By Rev. Landon Coleman
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope the turkey was cooked just right. I hope your team won the football game. I hope the Black Friday sales lined up in your favor.
I also hope you took time to thank God for the many blessings he has poured into your life. Like you, I have many reasons to give thanks — salvation, family, health. Without minimizing those blessings, I want to focus on seven things I’m thankful for as a pastor.
First, I’m thankful for the privilege of pastoring a church and preaching the gospel. Specifically, I’m thankful for the privilege — and it is a privilege, not a right — of make a living by working at Immanuel. So many faithful pastors work two or more jobs to make ends meet. I’m thankful for the opportunity to pastor as a vocation.
Second, I’m thankful that the Bible has been translated into English. In recent months, I’ve been preaching through Psalm 119 at Immanuel. That longest chapter of the Bible reminds us that the Word of God is an incomparable treasure, but millions of people don’t have access to the Scriptures in their native language.
Third, I’m thankful for the many faithful church in Texas and across the United States. I realize that many churches are stubbornly clinging to tradition and nostalgia. Many others have embraced entertainment and performance. Still others have been overtaken by the spirit of the age. But many are faithful to the gospel.
Fourth, I’m thankful for church members who love God and love each other. Immanuel is not a perfect church — far from it. However, when we come together as a church family, there is a genuine desire to hear from God’s Word, to respond to God in heartfelt worship, and to enjoy fellowship with other believers.
Fifth, I’m thankful for church members who don’t insist on a particular musical style. On Sundays we have a band. On Wednesdays we only have a piano, vocalists, and hymns. I am well aware of the fact that many people prefer one style over the other, but I’m thankful for those who prioritize worship over preference.
Sixth, I’m thankful for church members who genuinely want to see the gospel change lives. These people invite people to church, send people to Kenya, give to local and foreign missions projects, give to our World Missions Offering, serve lunch at the UTPB BSM, pass out Bibles with the Gideons, and share Jesus with prisoners.
Seventh, I’m thankful for people who faithfully show up to church. I know how hard it is to get up and get ready with little kids, and I know how hard it is to get up and get ready when your body is weighed down with pain and sickness. I will forever be thankful for the people who simply show up week in and week out.