you live Christ before your family and hearing how you are trying to live Him before the world is proof that the Lord is having more of His way in your life. And when I see you seeking to reach out to non-Christians in hopes of seeing them saved – well – this pastor’s heart just fills with joy –for I know you have caught God’s passion. Thank you!
First Baptist Church, Lucy and I love and appreciate you!
Your Grateful Brother in Christ,