HBC, Your Pastors Are Thankful For You!

Dear Church,

The pastors want to thank you for your kind and generous gifts to us for Pastor's Appreciation month! Paul says in Phil. 4:17 (I am modifying the pronouns for our context) "Not that [we] seek the gift, but I [we] seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 [We] have received full payment, and more. [We] are well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God." What you have done in showing us honor is pleasing and acceptable to God and we pray that you will be rewarded for it!

We all have so much to be thankful for. Our prayer is that this Thanksgiving you will find ways to express your gratitude to God for all of his wonderful gifts, not least of which is the inexpressible gift of his Son! So in the spirit of giving thanks we want to express gratitude to our congregation for a several things.

Thank you for your generosity. You give of your time, talents and treasure and we are a better and stronger church for it! Many of you make great sacrifices, and you give out of the abundance of your heart.

Thank you for serving. This "thank you" is often lost in the “we need more volunteers” pleas. But it's such a vital part of our ministry. So thank you for doing hard things even when no one is looking for the glory of God. To our greeters, children’s teachers, nursery caregivers, worship tech team members, coffee brewers, ushers, and security teams - know that you make a significant difference.

Thank you for tolerating our preaching when it is often mixed with youthful zeal. Pastor Mark and I have been preaching for 8-10 years while Pastor Ted and Keith have preached for 30-40 years. It's funny, but the older guys have the privilege of keeping those early sermons to cassette tapes which can be destroyed! :) However, our sermons live on in infamy on the internet! There are times when we all wish we could go back and say things differently, but nevertheless, each week you listen with hunger and appreciation. Thank you!

Thank you for sticking with the church through thick and thin. It's easy to move down the road to the new church in town every couple of years. To church members who stay, serve, give, and support through the valleys, as well as the highs, we need to say, “Thank you". The tough times make us stronger. You are co-laborers with us. With love for Jesus, you have shown a willingness to stand in the gap and make sacrifices for our church. We are so thankful for you.

Thank you for inviting your friends and family. The church grows primarily by word of mouth. Changed people are contagious. When you tell your family and friends how Jesus has changed you, the Gospel goes out. I love hearing on Sunday morning, “I started coming to this church when so-and-so invited me.” Beautiful!

Thank you for establishing a culture of love and grace. There is nothing that thrills our heart more than to hear people say what attracted them to the church was not the preaching, or the programs, or the ministry, but an environment where the love and grace of God were felt. You want to keep Christ central, and in so doing, Heritage has become a place of safety where broken sinners find healing and life. Thank you!

Phil 1:3, "I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 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."

With love,
The Pastors of HBC

Owensboro10 Downtown Aerial - For HBC - by AP Imagery

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