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Cover 51


September 2013

Do You Have
Sticky Faith?


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One to One


one to one: Lessons about life, ministry, and grandkids

by Keith Burden, Executive Secretary, National Association of Free Will Baptists


It’s the “Creature”

Her name was Jessica. She was a red-haired kindergartener with an abundance of freckles and thick-lens glasses. As I recall, this indomitable little girl first came to church with her older sister. Her sister and her husband had recently come to faith in Christ.

Shortly after the couple’s conversion and baptism, we began meeting weekly for Bible study. As a result of working together so closely, we forged a strong, personal friendship. In time, they came to refer to me affectionately as “the preacher.”

Jessica’s mother was not a believer. In fact, she was far from it. Sensing a serious lack of religious training and positive spiritual influence in her life, Jessica’s sister brought Jessica to church faithfully. Frankly, at times I wondered if church had any impact on this little girl.

That question was forever settled a short time later. One Sunday before morning worship, I was standing at the front of the sanctuary. Suddenly that little, pig-tailed bundle of energy burst through the back doors and proceeded to run down the center aisle.

When she reached the halfway point, she saw me and came to a screeching halt. Turning to her older sister (who was in hot pursuit), she pointed in my direction and yelled at the top of her voice, “Look! It’s the…creature” (a.k.a. preacher). To this day I wear that title as a badge of honor.

In the fall of each year, churches across America honor pastors by observing a day of appreciation (Pastor Appreciation Day). These special days can be something as simple as a service to recognize your pastor for his ministry to your congregation, a thank you meal, or personal notes of gratitude with gift cards to his favorite restaurant. Or, it could be something as elaborate as an all-expenses paid getaway for him and his wife or a surprise upgrade of his personal automobile. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Perhaps your church has never observed Pastor Appreciation Day. If so, don’t let that be a deterrent. If you take the initiative, others in the church will welcome the opportunity to join in the effort.

Many pastors labor in relative obscurity. They seldom receive words of commendation or expressions of appreciation. Doing so will be a great encouragement to him and could possibly reenergize his ministry.

Thank God for those who shepherd the flock of God and faithfully minister His Word. Don’t assume they know you appreciate them—show it in some tangible way. Let’s follow the admonition of the Apostle Paul, “And esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake” (1 Thessalonians 5:13).


About the Column

One to One is a regular feature of ONE Magazine. Written by Keith Burden, executive secretary of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, the column explores life, ministry...and the joys of grandchildren.


©2012 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists