Pastor's Point - May 2023
Dear Church Family,
In the month of May I celebrate my seventeenth year as your pastor. I am so thankful that God allows me to pastor our church because we have some of the greatest people in the world that make up our church family. For as long as I can remember I have begun my newsletter articles with the little greeting, “Dear Church Family.” Please know that it is more than just something to say to begin a newsletter article. The whole greeting means something to me, and I hope it does to you as well. Each word in that phrase is important. What I would like to do in my article is to consider each word separately.
The word “Dear” communicates deep affection when I use it in my opening greeting. I do have deep affection for those who make up our church family. God has given me this deep affection and I am so thankful that He has. It is only right for a pastor to have a God given deep affection for those He is called to pastor. My ministry at Oakhill is not to just complete duties that are assigned to the Lead Pastor. My ministry is to shepherd God’s people with a heart of love. So, when I write “Dear” in my greeting I really mean it. My heart has deep affection for those that I have the joy of shepherding.
The second word in my normal greeting is “Church.” That word of course is not a reference to a building. It is a reference to a certain group of people. One article states that…“a local church is a group of baptized believers who meet regularly to worship God through Jesus Christ, to be exhorted from the Word of God, and to celebrate the Lord’s Supper under the guidance of duly appointed leaders.” – The Local Church, J.P. The church that I have deep affection for is the people that gather here at 4615 Oak Hill Road. Of course, I have deep affection for other believers who are a part of the universal church, or the church at large, but my main concern and love is for the people of Oakhill. I am so thankful that for the last almost seventeen years that we have gathered for worship, and that I have had the privilege of teaching the Word of God to you. It is wonderful to be able to participate together in the Lord’s Supper remembering the great love and sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The final word of my greeting is “Family.” The understanding of the “Church” being understood as a family gives us the opportunity to live out together biblical truths and principles that we are called to walk in in life. It is in the bonds of a loving church family that we can…
Study God’s Word together – II Timothy 3:16
Worship God together – Psalm 34:3
Keep one another accountable – Proverbs 27:17
Support one another in our trials – Galatians 6:2
Serve one another – Galatians 6:10
Make disciples together – Matthew 28:18-20
This is a great summation of these points that I found in an article on gotquestions.org:
“In an age when the culture is increasingly secular, it is beneficial to be in a family of like-minded believers. These brothers and sisters can encourage you in your faith journey, respond to your questions about spiritual issues, and be a support in times of hardship. The church family can also give you opportunity to serve and disciple others. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).”
I am so thankful that for the past seventeen years I have been able to write to my “Dear Church Family.” I do have great affection for the people that make up this church! And you are so much more than just people that I pastor. You are my family to do life together with for the glory of God!!
I love you and I love being your Pastor!