The holidays are here. For those of you naysayers, just accept reality. Thanksgiving is around the corner and it is now culturally acceptable to play Christmas music. In our home during this time of year, Angela (my wife) changes a sign on a board in our kitchen to say, “I’m thankful for…” We pin up notes and pictures and take time to ponder the blessings in our lives.
Since we are finishing pastor appreciation month, I want to take my time to say how thankful I am for Malvern Hill Baptist Church—my church family. I am thankful they allow me to be their pastor. For nearly ten years I have had the privilege to serve them and minster God’s word to them and Christ’s love over them. There are frustrations and heartbreak at times, but I continue to be thankful that they allow me to be their pastor.
I am thankful that they love my wife and my children. For nine and a half years, they have made sure that my family was more than an appendage attached to their pastor. My family is an integral part of our church family. The people of Malvern Hill have welcomed each of our children into our corporate family and have walked with us during joyous times and difficult occasions.
I am thankful that they have taught me and Angela what it means to be part of a church family. We have both been involved in church our entire lives, but Malvern Hill has taught us what it looks like to live in real relationship with each other, bearing one another’s burdens, weeping with those who weep, and rejoicing with those who rejoice. I am grateful that they have shown us how wonderful and fulfilling it can (and should) be to walk in step with other believers in biblical community (a.k.a. church).
I am thankful that they love Jesus more than they love me. Though it is sometimes difficult to hear, I am grateful that I am occasionally challenged by brothers and sisters at Malvern Hill to reconsider my purpose, theological position, or missional focus. They love Jesus and his mission enough to make sure I stay true to him.
I am thankful that they pray for me. I got a text message from a guy working under a house a few weeks ago who stopped his work to pray for me. What a blessing!
We have not gotten past Reformation Day (Halloween) yet, but I am already looking to Thanksgiving. As pastor appreciation month draws to a close, I believe it is important for we as pastors to reflect on the blessing that is found in serving Christ’s church. These are a few of the things I am thankful for at my church. What do you appreciate about your church?