Why I Am Thankful For The Church At Which I Serve…
I feel like the LORD has been helping me more and more to realize what a blessing this local church is and has been to me and my family, so I thought I would share with you some of the ways this has been true over the last 10+ years:
1. CCLF has been the only church home I have ever known since surrendering my life to Jesus over 11 years ago, and I have grown tremendously in every way through God’s ministry here as I participated in:
- men’s softball leagues,
- a men’s retreat (back in January ’06),
- men’s rafting trips to Wolf River (’03, ’04, ’05),
- Men’s Fraternity (’07-’08),
- serving as an usher, nursery volunteer, walker room coordinator, and Club 56 leader (before coming on staff),
- Summer Nights events,
- all-church picnics, etc.
2. The teaching here over the last 10 years has been fantastic, Biblical, relevant, and humble, with a mix of topical series and serious expository studies in Hebrews, Acts, etc.
3. The staff, elders, and deacons genuinely care for and respect each other and work to serve each other.
4. The physical layout of CCLF is so refreshing: it is open without lots of clutter, has enormous amounts of natural light, and is simply a pleasant place to be present whether attending a worship service, having a conversation with a friend, or reading a book alone.
5. CCLF took a chance on me almost 6 years ago, an unproven leader with little experience and almost no seminary training. And yet the leadership was open to discerning and obeying God’s call, and here I am.
6. David Weil has been a fantastic boss who has mentored me, given me important advice at crucial times, and also allowed me to run a bit without a lot of micro-managing.
7. I have a great office/work space that I enjoy coming to each day.
8. When I started here I inherited phenomenal teen and adult leaders who love the LORD, love the students, and work to encourage me, and this has continued through today.
9. The staff is comprised of such incredibly competent and capable servant leaders who not only know how to “get the job done” but whom I also simply enjoy to be around—I consider you three to be rocks/cornerstones that help this ship keep its course in all kinds of weather.
10. Mike Woodruff and others have given me so many opportunities to preach in the adult services—this is not common for Middle School pastors and I am so thankful for these opportunities that have been offered me enthusiastically, not begrudgingly or reluctantly.
11. I am paid a generous wage that allows me to support my large family in an expensive corner of the country and world—I do not need to have a part-time job on top of this one, and my wife is able to pour into the family full-time at home.
12. Many individuals have been a blessing to me and my family over the last 10 years—praying for us, seeking us out to see how we are doing, babysitting our kids, dropping off anonymous Target gift cards, etc. We know for certain how loved we are.
13. I am given such freedom to do what I need to do to honor my family (e.g. leaving work early some days), spend time with God uninterrupted (personal retreat to St. Mary’s once per month), and organize my weekly tasks according to my own unique personality.
14. I am not pressured with an idolatrous focus on “numbers numbers numbers” (though of course we all want CCLF to grow numerically).
15. I have a generous budget with which to help minister to the Middle School students, their leaders, and their families.
16. My children have thrived here over the last 8.5 years—they truly enjoy attending worship services and know that our family’s main community/network comes from this local church. Our participation in this local body is central, not periphery, to our family’s life.
17. CCLF has enthusiastically and generously supported the vast majority of my almost completed Masters degree over the past five years.
18. I am not constantly pressured to do more programs, and am even encouraged to keep my work pace at a sustainable long-term level.
19. There are fantastic opportunities throughout the year to get to know the other staff on a personal level through retreats, lunches, Christmas gatherings, etc.
20. CCLF from its head to its toes considers Middle School to be an equal and important ministry amongst many others. The 5th-8th graders have not once been treated like a second class ministry since I have been here.
21. From my perspective, the admins have rightly been treated as equal members of this staff and ministry team.
22. The leadership of CCLF genuinely desires to honor the LORD in everything and to come alongside both the seeker and the saved in every Biblical way.
23. Mike W. and the rest of the leadership have never been content to play it safe or just maintain the status quo—there has been over the last 10 years a desire to follow the LORD wherever He leads in shining His love throughout the Ten Miles around CCLF’s steeple.
24. The staff has fantastic benefits, and the deacons seem willing to do whatever they can to provide for the staff in every responsible way.
25. CCLF is intellectual without being stiffly academic and is practical (e.g. living out our faith) while maintaining the safety harness of orthodox Biblical theology.
Anywhoo, that’s what I came up with so far.
It’s a great joy to be part of this local church with you all.