When we discovered our church one year ago this month, it immediately felt like home. We had been on the search for the right church for us for several months, but had struggled to find just the right fit. We'd found one we liked, but it was a larger church where no one even realized you were new--- you were just another face in the crowd. That was not the kind of church experience I wanted for my kids. I wanted to find a place where I felt like we belonged. That is just what we found in our church. From the very beginning we were met at the door with a tour, we were introduced to everyone, we were asked about us. I didn't have to sit by myself during the service, but was invited to sit with a new friend already. We were welcomed with open arms and we felt right at home. Just a church should be.
Throughout the past year, I came to realize that this truly was just where God wanted us to be, just where we NEEDED to be. You see, when we began attending, life was going great! Things were on an upward swing and we were hopeful for what our future held. That all changed very quickly. My husband- the sole provider for our family- lost his job. Our world was turned upside down, and to be honest we're still struggling. But through all of it, my church supported us- offering leads on jobs, lifting us up in prayer and even helping us out financially when needed. I had been to many churches in my life, spent years at a few even, but never until this year did I truly understand what it was to have a church family. In such a short time, we had found that.
So much of that starts at the top with the church leadership, particularly our pastor and his wife. They are truly the prime example of what a servant of God should be. They care about their church and the people in it. We are not just numbers, we are not faces in the pews. We are people with our own unique needs and they truly care about each and every one of those- from the serious to the small. They go above and beyond anything that I have experienced in my life as a churchgoer. And they do it selflessly with no expectation of reward or praise. They do it because they know that this is what God called them to do. I honestly am not certain how we would have made it through this past year without them, and there is no way to thank them enough for all they've done.
But they are just two of many. Across churches everywhere there are pastors and their families, worship leaders, Sunday school teachers, elders and more who give up so much of their time and their hearts to grow God's kingdom. It is such an important role they have been given and one that deserves recognition. This is why throughout the month of October, we celebrate these individuals with Ministry Appreciation Month.
“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.”- 1 Timothy 5:17
This year in celebration of Ministry Appreciation Month, Dayspring wants to encourage all of us to #ReturnTheBlessing and give back to those on our ministry teams who have made an impact on our lives and faith through their Return the Blessing Campaign. They have a fantastic selection of gifts and cards that offer a great way to bless the members of your ministry team, such as this beautiful Faithful Servant Wall Art that I was able to bless my own pastor with...a reminder that his work in the church is appreciated.
But gifts are not the only way we can return the blessing! They have a variety of ministry appreciation eCards that are free to share and they encourage us to publicly thank our ministry leaders via social media using the hashtag #ReturnTheBlessing. They have also compiled various idea on ways to show your appreciation to EVERY member of your ministry team to the pastor and his wife to small group leaders, Sunday school teachers and church secretary. You can visit those and be inspired here. It doesn't take an expensive or over the top gesture, these ideas can be as simple as saying thank you...but what a difference those few works can make!
In celebration of Ministry Appreciation Month, Dayspring is also having an amazing deal- through October 16 you can use the code FALL20 to take $20 off your order of $60 or more and receive free shipping! And through today only, you can enter to win a $200 shopping spree plus almost $150 worth of inspirational gifts and cards to bless your entire ministry team! Enter here now.
Is there a member of your ministry team that has impacted your life and your faith? Share their story in the comments below? Which product(s) from Dayspring would you like to bless them with? Or how do you plan to thank them this month?