Elwood First Church of the Nazarene
Sunday July 17th, 2022 Pastor Matt Mehlhoff

“Thank You Sunday”

Acts 20:17-21, 28-32

What has been the hardest goodbye you have had to say?

When Dan asked us that question in Sunday school, our scripture was Acts 20. In that passage, Paul is saying goodbye. We are going to look at that passage again today to help me say goodbye.

Since it is our last Sunday, I want to spend today not giving a sermon per se. Rather, I want to say thank you. I do want to read a passage of scripture about Paul saying goodbye to help me do the same. 

Acts 20:17-21 & 28-32ESV

We will start back in 2018 when this young whipper-snapper of a pastor felt God’s leading to come to Elwood Naz. I followed that call and was installed as pastor on March 11th, 2018.

I did a lot of learning about how to preach and write a sermon.

In 2019, we started by looking at a vision for our church. We said that we wanted to reach 100 people with the warmth of Jesus’s love in five years.

We figured out that we had impacted close to fifteen kids in 2019 (I believe it was).

Of course, then the Covid pandemic shut down everything. How we responded during this time made me very proud of our church. We adjusted quite quickly.

Throughout 2021 and so far this year, we have shared Jesus’s love with a couple of families. A couple of families have asked us to help them through losing a loved one.

As Dan has told me many times, we have been making progress and it’s easy to be discouraged, but be encouraged! We have been sharing Jesus’s love with our communities. 

Since it is my last Sunday here, I want to say thank you to this church. I want to start by saying thank you to the leadership team. As well as, some personal thank you’s.

Finally, I want to thank everyone that is in this church family. We have always felt loved by you.

Even today, I want to ask: What does Jesus want? I think Jesus wants us to continue on and to pay careful attention to ourselves and all the flock. 

Take care of each other.

Continue sharing Jesus’s love.

Continue to pray.

Why am I supposed to continue on? God is not done working through this church or you. 

How am I supposed to continue on? Don’t stop praying. 

As Paul did, I “commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among those who are sanctified.”

Today, we looked at where we have been. We accomplished quite a bit in the four years that I have been here. Thank you, to each of you for everything you have done and are doing for this church. Thank you, for being faithful to Jesus and sharing His love. 

We are to continue on by taking care of each other and praying. God is not done with this church. He still wants to use you for sharing His love in this community. Don’t stop praying. Continue to be in Jesus’s presence and let Him lead you. As I say at every board meeting, I am excited about what God is doing in this church and what He is going to do!

1 Corinthians 15:58ESV