A Thank You List

For the last seventeen years my privilege in service to our Lord has been ministering as a pastor to the people of First Calvary Baptist Church. Here’s my not all-inclusive Thanksgiving list.

  1. I thank the Lord for the honor that is mine to preach to a people hungry to hear God’s Word. I stand before kind and humble persons who return week after week knowing I am the one in the pulpit. They open their Bibles expecting to hear from God and trust me to deliver it.
  2. I thank the Lord for a church that welcomes to our assembly people from every skin tone, social status, and walk of life. Our church sees people made in the image of God, loved by the Father, and saved by the blood of Jesus. All differences fade into the background as we worship, learn, and live together.
  3. I thank the Lord for a church comprised of generational Christianity. When we gather together for worship, you will find believers who measure their years in single digits, teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. All believing the same gospel, worshipping the same God, and pursuing the same Christlikeness.
  4. I thank the Lord for a church that loves to sing, and since I love to sing, I love to sing with you. Our church embraces old hymns and new texts and tunes. Our church sings with passion and anticipates lifting our voices together toward heaven and toward each other in help and hope.
  5. I thank the Lord for nursery staff, ushers, technicians, and administrative personnel who function mostly behind the scenes. We rarely notice them when their jobs are done well, but we quickly discover the significant void when we are without them.
  6. I thank the Lord for Bible teachers at every level. God has given our church teachers who instruct all across the spectrum, from two-year-olds to our eldest members. Our teachers range from those just learning the craft to those who have taught the Word of God for seventy years. We are blessed.
  7. I thank the Lord for small group leaders. These precious servants of our Lord open their homes week after week to welcome brothers and sisters-in-Christ to gather together to connect, care, converse, and chase so that individual Christians in our church might grow in their discipleship.
  8. I thank the Lord for the rich heritage and solid foundation on which our church stands. We have our challenges, but our challenges are not doctrinal. We continue in the same direction the believers before us were headed, and by God’s grace, the same direction those who follow us will head.
  9. I thank the Lord for the ministry in our church that I know nothing about - phone calls and text messages made to a Christian sister, coffee with a Christian brother, meals shared with the lonely, gospel conversations with unsaved family or friends, and acts of kindness that prompt our Lord to smile when he sees.
  10. I thank the Lord for a church that prays for me. So many say to me, “Pastor, I pray for you.” I believe you, and I thank the Lord for you. You love me enough to know I am incapable on my own, so you ask our Lord to do what I cannot do.

As Paul wrote, “we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

As always I welcome your feedback and any ideas you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.