I love being part of the NFC pastoral team. What a wonderful group of people to partner with and learn from in ministry! I often have the chance to observe them in action and want to brag on them a bit. I know bragging is not something we normally are encouraged to do, but I just can’t help it—these are amazing folks! Here are a few experiences that I offer to you.
I am encouraged by:
1 — Watching Eric as he worked with a team of people to honor and affirm our graduates at Senior Salute. He lived out love as he cared for these young adults and families. Being a parent of a graduate gave me new eyes of appreciation for his ministry among us – teaching, planning, encouraging, working with volunteers, creating a safe space for youth. Eric is an amazing youth pastor.
2 — Getting regular updates from Cindy as she connects with so many senior adults in the community. I am constantly encouraged as she finds ways to listen, meet needs, and care for people—“her people,” as she says it. This is not just a saying for her but is true that “her people” really matter. She is a blessing.
3 — Observing Michelle’s heart for children though the incredible gift of VBS. I spent some time helping with registration on the first day and love the mix of organization and compassion that she has. Getting down on the level of kids to look them in the eye and say, “you matter…God loves you” just flows from her heart. She is a living example of hope among us all.
4 — Witnessing the countless hours Denise puts into so many behind-the-scenes actions that provide a solid foundation for ministry. She is so gifted in not only being able to “crunch the numbers” but also in being a warm and receptive presence when people call or drop by the office. I rely on her as a deep pool of wisdom in regard to so many areas, such as “who is connected to whom” around here.
5 — Enjoying the talents and gifts of Sherry as she knits words, phrases, and concepts together into a beautiful tapestry. You would not be reading this right now without Sherry. I cannot communicate fully the life of service and hard work she offers. “How can I help out?” is the phrase that comes flowing freely from her mouth and heart. Her heart is then connected with a keen mind, agile hands, and discerning eyes that create quality and thoughtful results. She is incredible!
6 — Being moved by the corporate worship experiences that Mauri is involved in leading and facilitating. He is a remarkable musician and worship pastor, yet he is also open and willing to invite others into the process of leadership in our community. Recently I was so blessed to see Mauri on the back pew as Nolan, Rusty, Jon, and Josh led on a Sunday morning. His heart to be a supportive presence shines clear.
7 — Benefiting from Elizabeth as she has taken the lead role these past several weeks. Her sensitivity to the Spirit and ability to hear the direction of God is such a gift to us all. I have not only appreciated this during our team meetings, but also in a meeting for clearness, business meetings, and inspired preaching. God has gifted her and I am so glad she has been called to use these gifts here at NFC.
8 — Celebrating with Gregg the gift of these months of sabbatical. I know this is not only good for him but also for our community as he is able to take time to rest and rejuvenate. I have had some “Gregg sightings” lately, and God is using this season for good in his life. I join his heart and desire for this to be a time from which he can emerge rested and ready to serve God at NFC for many years to come.
I know this pastoral team is part of a broader team of ministers in the NFC community. We are all ministers in the body of Christ. Maybe you can watch for opportunities to brag on someone else and be a voice of encouragement as you call out the specific ways they are open to the work of God in life. I love this team and love being a part of the NFC community as well. God is up to some good things in and through us all.