From an appreciative pastor

by pastortimfowler

October is Pastor appreciation month and this past Sunday my church had a lunch in celebration of it. As the recipient of the appreciation I thought it would be fitting to say a few words about it. I felt the love and appreciation. I know that I am not taken for granted and know that my church is full of very special people. I only wish that there was an appreciation month for the congregation.
I have been a pastor for about 20 years now, and the last 11 years at the amazing church called The Body. When I asked God years ago to allow me to serve a church that would understand what it truly means to know Jesus and serve Him, I never dreamed that He would grant me this privilege.
On any given Sunday, my church serves people. It does not matter what your background is or what you think about religion, these folks want to serve you. Serving is an act of love. Jesus came to this earth to serve others and told the church that if it wanted to be great, it would serve all who graced its doors. Needless to say, my church has achieved true greatness.
If you are hurting or lonely or in need of a helping hand, The Body is there to help. Not with just kind words or a prayer, and those are plentiful, but with the actions to back every word.
As a pastor, it is not uncommon to have to do the hard work and lowly tasks that are required to make a church function. No pastor should ever think that they are above cleaning, fixing, or getting down and dirty to make things work. But when the people of the church are true servants, like at The Body, the pastor can be free to dig deeper and pray harder and follow God in the amazing quest of teaching those in need of a Savior how forgiveness and freedom from oppression are available to all who ask.
A pastor and his family are often lonely for much of their ministry. Building close friendships can be difficult and are often avoided because you don’t want to be hurt when circumstances require unpopular decisions to be made. But when the vision of the pastor is accepted and taken personally by the members of a church, those friendships blossom and are so very precious. I have that freedom and my family does too. For that I am very appreciative. I don’t have people who are just friends, I have friends who are family who stick it out through thick and thin.
One sure way to know if a church is doing the will of God is when people are finding the love and forgiveness of God on a regular basis. At The Body it is a weekly event to have people accept Jesus as their Savior. This happens because they meet people who have already experienced God’s grace and love it so much that they share it with others. This year we have already seen nearly 100 people meet Jesus for the first time. Many of those are well on their way to becoming the great servants of Jesus Christ and stewards of His great love.
So without taking up pages and pages of text to rant and rave about how blessed I am, I will simply end with this. THANKS FROM THE DEPTHS OF MY HEART!!! I am a grateful and very appreciative pastor and I thank God for you, my church and my family and fellow servants. May God continue to bless each one of you with His love, mercy, and riches in heaven.

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