Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Few Reasons Why I Love Our Church

Today, March 19, marks my two year anniversary serving as the senior pastor of Liberty Baptist Church. Over the past two years, I have been greatly encouraged by observing many evidences of God’s grace in this body of believers. In this post, I want list some of these and give a few reasons why I love our church.

Our church loves Jesus, greatly.
Whenever someone asks about my church one of the first ways I describe it is by explaining how much they love Jesus. Love for the Savior is exceedingly evident in this wonderful church.

Our church loves others.
I have been overwhelmed at how our church members go out of their way to help others, especially those within our own body. This is manifested in many ways: prayer, hospital visits, financial assistance, words of encouragement, taking meals to a family in need, etc.

Our church is committed to knowing and obeying the Scriptures.
In a culture that shows general disdain for the Bible, we are countercultural in this respect. Our church members want to know the Scriptures so that they can believe and obey them. This is evidenced in many capacities: Sunday School, Bible studies, and corporate worship. We are a church committed to God’s Word.

Our church is accepting.
From the very first day this church has welcomed and embraced my family and me, like one of their own. This church has gone out of their way to show us kindness and hospitality. This is not limited our family though. Our church members do an excellent job of welcoming new comers.

Our church is generous.
Our church is financially generous. The members of this church give, and they give often. They generously provide for my family’s physical needs so that I can lead them spiritually. They are also generous beyond giving to the church (e.g. mission trips, mission offerings, families in need, etc.). All of these are evidence that they believe this earth is not their home and are storing up treasures in heaven.

Our church is patient with me.
As a young pastor, I have made several mistakes while serving this church. My congregation has never held these mistakes over my head. Instead, they have lovingly and graciously overlooked them. In the same way that God is patient with his people, this church has been patient with me.

Our church appreciates me.
This past October was “Pastor Appreciation Month”. I was overwhelmed by the amount of gifts and notes of encouragement I received. Their appreciation is not limited to one month, however. I feel greatly valued and esteemed all year around.

Our church cares about my wife and children.
I have heard horror stories about the unrealistic and unspoken expectations that many churches place on a pastor’s family. This is definitely not the case at Liberty Baptist Church! Members go out of their way to care for and encourage my wife. She is treated like a regular member and not another staff member. And my children are always excited about going to church because of the care they receive from others in this body.

Our church has an amazing staff.
If it wasn’t for Jewel performing our administrative duties our church would probably collapse. She does so much behind the scenes that helps me tremendously and rarely gets recognized for her outstanding efforts. David is the reason our worship attendance has been increasing. His leadership and musical abilities are gifts from God that He is using to build his church. Rachela is one of the hardest workers I have ever met. She does such a tremendous job of keeping our facilities looking great all year round.

Our church serves sacrificially.
I am continually amazed by the amount of service and sacrifice that our church body gives. So many members serve in capacities that get little to no recognition. Our Sunday School teachers, our extended care and children’s workers, our committee volunteers, etc. Almost every member intentionally goes out of their way to serve this body.

Our church is faithful.
Our church, like any church, has seen some difficult days over the past 50 years. Even though it is easier to pack up and to move to a new church, many of our members have remained faithfully committed to this body. As the pastor I am greatly encouraged and honored to be a part of such a persevering church.

Our church can throw a mean potluck.
One of the many advantages of being a Southern Baptist is the regular observance of potlucks. I have sampled many potlucks in my day, but none compare to our church’s. Everything is always delicious, but the Pizza Bread is my personal favorite.

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