Thankful Pastors Produce Thankful Christians

Thanksgiving is more than a holiday. It’s a mindset, a heart attitude, and an essential spiritual discipline for every Christian. It feeds our spiritual growth and leads to a deeper experience of God’s peace. But how can we weave thankfulness into the fabric of pastoral ministry? How can we as pastors help our flock to grow in thankfulness so that, as individuals, our minds may be less anxious and, as congregations, our churches may model a thankful spirit to a world characterized by complaining?

In his pastoral letter to the Colossians, the apostle answers these questions by both example and instruction. Seven times in his brief letter, Paul brings thanksgiving to the reader’s mind. Thus, we see that to cultivate thankfulness is one of the Holy Spirit’s priorities for us and our ministry. However, Paul’s direction differs from a simple “Think positive!” message in that he roots God’s call to thanksgiving in the soil of our new life in Christ. Grounding gratitude in every believer’s union with Christ is a key from which we gain four practical applications for our pastoral ministry. Continue reading…

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