“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Philippians 1:3–5)
It’s been three years since I officially became the pastor here at FBC Willow Park. As I look back over three years (11 years total on staff, if you can believe it!), I’m drawn to this passage from Paul.
I want to say “Thank you.”
First, thank you for partnering in the gospel. Over three years I have seen you (us) grow in your desire & effort to spread the gospel to our community & world. Trunk-or-Treat was a prime example. Can you believe our little church of 130 hosted between 600-700 people in our parking lot for a free community event?! A special thanks to those who put in the extra hours needed to organize and prepare for it. We couldn’t have done it without you. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Each time we have an event like Trunk-or-Treat, VBS, Easter Egg hunt, etc. where we want to be good neighbors & meet people from our community, you step up. Thank you for that!
Second, thank you for supplying for ministry needs. One way the church at Philippi partnered with Paul was financially. They gave him a gift to sustain him in his ministry.
“I am well supplied, having received … the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.” (Philippians 4:18).
Because of your generosity, our staff is able to receive compensation for their work in the gospel. On behalf of all of us who work here, thank you. And your generosity extends beyond our staff. Through you, support is given each month to missionaries in Vancouver, and now a local Christian Counseling Center. Not only that, but through special Southern Baptist offerings throughout the year, you support missionaries in Texas, North America, and around the world. Also, 10% of the monies we receive from your tithes we give back to our County Association, and our State and National Conventions.
Lastly, thank you for being a great church family. Families grow together through good times and bad, and from one life-stage to the next. Families encourage and support one another. On a personal note, your prayers, cards, words of encouragement, and help mean a lot to me and my family. Please don’t stop doing that. Some folks think because I’m the pastor, or my family is the pastor’s family, that we have it all together. I’ll let you in on a secret: we don’t. We are human just like you. So thank you for being our church family, and even more so for being the family of God to each other!
There are others who need to experience what that kind of family is like. So let’s continue to partner in the gospel together to know Christ and make Him known. Let’s share the gospel and invite others into the family of God. Let’s give so that the gospel goes forth to the ends of the world, that all families of the earth might worship Jesus (Gen. 12:1-3). God has more work for this church family to do, and He will see we do it!
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
- Pastor Jonathan