Before I get to the purpose of this week’s “Jym-shorts,” let me give you a brief update concerning our Christmas Eve service. Some have asked, “why outdoors?” The answer is that when we surveyed the church family as to their plans for Christmas Eve, about 600 people said they would be here for our candlelight service. I am pleased that so many would choose to gather considering all the craziness of this year. However, in order to accommodate 600 or more people at one time given our seating restrictions, we would need to either take reservations and then turn some away, or consider multiple services, with some likely highly attended, and some likely sparsely attended. Since it is Christmas Eve, I did not want to ask the staff and volunteers to be ready to do that this year. The solution seemed to be a short, outside service where many hundreds could gather at one time. It could be something very special, and I pray that it will be. It could also get rained out. If it does, I will tilt my head back in Charlie Brown fashion and say “GOOD GRIEF!” Let’s all pray that it doesn’t.
Now, as we approach Christmas 2020, I want to take the opportunity to tell you how grateful I am to be your lead pastor. Being a pastor is hard work, quite frankly, but it is a work that “fills my cup.” I feel like a satisfied farmer most nights when I go to bed (minus the chapped hands and missing appendages) — sore from a hard day’s work, but glad to know that the fields have been sown and waiting for the Spirit to send the rains and bring forth the harvest.
I also want to tell you how happy it makes me, to work with the staff we have here at LifePoint. Our pastoral team is both gifted and godly. They are wonderful co-laborers and even better friends. Our support team is second to none — truly. From our office staff to our custodial and grounds team to our ministry assistants. God has blessed us, friends, with a dedicated staff of men and women who truly love the Lord and work with all their might. Our elders are godly men who lead and shepherd well, and our deacons serve with all their hearts. We also have wonderful volunteers who come by the office and count the offering each week, assist the ministerial staff on Fridays as they get bulletins and inserts ready, help us proof our publications, plan our worship services, lead and serve on ministry teams, oversee our finances, etc. And then, of course, there are so many of you, who play instruments, teach, lead, sing, change diapers, park cars, greet guests, make coffee, visit the sick, pray, etc. What a wondrous thing is the body of Christ at work! And here’s the amazing truth: we do it imperfectly and it is still a joy. What will it be like in heaven when we are gathered with all the saints from all the ages representing all the tribes and peoples and languages on earth, and we do everything perfectly? Something to behold indeed!
Thank you for obeying the Scripture when it exhorts you: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17).
You all have made ministry and leadership a pleasure in 2020, and that’s saying something, because 2020 has been a year like none other in my life, and probably yours as well. So, thank you, from me and on behalf of this staff and leadership team. I hope we bless you. I know you bless us!