Thank You for Your Partnership
June 9, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
This last Sunday marked my five year anniversary of preaching my first sermon at Oak Hills. God has been so gracious and mighty over these past five years. And God has used the people of Oak Hills as a rich blessing to me and my family. I join Paul in saying, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Phil. 1:3-5).
What has that partnership looked like?
1. Commitment to the Gospel. We say at Oak Hills that we long to know and make known the astonishing grace of God. It’s more than just a statement of what we want to do; it’s what we do. The people of Oak Hills dig into the Word of God on their own, in Bible studies, in home life groups, in prayer meetings, and in worship gatherings. The longing to know and understand God’s Word is a hunger to be delighted in the Good News of Jesus Christ. I love ministering in this environment because we are doing the work together for the sake of the gospel. Thank you for having a genuine longing for all that God has for you in Jesus.
2. Willingness to Serve. Whenever I think over and pray for our list of members and friends, I am astounded that so many people who call Oak Hills their church home volunteer their time in one form or another. There is no “20% of the people of the church doing all of the work” at Oak Hills. What creates this environment of service? The Gospel. The people of Oak Hills believe that making known the Good News is worth sacrifice of time. Thank you for your eagerness to give so much for the sake of the ministry of the Gospel.
3. Financial Support. When Paul wrote his letter to the Philippian church, he was thanking them for their financial support (see 4:18). He was in prison in Rome and had to pay for all of his own expenses. When Paul was making plans to go to Spain to preach the gospel, he asked the church at Rome to give money for his ministry (Rom. 15:24). The ministry of the gospel has always been upheld by financial gifts of the church. Oak Hills has been abundantly generous in her giving, and not only in general offerings, but also in special designated offerings. Thank you for trusting in God with your money and supporting the work of the ministry.
4. Friendship. Paul’s letter to the Philippians often is summarized as the “joy” letter. There is a warmth of relationship evident in his interaction with this church. While Paul didn’t necessarily have a favorite church, the Philippians proved to be a source of encouragement and joy to Paul. Some have said that vocational ministry work can be lonely. Friendships are valuable for mutual encouragement, accountability, and sharpening. I have been blessed with such friendships at Oak Hills. Thank you for opening your hearts and sharing your lives with us.
I am thankful that God opened the door to minister with Oak Hills five years ago. I am thankful for your partnership for the sake of the Gospel. May God be glorified and may he bless our ministry!