• Will Spink
    Senior Pastor
  • Wyketa Shipman
    Executive Assistant
  • Ron Clegg
    Associate Pastor, Discipleship
  • Shannon Clark
    Administrative Assistant
  • James Parker
    Chief Musician
  • Peter Render
    Assistant Pastor, Youth/Families
  • Christine Betts
    Assistant Director, Youth/Families
  • Ty Commons
    Youth & Families Intern
  • Kim Delchamps
    Administrative Assistant
  • Derrick Harris
    Assistant Pastor, Shepherding & Young Families
  • Angela Sierk
    Director, Children's Ministry
  • Niña Banta Cash
    Director, Nursery
  • Robert Blevins
    Director, Community Development
  • Janice Crowson
    Director, Facilities/Finance
  • Daniel Brown
    Print & Digital Media Specialist
  • General Contact
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Pastor’s Note

When “Thank You” Doesn’t Seem Sufficient Enough

Recently one of our elders asked me, “What can we be doing to help and love your family well during your transition to a new role?” As I tried to come up with a good answer, I was overwhelmed (I cry a lot more easily these days!), so full of joy and gratitude that the sincerest answer I could think of was “Keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing … for the last year and really for the last seven years!”

Southwood has loved the Spinks so well—particularly in the past few weeks—that “Thank you” hardly seems sufficient. You have prayed for us, fed us, babysat us, encouraged us, celebrated with us, listened to us, rejoiced with us, and much more … Thank you! It is such a great joy to get to serve with and share life with people who love you and your family so well, and it is a rare privilege in pastoral ministry to have the opportunity to stay (Lord willing, for many more years) with people you already love so deeply.

Our extended families noticed the love of Southwood as well when they joined us for the installation weekend. Our parents wrote their own note of thanks to you: “Your gracious hospitality was incredible, and it was so special to speak with so many of you at the service. There are few things as precious as seeing your children and grandchildren being loved by their church family. Thank you for doing that so well.”

It truly is one of those times in life when “Thank you” seems inadequate to express what you feel or to respond to the blessing you have received. We feel this desire in our hearts not merely to say something trite or write a thoughtful note but to lavish the love of Christ on each of you personally in the coming years as we have felt it from you.

This feeling we have experienced recently is a small window into the way each of us is to feel about the way our Heavenly Father has poured out his grace on us, lavished his love upon us to overflowing, rejoiced over us with singing. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ!

In fact, later this month we will enter the Easter season, where we especially remember and celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus on our behalf to deliver those rich blessings to us. We know the story so well that sometimes it can seem ordinary to us. Could it possibly be ordinary? The Son of God suffered a cruel death so that we would not only avoid eternal death but also enjoy eternal life with him. Jesus conquered death so that we can have the hope of glory in the midst of the darkness of this life. God has transformed our reality not merely for a few years of this life but for the totality of eternity!

It is certainly one of those times when “Thank you” hardly seems sufficient. I hope for you it is a blessing that causes you to want to respond with years—yes, even a lifetime—of love for God and love for neighbor that can never quite seem to share enough the lavish love you have received. There are so many who need to know and experience the gracious love of our Savior, and Jesus tells us that the way we can best respond to his love for us is by loving others with hearts of gratitude for what He has done for us.

Dear friends, thank you for sharing our excitement over Southwood’s new senior pastor. Might our joy over that always pale in comparison to our joy over Southwood’s risen Savior!