For the past 10 weeks, I’ve had almost daily contact with pastors and church staff members. We converse through phone calls and video chats, Zoom and Skype, email and instant messaging. I’ve joined them on live streamed or recorded worship services, devotions and Bible studies.
After this interaction, the Bible verse that best captures how I feel is 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3:
“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (ESV)
This passage describes our churches workers today because they are willingly…
- Supporting decisions that go against their values, because the decisions protect their congregations and communities
- Setting aside personal concerns or fears because their congregations need support and stability in the pandemic
- Learning new skills for which the previously had no interest or experience
- Providing consistent care and comfort despite their own feelings of disconnectedness or isolation
- Creating new devotions and Bible studies, delivered in new ways, for the sake of God’s people
This experience is deepening my appreciation for our church workers. To our church workers: Thank you. Whether pastors or school educators, commissioned church workers or administrative staff, your service under such difficult conditions is appreciated.
Throughout this pandemic, I have encouraged church workers to ensure congregational members receive regular, personal contact from their churches. Today, I’m pivoting. Congregational members, please find ways to thank your church staff for their service during the pandemic. It is not something they expect, but it would be appreciated.
This request is aligned with 1 Thessalonians 5:12–13:
“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.” (ESV)