Today’s post is going to be a little different from anything I’ve done before. Instead of summarizing the main ideas from my study, I am going to use these concepts to put together a letter of encouragement to my pastor. Then, when I am finished, and if I can get up the guts to actually do it, I am going to copy and paste it into an email and send to him. Notice that I have purposely chosen to omit his name here.
During my Bible study time this morning, I read a passage from Titus 1:5-9:
The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
After reading this passage and several related passages, I thought it would be appropriate to write a note of support and encouragement to you. I’d like to thank you for your commitment to being a man who exemplifies these characteristics. Though I am relatively new to the church, every encounter I have had with you, be it during the worship service, listening to one of your messages, or just shaking hands with you in the foyer, has led me to believe that you hold every one of these characteristics as a leader in the church. You have never come across as quick-tempered or quarrelsome, yet at the same time, when you speak, you are quick to illustrate the truth of God’s Word and to refute any error or point of contention that may arise. You have never given the impression of attempting to gain anything for yourself, but instead you always appear to seek the will of God. You come across as sensible, devout, and self-controlled. In total, I believe you to be a great model for what the leadership in the church should be.
It seems to me like all people ever talk about these days is the negative. This is especially true when it comes to church, and I will admit that I have had a few of those conversations myself. But the church is an imperfect institution, led by imperfect leaders (but headed up by a perfect God!). Even so, in the churches I have attended, for the most part, I have been blessed to have pastors who work hard to carry these traits as a duty of their calling. I’m thankful for that, and I’m thankful for you.