I have one message this morning: “Love and appreciate your church staff!”
Seriously. Monday evening was our goodbye party with the FPCB church staff. I can’t say enough what a remarkable, faithful, capable, and committed group of people work at First Presbyterian Church of Brandon. There are several “must-haves” if a church is going to thrive, and having a staff that loves one-another is a hot contender for #1.
Just so we all understand how much these folk “get it,” this is what happened first:
- The staff showered pastor Tim with everything from gag-gifts to gift-cards for date-nights out with Kelly, along with the promise of free baby-sitting. Before one word was said about “Goodbye Rebekah,” the church staff made sure to throw 100% support and care and love behind Tim. Now that’s exceptional!
We broke bread together, we enjoyed one-another’s company, and then the staff lavished Rebekah (and me) with all kinds of generous and thoughtful gifts designed to help us with a smooth transition, and to remind us of what a large chunk of our hearts will remain in Brandon, and that the love of Jesus binds us together with ties that can never be broken.
CRITICALLY IMPORTANT: Jesus said that the key evidence of “really being my disciples” is the presence of love among his followers.
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” (John 13:34-35)
Simply put, we can’t hope to accomplish anything for the Kingdom of God unless we first love one-another with the Jesus kind of love.
“First, love God. Then, love the preacher. Finally, love the church. Love the Lord, love the preacher, love the church; in that order. That’s all you need to know.”
Well, this church staff, at FPCBrandon, have a similar approach. Their love for God shines brightly; they obviously love the preachers; and out of those two loves comes both a love for the church and a quality of ministry that is, in a word, remarkable.
If any of my readers who are not members of FPCBrandon are wondering exactly what you should expect from your leadership at church (both the church staff and the elders/deacons), expect this: expect that your leaders are always willing to grow when it comes to the admonition of Jesus to demonstrate their discipleship in terms of living out loud the Gospel of Love.
We have been, and we continue to be, truly blessed – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.