The enemy always tempts us to look at the glass as half-empty. Rather, it is a good discipline to consider how that cup is actually overflowing. Every pastor has the temptation to get discouraged or frustrated working with people... just as every congregation has the temptation to get discouraged or frustrated working with their pastor. (I can speak for myself and say there are plenty of things in my life needing continued sanctification that could be causes to frustrate my flock.) So we need to continue to pray for those things in each other while recognizing the evidences of grace in each other. I'm continued to be amazed at Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 in view of a congregation riddled with serious sin issues. I'm thankful not to be pastoring the church in Corinth and it is a lot easier for me to identify things I'm thankful for concerning my flock, such as...
1. I'm thankful that my church hangs around and talks long after the worship service is over. (We're usually not home till 1-1:30pm and our worship ends by 11:45am or noon.)
2. I'm thankful that my church expects and anticipates Scripture to be opened and explained.
3. I'm thankful that my church is simple and content with being simple.
4. I'm thankful that my church members have developed friendship that extend well-beyond Sunday morning.
5. I'm thankful that my church is willing to learn and be confronted with where Scripture needs to be applied.
6. I'm thankful that my church is willing to be pushed outside their comfort zone-- from helping with each others' kids to getting more personal than they are accustomed to opening their homes to people they've not known very long at all.
7. I'm thankful that my church doesn't complain. They might think it but I just don't get complaints. It is rare and the exceptions are usually withdrawn quickly.
8. I'm thankful that my church steps up when needed. I put out needs and I get response. Not everyone can do everything but there is always someone to step forward.
These are just a few things that popped in my head this morning. It is a blessing to be the pastor of Cross Point. That doesn't mean every day is blissful. That doesn't mean we don't deal with sin. That doesn't mean we don't have room for growth. We are far from a finishing the race but I count it a joy to serve the Lord and share life with these brothers and sisters.