Today We Remember (Pastor Appreciation Day 4.0)
– We often don’t take time to think about and remember the impact someone has had on our lives:
– Example: Several FF memorials this last year, a common thought is remembering what we learned from them, and wishing we could have told them how much they affected our lives.
– How much would it have blessed them to hear these things from us on this side of heaven?
– Today we are celebrating “Senior Pastor Appreciation Day” at FVC.
– Today, we honor Pastors Matt and Crystal for their sacrifices and work on our behalf, to lead us to the Savior, Jesus Christ.
– Thank you for taking on this responsibility, and being accountable!
* We remember YOU today!!
Hebrews 13:7, Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of faith.
- We Remember. “Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God.”
– Being the Senior Pastor is not just a job, it’s an ordained calling by God.
– Pastor Appreciation Day is not about esteeming the “person”, as much as the “position”.
– It’s not a “personality contest”. They have been chosen by God to lead FVC.
– That person can change over time. 50 years from now it will be someone different, and we will be honoring and esteeming them.
– Example: Seeing the former Fire Chief around Redmond. I acknowledge him, respect him, and call him “Chief”, but he cannot give me orders.
– Old Chief has no authority over me now. (The current Fire Chief is now the man!)
– Moses once led Israel, then it was Joshua. (Both were gifted and ordained by God to lead.)
– 1 Thess. 5:12-13, 12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.
– Pastor Matt and Crystal are the Senior Pastors, and OUR leaders in the Lord’s work.
– Not because of their personality, but because of their God given position of authority.
– Let’s treat them with great respect and wholehearted love! (What they deserve!)
– They are our “friend”, but not our “buddy”. They “serve us”, but are not our “servants”.
– Remember, love is patient, kind, and keeps no record of wrong!
– Eph. 4:12, [The pastor’s] responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the Body of Christ.
– Some people think that a pastor’s job is to be a “Professional Christian”. All of the work that God wants from his church is THEIR job. (After all, they work here right?)
– FVC knows that this is not true! The Pastor’s job is to equip US to do the ministry work!
– We are not the fans on the bleachers. We are on the team. And Pastor Matt is the coach.
– The Bible says we should honor them for that work. (Our spiritual benefit, eternal life, etc.)
- Focus on the Good. “Think of all the good that has come from their lives…”
– Example: My life, Pastor Matt’s influence has shaped me the most of anyone. I have known him since the summer after the 5th grade, and since then he has shown me:
– How to go against the grain, and be bold! (I was shy and timid. He is bold and fearless.)
– Shown me how to choose Godly things, over the things of this world. (Even in High school.)
– Inspired me to grow in faith, and truly live out this Christian life. (Sincerely, not for show.)
– My life is a reflection of Pastor Matt’s influence on me!
– Maybe YOU can think of a time when Pastor Matt and Crystal have blessed you?
– Prayed with you while you or a loved one was in the hospital?
– Paid for your rent or bills when you couldn’t make ends meet?
– Gave you words of spiritual encouragement when you were ready to give up?
– Stood by you through your tantrums and rebellion, only to greet you with open arms, when you came back looking for safe place to start again.
* They taught you the honest word of God so you could know the Savior, & ultimately live forever!
– Have you been blessed by THIS church? The Faith and Victory culture and community are a product of their great leadership!
– I’ve heard many people talk about how Welcoming, Authentic, and Restoring FVC is.
– If you see something special happening here, you have them to thank for it!
– Sometimes people only see the “honoring” of the pastor, but don’t truly recognize the sacrifice of the pastor. They envy the praise, but don’t know about the pain that earned it.
– Think of the work load:
– A preacher can spend up to 1 hr in prep. for every min. of sermon time. (30 hrs per wk?)
– “On Call” 6 days a week. (advice, condolences, hospital visits, spiritual emergencies, counseling, making people feel loved, etc…) X300 people?
– Plus many others that seek out their wise council. (Those w/ churches, and those w/o)
– Running the church itself. (Meeting with and training staff, overseeing maintenance and repairs, accounting for the finances, casting the vision, planning the next step…) For a million dollar facility?
– Maintaining a personal fellowship with God. (You can’t pour out of an empty cup.)
– All while doing all the other life stuff we all deal with. (Family stuff, household, cars…)
– That’s quite a lot of responsibility! And they gave up a 6 figure salary, and retirement for it.
-They have Sacrificed a lot to follow God’s calling on their life.
– Their sacrifice has been for MY spiritual benefit, and YOURS.
– James 3:1, Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.
– It all looks like fun, but we need to remember what it cost them to get there.
– Example: Leadership is a “reverse pyramid”.
– People think that leadership is like a pyramid, the higher you get in leadership, the less weight you have on your shoulders, and the higher you are above the people.
– Servant leadership is actually a “reverse pyramid”. The closer to the top of the pyramid, the more weight you are holding up, and the more people you are accountable to support.
– They are not perfect, but they ARE called and ordained by God to lead this church.
– They will offend you by something they say, or don’t say. Something they do, or don’t do.
– Our leaders have strong personalities! And a bold approach to the authority given them.
– They are only human, led by the Spirit, and dedicated to the Race that God has set before them.
– They are better today than yesterday, and will be even better tomorrow. Just like all of us should be. This is their example of faith!
– What is more important to you?
– God’s mission for this church, or your personal preferences about the details?
– Let go of the small stuff, and see the bigger picture!
- Follow the Leader. “…follow the example of their faith.”
– If you reject their authority, you are also rejecting Christ’s authority.
– Jesus Christ is what this “faith” is all about, and that is where they are leading you.
– In 1 Cor., The Apostle Paul says, “I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.”
– I’m not advocating blind followership here! “As they follow Christ!”
– Luke 10:16, Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever listens to you, listens to me. Whoever rejects you, rejects me. And whoever rejects me, rejects the one who sent me.”
– If we don’t respect our Pastor’s authority, we reject the one who gave him that authority!
– If you believe God gave Pastor Matt a vision for Faith and Victory, then let him lead you.
– God will hold THEM accountable for your spiritual growth.
– Hebrews 13:17, Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.
– This word “Obey” in the Greek, can also be translated to mean “follow” or “place confidence in” or “be persuaded by”.
– This word “sorrow” could be translated as “groaning”, and it speaks to the emotional burden and stress on the spiritual leaders because of an unruly church.
* Is your follower-ship bringing your leaders Joy? or making them Groan?!
– We have many pastors and people here at FVC who have dedicated their lives to serving this body of believers, but only one man is accountable to God for the outcome. (Pastor Matt)