Dear Church Family,
I have lived several different places and my family has done our fair share of church hunting. I will be the first to tell you, there is no other church greater than you. Not even close. I doubt I’ll ever find another group of leaders who are more fervent about following Christ and living so passionately for Him. I will be honest. I have taken you for granted; I have complained; there were some days I didn’t want to come, but those days were few and far between. You are the reason I am who I am today, because you allowed Christ to work through you and, a direct result, facilitated the impact on my life and the greater relationship I now have with God. With a heavy heart I am leaving you for college and will have a new body of believers waiting for me at another church, but here is what I would like to thank you for:
Greater Teaching of the Word
Thank you for always teaching straight from God’s word. You always remembered that God’s Word is greater than any clever series you might take credit for from your own wisdom. Your sermons were crafted in adoration and reverence for God’s Word, and that’s how it should always be. You have taught me to rely on what God has said rather than what any human could try to muster up.
Greater Mobilization for Missions
Thank you for teaching me the importance of living on mission. Whether I was serving with you in a third world country, a huge city, or right at home, it was never different. You always showed me everyone needs the love of Christ and to hear the gospel no matter when or where. You taught me that my school is the biggest mission field I have right now in my life. You supported me when I felt called to go all the way across the world. You showed me what sacrifice really is when you moved to another country permanently to be missionaries. You always showed me how to live sent, and you never hesitated to send people who had been called. Through you, I was able to see God’s work is far greater throughout the world than I could ever have imagined.
Greater Encouragement to Utilize my Gifts
Thank you for encouraging me to use my talents in an even greater way than for myself: to glorify God. Whether it was academics or music, sports or design, you always looked for ways I could use the things God gifted me with to help my church family. You gave me chances to build my confidence in my abilities and I always felt like I could use whatever God gifted me with to serve others.
Greater Passion for Purity
Thank you for teaching me the importance of purity. It seems like an untouchable subject within some churches but you were never afraid to explain why God calls us to a life of purity. You were never ashamed of preaching about it, and because of that, I am living a greater and more fulfilling life focused on Christ. You took time out of your busy schedules to have a weekend to sit-down with a bunch of crazy teenagers and pour out your hearts to us about the beautiful picture of marriage God intended for us and why waiting on God’s timing is so important.
Greater Importance of Retreats
Thank you for all of the crazy retreats and game nights. I made some of the greatest memories in my life on buses and in random cities. I know my God deeper because of the nights under the stars and the convicting nighttime sermon sessions, because of the countless hours of fellowship and the amazing adults who poured into me.
Thank you for some of the best friends I will ever have. You have seen me through the greater parts of my life and the not so great parts; but, no matter what, you were always there for me. You did life with me and encouraged me beyond what I could’ve ever imagined. You taught me how to follow Christ through living for Him and you’ll never know the impact you had on me. You are the reason for so many laughs and joy. I couldn’t have made it through the years without you all.
Thank you for taking time out of your crazy schedules to show me what it means to know and love Jesus. So many of you sat down with me for lunch or after a Wednesday night to listen to me and to pour into me, and I learned some of the greatest lessons of my life from you. You’ve seen me at my darkest and you never turned away. I can’t thank you enough. Your truth you spoke into my life will be forever written on my heart.
Thank you for being different. My life is so much greater because of God’s work through you as my Mill family. Thank you for loving unconditionally. Thank you for teaching me to live a life of worship. Thank you for showing me what a life of prayer is like. Thank you for not trying to be “cool” and water down the gospel to make us feel comfortable. Thank you for caring so deeply and loving so crazily. Thank you for putting Christ before everyone and everything.
I have truly and deeply experienced Christ’s love through you.
I will miss you so dearly.