Thanks – for the right reasons

Wednesday night, our youth ministry hosted our annual Thanksgiving dinner. Its where we as a youth church sit down like family and have a big meal and share what we are thankful for. It sounds kinda corny on the surface, but when people tell you “I’ve never had dinner like this before. I’m glad to have a church family like this one” the corniness quickly disappears and the reality of fellowship comes in.

After our meal, one by one people shared what they were thankful for – friends, family, church, God and the priviliges they have. It was awesome. Noone was thankful for their ipod, or Xbox 360,  or their Macbook Pro. Stuff wasn’t the center of their thanks. The God and the people closest to them were the things they were most grateful for.

Then, the leadership team began to share what they were thankful for and honestly, it shook me. It shook me because I saw the reality of a statement I read and adopted a little while ago come to fruition. The statement was: “I want the people who know me best to respect me the most.” And as our team shared their thanks, it was evident that this statement was coming true in my life. They didn’t say the typical leader stuff of “I’m grateful for their leadership and prayers”. They said stuff like “I’m thankful for not giving up on me” and “I’m thankful for the stability of our relationship”. They weren’t thankful for leadership and organizational stuff, they were thankful for personal, relational stuff.

This is the legacy I hope to leave. Not that I was a great pastor, minister or preacher. But that I was a great husband, father, mentor and friend.

Give thanks to the people who mean the most to you. It will mean more to them than you know

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