Hi Christ Church,
I hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday for many reasons, not least of which is that it is a fresh opportunity to reflect on the goodness of God. As we heard in our call to worship on Sunday,
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! (Psa 100:4 ESV)
As I consider the many things that I have to be thankful for this year, what God has been doing in you, Christ Church, is near the top of the list. Here are some things I am grateful for:
1. I’m grateful for numbers
- 10 people come to new life in Christ. 10 souls who were once objects of God’s wrath are now objects of God’s mercy through being recipients of God’s grace. Nothing gets better than that!
- 2 of those souls, Vince and Larry, have since gone home to be with Jesus. While I am sad that they were with us for such a short period of time, I’m so grateful to know that they are with the Savior.
- That we were able to bless over 100 people with a free meal through Easter Outreach, 150 people at our Summer Party at the Park and another 100+ people at our annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.
- That we have welcomed in 23 wonderful new members to our church family.
- That these numbers matter because they represent individual people’s stories.
2. I’m grateful for the shaping influence of God’s word
- That taught us about mission from our small group bible study through Acts.
- That taught us about His steadfast love in Ruth, how His love is meant to empower our love through 1 John, how we can have clarity in our confused culture from Genesis 1-3 and what living in His great story is meant to mean for us from Ephesians.
- I love hearing you share with me and one another, how God’s word is bringing shape to your life.
3. I’m grateful for the impact you have on first time visitors
- The most common feedback I get about our church is that we are friendly and not just “smile and be nice friendly,” but “I want to get to know you and open up my heart and home to you friendly”. I love that!
4. I’m grateful that you love one another
- You are a church that serves each other, prays for each other, listens to each another, works through difficulties, intentionally encourages and enjoys being together. One of my favorite things to do is just to watch the buzz of activity after a service as you all spend long amounts of time lingering with one another. I love knowing that this is just a small picture of what your love for one another looks like throughout the week.
5. I’m grateful for your love for me and my family
- You are so encouraging, honoring and appreciative, not just of me, but of my family as well. So many pastors just feel the demands of the congregation, but while I do carry a burden for each one of you, it does not feel like a burden. You make being your pastor a joy. You are real friends, give real care, and let us be real people who don’t have to put up a fake front. I can’t tell you how much this means to me.
Christ Church, we have our faults and flaws. We still have many ways to grow and many things to learn. However, God is doing a very good work and I am so thankful that I get to watch God work in, and through, you.
Facebook: Jeff Boettcher