Dear Church Family,
This March, four years ago, God called my family to join with Trinity to do life and ministry together. My how time flies!
As I reflect on the past four years, I can’t help but think of the transition here and some of the difficulties that we experienced during this time. On the other hand, I can’t help but think of the joys we have experienced with our Church family. But that is life. I can honestly say the joys outweigh the difficulties and, through it all, my love has grown for my church. It is a growth that has not been by leaps and bounds, nor one that has been a firework of growth and fizzled out: the growth of my love for you has been steady. My love for you is like the steadiness of a good friend who knows you and accepts you, but at the same time does not allow things to just get by. I need that kind of love and accountability and you have become that church for me.
Although there is always room for growth, I look forward to our lives growing together even more as we serve together and minister for the cause of Christ. There will be many ups and downs, but I have seen my church, my brothers and sisters, reach out to love, care, accept, confront, speak truth–speak Scripturally to one another in so many ways.
The scripture from Philemon 1:7 speaks accurately of our Church when it says:
For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.
Even though we can’t be close to everyone, it does not dampen the impact you have on me or my family, or on others as you seek to love and minister to and with one another. Our hearts have been refreshed through you, truly. You not only give and live the Word of God, but you give of yourselves.
The love of our Church has grown. In the past four years, I have seen it and experienced it for myself. My wife and children have as well. The growth of our Church’s love is evident as we do life: as we weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice. The basis of this affectionate, sacrificial and transparent love is our Church’s love of Christ and His Word. We never claim perfection or even that we are good, but we seek, desire and yearn to know Jesus more and more. By the outworking of His Spirit through our obedience, we are able to experience the love of Christ through one another and how refreshing that is! What freedom there is in Christ.
I love my Church more now than ever. I love my Church for coming together to love and minister, and as a result you stir up more and more love and good works. I love my Church for seeking to know and love Christ and His Word. You yearn to not only know Him but to apply His Word. I love my Church for not being perfect, because in this humble truth, you urge the rest of the body to rely on Christ, who is our sufficiency in all things. I love my Church for your faithfulness in applying the diversity of your God-given gifts in your ministries so that the whole body is edified and made stronger. I love my Church because you want others to know Jesus no matter who they are, where they come from or what they look like. I love my Church because you love Jesus…and it shows.
From your brother with love,