11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
It’s hard to leave a guy like me speechless, but that is exactly the state I was in this past Sunday. You, the Church, surprised my family and I by honoring us with food and gifts for Pastor Appreciation Month. You all know how to love people well, and I am so thankful for that. Being a Pastor is a calling. I could not imagine myself doing anything else. It certainly helps to know the folks you love, and have dedicated your life to serve, love and appreciate you as well. Lord willing, I hope to be serving and pastoring God’s people until I am no longer able.
The neat thing about our church is, there are so many people pastoring in so many capacities. Carrying the mantle of being the “Pastor”, as outlined in Ephesians 4, is clearly a specific anointing carried by a person -- ordained by God as a gift to the church. It is not the only biblical example of “Pastoring” as outlined in New Testament Scripture. Pastor actually means shepherding. Any time you lead people to God through words, actions, or relationships you are actually pastoring whether anyone calls you pastor or not. So, because I know so many of you are doing that on a daily basis, let me, in the power of the Holy Spirit, extend to you a big THANK YOU! Your pastoring is important and whether anyone ever gives you credit for it or not, the Lord sees you and is pleased. I pray that today you are invigorated in your ministry to and for Jesus. That you would be saturated in His love and delight over you. You may not always know or believe this, but you are making a difference and I thank you for that. I want to leave you with this prayer Paul the Apostle prayed over the Philippian Church...
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.