Posted by: Phoebe | December 1, 2008

Thanks, Pastor John and Gordon

Abraham Piper has two conference registrations for a pastor, awarded to someone who blogs about why he is thankful for his pastor. I don’t know if my pastor would be interested in going, but I certainly am thankful for my pastor.

Thank you, Pastor John Powell

  • For being a man of integrity. Your rock-solid commitment to God’s Word, to His service, and to your family has been a foundation to your ministry.
  • For being a man of faithfulness. You have been at our church over twenty years, which is quite a record by today’s standards. One of the men in our church, Elliot B., mentioned this during the Thanksgiving service. He added that you may be one of the longest-serving pastors in our city. Again, this has laid the foundation for steady, deep growth within our church.
  • For being a man willing to get his hands dirty. You jump into many different kinds of service, from fixing a car, to maintaining the local Moody radio station (89.7 FM) to networking someone to find a job, to couseling the soul.
  • For being committed to God’s Word. You are very smart, but you don’t rely on your own reason. Your careful study of the scripture comes through in your exegetical preaching. You don’t avoid the awkward parts of Scripture (like the end of the book of Judges), because you believe that all of God’s Word is living, breathing, and able to pierce through the division of soul and spirit.
  • For taking care of your health. This may seem like a small thing, but your commitment to staying active physically in order to stay healthy is an example to your congregation.

And Pastor Gordon, thank you too!

  • For being willing to serve with your administrative skills — behind-the-scenes work that is often unnoticed. 
  • For also having stuck with this congregation for over fifteen years. 
  • For being a faithful husband, son, and father. Your love for his daughters shines through and they have thrived. 
  • For being available to disciple young men in the church, and building relationships with each member of the youth group. Again, this is something that is not broadcast before the congregation, but has been a form of nurture that has been greatly used by God.

In today’s world, it is a frequent thing to see negativity toward the Christian church. Because of the integrity and faithfulness of our pastors, the entire leadership team’s dedication to Scripture, and the blessing of strong families in my church, I have no such feeling. I have grown and been blessed immensely in this church. Even as I see its problems, I also can understand that the worldwide Body of Christ is ordained by God, and it is a wonderful thing. I sometimes feel an irritation mixed with sorrow that so many people fail to see this. Sadly, this hostility to the church, though it is a sinful attitude, is based upon truly bad experiences. I am so grateful for God’s grace to First Evangelical Free, and I hope that as I mature, I will find my place to serve within it and similar churches.

Thank you, Lord! Come Lord Jesus.

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