10 Things I’m Thankful About My Church
There are many things I am thankful for about my church, Silverdale Baptist. So, for sake of time and space, here are 10 things I’m thankful for:
10. Authentic Lives and Laughter. Our church is filled with real people with real problems but thank God, we have a real Savior who loves us! I am thankful we have a church full of real people who don’t play church or take themselves too seriously. In a challenging world, it’s nice to come to a safe place to worship and connect with real people!
9. Risking to Reach. I read recently that there are three kinds of churches: Risk Takers, Care Takers, or Under Takers. Growing churches are risk takers, status quo churches are care takers, and dead churches are under takers. I am thankful our church is willing to take risks in order to reach more people for Jesus Christ. The Church Has Left the Building and our REACH building program are risks we are willing to take to accomplish our mission and vision!
8. Trust in Leadership. I am so thankful for the trust our church places in me and the other leaders in our church. We are mere men who are all flawed. We have blind spots, make mistakes, and miscommunicate at times. However, I am thankful our church has been patient with us and gives us grace often. Making difficult decisions is never easy but knowing our church supports and prays for us is such a blessing!
7. Accepting of Me. I don’t know how to be anybody else but myself. I am thankful that we have a wonderful church that allows me to be just that. I’m not as smart as John MacArthur or cool as Mark Driscoll, but I don’t have to be. Thank you for letting me be Barry. Thanks for laughing at my jokes (and at me at times), tolerating a 49er fan in Seahawk country, and accepting me for how God made me.
6. Loving to My Family. I am so thankful and grateful for a church that loves my family. Thank you for treating my girls with care and concern and for not pressuring them to be “perfect” because they happen to be my children. Thank you for allowing my bride to do what God calls her to do in ministry. Thank you for not expecting a behind-the-scenes wife to play the piano, lead Women’s ministry, or be someone that she is not. I am a very grateful husband and father because of your love for my family!
5. Generous Givers. We are primarily a blue collar church in a military community. We have many hard working shipyard employees, patriotic service men and women, and dedicated professionals. Although our weekly budget squeaks by on most weekends, when it comes to tangible, practical, heartfelt needs, our church family comes alive. When our WOW widows wanted to build a wall around our orphanage in India to protect the children from snakes and other dangerous animals, our church rallied to finish this expensive project. Every Thanksgiving our church overwhelms a special family with significant needs in our church and each Christmas our church overflows our bus with provisions to help the homeless in our county. Incredibly generous. Simply awesome!
4. Willingness to Change. Many changes have taken place in our church since I became the lead pastor in 2005. People have left our church as a result, which always hurts. But I am so thankful for those who have remained as we continue to major on what should NEVER change: God’s Word and His timeless truth. Outside of this, churches that don’t change end up losing the next generation and die as a result. That’s why I have posted on my office door a sign that says, “Constant Change is Here to Stay.” Thank you for your willingness to change what one may hold as important so that the most important can help us reach more people for Christ.
3. Growing Senior Adults. As our church has grown more contemporary in our worship and approach in ministry, I am thrilled that God is continuing to bring us more senior adults. This is not normal! While many of them would not chose our style of worship as their first choice of preference, they continue to come. Thank you for your words of encouragement and support. Thank you for your concern for the younger generations coming behind you. Thank you for expressing joy when people accept Christ as their Savior. You are such a blessing to me and the rest of our church.
2. Solid Leadership. Having three boards of godly leaders provides our church with a solid foundation for our present and future. I am thankful for our Deacons who serve and care for more people than I can get to. I am grateful for our Trustees who are strategic stewards of our financial resources. And I am appreciative of our Elders who are humble and serious about their calling to spiritual leadership in our church. What a blessed pastor I am!
1. Amazing Team. I am so blessed to serve with a fantastic team. Thank you pastors for working hard in your areas of giftedness and for being a safe place for me. Thank you Lindsay for helping me look better than I am. Thank you Bri for leading the admin team the way you do. Thank you staff for working so hard, for accepting, helping, teasing each other, and for helping my vision for our church come to life. How cool it is to work with friends! I love you all!
I LOVE MY CHURCH! Happy Thanksgiving!