As I begin to write this letter to celebrate “I Love My Church” month, I must confess that I find it difficult to decide where to begin. Knowing that WE are the Church and it is made up of such a wide variety of people, with such a wide variety of personalities, yet we are a single body joined together for God’s glory. I could list many reasons that I love you but, because of space I will limit it to the areas in which you display God’s glory the brightest from a Pastor’s perspective.
I first want to tell you that I love you because of the way you have received the Word of God. In any church there will be a natural resistance when hearing truth - it is supernatural for us to relish rebuke from the Word - it is strange (from a worldly perspective) that the only living book that can cut us so deeply, we can love so passionately. You, as a body, have not only received the Word of God, but you have encouraged me to hold fast to the truth. You sit under the teaching of the Word of God and do not simply endure the preaching, but will e-mail me or come up to me to follow up with questions because you want to know Him more. The kind words, cards and e-mails are not only encouraging, but refreshing in midst of the battle. Of all the ways you have blessed me, I love you most for hearing and responding to the Word of God! I count it joy to preach to you each week.
I also love you because of the way you have loved my family. When my family came to Trinity, we were leaving family. My boys were leaving cousins who they saw practically everyday and we were only a short distance from grandparents. Adding to this, we knew from the honesty of Pastor Search Team and others, the difficulty that was before us. We knew there would be battles for truth and doctrine, but we did not know at that time, the number of you who would be willing to follow Paul’s words and “war/strive for peace.” Over the last couple of years my boys have developed deeper friendships than I ever thought they could develop in such a short time, and so many of our ladies have loved Michele and encouraged her in countless ways. We have had so many men in leadership positions stand boldly and steadfastly, without bending or hesitation - it has been one of the most glorious experiences I have encountered as a Pastor as I watch the desire of our men to glorify God by protecting this wonderful local Bride of Christ!
This letter would be incomplete if I did not state that I love Trinity because of her leadership. From our teachers, deacons, and ministry leaders to our staff… you bless me beyond measure! I have always known Pastors who take their “off day” on Mondays because of how difficult that day can be. While I understand the difficulty, I can honestly say there is not a weekday in OUR offices that I enjoy more than Mondays. It is the one day that our staff is together for an extended period and it brings me encouragement and joy beyond measure. To hear the ways God is at work, to have theological discussions, to pray for one another, to confront one another…it is one of the highlights of life in the ministry. These men are the most gifted, as a whole, that I have ever seen, but also each one appears to have a genuine passion to do all they do for the glory of God. The books we go through, the burdens we share and the ways in which we are so quick to help one another on this journey are invaluable, and it increases my joy in serving this wonderful body of Christ.
I count it an honor to be your Pastor and look forward to the future, as we go through this journey for many more years together.
I Love You, Trinity!