Dear Paramount Church:

On behalf of the pastors, I say thank you for the generous expression of honor shown us during Pastor Appreciation Month. We give thanks to God for you and His kindness to our church over these eight years and running. And we pray for many, many more years together.

This year took the challenges of local church ministry and leadership to a “whole ‘nother level.” In some ways 2020 has felt like the bursting of a giant sore. Over months and years previous, it grew with swelling pressure and then: “POP!” We were all thrust into an unexpected and sticky mess. And yet, our unchanging God remained unchanging–His sovereignty still sovereign, His wisdom still wise, His goodness still good, His grace still enough.

But as we all know, the all-sufficiency of our God doesn’t remove the difficulties, disappointments, and losses of 2020. And yet, it makes all the difference. Like all churches, Paramount felt the mounting pressures and challenges and discouragement of the year, and I’m sure no one felt them more than the pastors.

God has used the persistent encouragements and patience of faithful Christians to sustain the Church and her shepherds. Our church has been an example of this. Even today, the Lord has placed us in a grand situation–of enjoyments, challenges, and disappointments–to give our church an opportunity to prove the calming, loving, creative, and persevering influence of grace.

The honor you’ve shown in your recent expression of appreciation is a means of grace in our lives. Thank you.

And not only a grace to us, but our families as well. Personally, I want to tell you what was most encouraging of all. Our wives and children are not fools, blind to the relentless difficulties of ministry in a flaming, raging, grumbling, viral, fallen world. While they’ve been taught not to read other’s mail, just knowing that so many people wrote out notes of encouragement to their dads and husbands floored them. In fact, while your notes encouraged me personally, I was even more comforted by the affect your notes had on them.

We know this year has been hard on everyone in our church. No one loves our church or feels her pain more than your pastors. We will continue laboring well with you, giving thanks for you, and looking to the future alongside you. Thank you for your love. We love you too.

On Behalf of the Pastors of Paramount