Last night was a wonderful opportunity at our church. Our annual Fall Festival once again proved to be a great way to get involved to reach the community. I was excited to see the booths and costumes come together. Every year I anticipate the Cross family group theme. Lance and Angela tickled me as a chicken and cow. The energy of the kitchen crew always humbles me as to how they just can’t seem to stop serving with joy.
I thank God for so much that was achieved in our event. We had at least a thousand people come through. Several guests expressed to me thankfulness for the effort we put out to provide a fun and family friendly ministry.
I love our church. It’s easy to do. The saints of Ekron are unlike any other church I know. Even though it has been Pastor Appreciation Month, this pastor appreciates all of you. Every member, every committee, and every soul who has helped build our legacy. We all have much to be thankful for around here. So, in thinking of last night, I like to share a top ten list of things I was thankful for last night.
- I am overwhelmed at the participation of those who served last night in setting up games, booths, and welcoming folks. The creativity of our families helps to spark a little awe over the various costumes and themes for as one person put it “Track or Treat. We always wonder if we are going to pull the event off. However, God has always provided successfully.
- Our kitchen crew once again proved to be awesome. Big thanks to Rachel and her ministry team for getting the job done. They served up 15 gallons of tea, 15 gallons of lemonade, 776 hot dogs, 3 gallons of cheese with nachos, and 42 cups of coffee. This all involved set up, cooking , cleaning and cleaning some more. They even cleaned the dishes that people brought in with sup and chili.
8 Speaking of cleaning a big shout out of thanks to sue and her cleaning crew. Having over 1,000 guests creates quite a mess. Week after week Sue and her team work behind the scenes to have God’s house clean and ready to go for service. They clean spilt coffee, unclog toilets, and knock down countless spider webs, over and over again. It is often a thankless ministry, but we thank you all for taking care of our worship facility. And as a note, Darrel C ought to be thanked also for caring for the lawn and the tedious work of the cemetery.
7 I am also filled with joy over those who were able to help set up and stayed late after the party was over. Jenny, Karen, Lance, several youth, and many others both took extra time on Sunday to get every game, basket, and goodies ready to begin the night, and they also stayed after most left in order to get us back into shape. Than you all for your ongoing service in our church. Time and again y’all have been instrumental in our outreaches.
In cleaning, last night, we found all sorts of wrappers, food, and mystery goo. Thank you all for getting dirty so that the gospel could be lived out and shared. I believe the efforts we quite worth it all as I can attest to connecting your love through the outreach with hurting people looking for a church that would love them.
6 And while I list behind the scenes people, let it be known that Angela as secretary and Daryl as trustee are both quite active in behind the scenes accomplishments. Some may only notice if things do not get done, but day in and day out they serve well above the description of their position. I know Angela gets calls at all hours during the week. I have seen Daryl here as early as 5 am checking on problems and finding efficient solutions. Truly, I could not do my job without them.
5 I am thankful that last night several guests came to me expressing the joy they had at being able to bring their kids to a family friendly environment. For some we have become an annual event. During the evening, I met folks that were looking for a church, some were struggling with life, some welled up with almost tears, as you all treated them with compassion. I had the impression from these, that they had been rejected by churches in the past or felt unwanted by “Church people.” One father even shared how his blended family had been told to leave a church before. Gladly, I assured him that at Ekron, his whole family would be loved and encouraged to worship with us.
4 I am thankful we met a need. A hungry family came. Speaking to a parent last night, I learned of their poverty. Often they go without enough food to last the month. To some of us, a simple hot dog and chips are what we make when we just do not want to cook. To this family, it was a grand feast. I thank God for showing me how much I have received and that opportunities exist right here to make a difference.
3 We could not pull this off without financial support. I am thankful for those who give to the ministries of Ekron Baptist. Ministry is about people. With the resources your tithes have provided, we directly connected with people last night and do so week after week to show them the glory of God.
Yesterday, I had at least three families ask me about the free biblical counseling that we offer. This is a gateway of evangelism and adding to the Kingdom. Just as much, let me remind you that our gifts minister locally and throughout the world. So thank you givers, for helping to spread the gospel.
2 With as much as we work around here, I am reminded of how much does go unnoticed behind the scenes.
Rarely do you see how much the deacons really do, and its huge. They get all sorts of requests for various helps and advice. They stop gossip and care for the needy. They pray and pray without ceasing. Visitors are contacted each week, and loose ends tied up. With great wisdom, they have often helped me to make good decisions and avoid treacherous ones.
We have so many teams of ministry that I cannot possibly mention them all. When you think of all the teachers, nursery workers, committees; such a decorating, children’s ministries, social event planning, education, and others our church simply amazes me. I am stilled by wondering at the magnitude of the prayer ministry and serving of Bob and Betty and how we all are better off.
Truly, I hate to leave anyone out. And when I do, I appreciate how thoughtfully forgiving y’all are. When you think about it, it is often the quietest servants that have the most meaningful impact.
But let me mention or praise team, and various choirs. Missy McRae is a master of talent. Repeatedly she prays about and strives to help us worship. Touching each life in a way that inspires us towards God each week is not at all easy, and in some ways is harder than preaching a text of Scripture. Being thankful for her and her crew of choir members, musicians, technology wizards and the like, we can agree that have been blessed.
1 Truly, a church requires a team effort. Again, the saints of Ekron, the body of Christ that worships here is a great family. I love every one of you. I thank God for you. Week after week, I am thrilled to see us doing life with one another in a way that brings the practicality of Scripture to the needs of living. I love how we operate as a church, loving, forgiving, teaching, equipping, gladly serving, weeping with those who week and rejoicing with those who rejoice. Getting involved in lives is a messy business. But, there is no better example of what Christ has done for us. Let’s continue to love God and love others.