Twenty Church Member Heroes and Heroines for 2018
Thom Rainer

Thom Rainer

As we conclude this year, I want to recognize twenty church members who are incredible blessings to their churches. They were nominated by their pastors and church staff. My regret is limiting the list to twenty. I could have continued the list for many pages.

Below are each of the heroes and heroines, noted by their first names. The quote that follows is from the pastor or church staff member who made the nomination. These were my twenty finalists, but they are not in any particular order.

1. Lois, the example of hope and perseverance. “She lost her husband to a heart attack, lost two sons to cancer, and her daughter suffered brain damage due to a difficult child delivery. In every testimony service, she would stand and say, ‘Pastor, God has been so good to me!’”

2. Laura, the sacrificial servant. “She is nearly 90 years old and still sweeps the sidewalks of our church every week despite our encouragements to let someone else handle it! She’s currently in rehab from a fall, but I guarantee you she’ll pick up the broom as soon as she’s able.”

3. Ronnie, the gospel sharer. “He shares the gospel with people all the time and is my number one prayer warrior. He loves my family and has taught my son (and me) many things I knew nothing about, such as hunting, fishing, gun safety, and carpentry. Incredible encourager.”

4. George, the inviter. “He’s 85 years old and asks me to go visit with him. He’s constantly inviting people to church. He never misses a service or Sunday school class, even though he uses a cane. I wish every church member was like George.”

5. Michelle, the consummate servant. “We are currently without a secretary, and she has stepped up to make the bulletins, slides, and the usher and nursery schedules. She is not yet 30 in a church with mostly older people. She also works with kids who come on the bus.”

6. Seth, the teenage evangelist. “He began praying for friends and sharing Jesus with them. Since then, five of them have followed Jesus. He is now doing a gap year in Ethiopia working with street kids.”

7. Randy, the man without limitations. “He is on dialysis three days a week. He has had both legs and several finger tips amputated. Yet, he works circles around just about everyone else in the church with the time he does have.”

8. Saul, the sacrificial servant. “He has such a servant’s heart. He and his wife have taken both of their vacations in past summers to chaperone at youth camp. His kind and humble spirit is a blessing to our church.”

9. David, the Sunday prayer warrior. “He comes in on Sundays at the same time I do to turn on lights and make coffee. What I love is that he gives me space to get ready, then we have some great talks about life, which leads him to praying for me before anyone gets to church. Few know he does this.”

10. James, the one who puts others first. “He is 91 years old. When we introduced a blended service, he approached me after worship and said, ‘I really don’t like all that new music, but I don’t have to if we are reaching people.’”

11. Daisy, the person of joy. “She is the happiest person ever. I appreciate her, I and am always thankful for her presence and love for my family.”

12. Maggie, the encourager. “This 92-year-old lady taught me a life lesson. As a young pastor, I was struggling with members leaving our church. One day, she came into my office and cut the leaves off my plant. She said God does to churches as we do to plants: Cut off the dead foliage so the plant can live!”

13. Crystal, the forgiving grace-giver. “She started an evangelistic Bible study for girls who had harassed her daughter for her faith. Rather than shut these girls out, she engaged them with the gospel.”

14. Richard, the facility servant. “He is our go-to building and grounds persons. He cares for the church property as it truly were his own home. He does so quietly and always with a smile.”

15. Howard and Diane, the grieving victors. “They lost their son to a drowning and transformed their grief into a ministry to homeless, poor, lonely, and addicted people bent beneath the crushing load of life. They love like Jesus loves.”

16. Chad, the attorney missionary. “He is a young man and a lawyer with a job offer. Instead of taking it, he is following God’s call to South America. That is the most important thing in his life.”

17. David, the super deacon. “He is in heaven now. The best deacon ever. A rock in any situation, but more importantly, he knew I was human and just needed to relax and have fun. He worked hard at making sure I had down time. Never had anyone like him. I miss him so much!

18. Linda, the divorced pastor’s wife. “He divorced her after the birth of their disabled son. She doesn’t complain. She cobbles together part-time jobs while still volunteering with the kid’s ministry. She only has Jesus and is happy to tell anyone that’s all they need.”

19. Kristi, the devoted children’s worker. “She has served in the church nursery for more than 15 years. Always faithful, early to get there, and a hard worker, she’s had to miss two Sundays in those 15 years and made sure they were covered. She serves the babies and families and shows them God’s love.”

20. Carol, the person of powerful prayer. “The best thing she does is pray. Her prayer life is vibrant. If she said she prayed for you, she did. Many people pray, but she is a person of prayer.”

So many more. So many I left out. So many heroes. So many heroines. You church members make our churches a wonderful and serving body.

I salute all of you.

I thank all of you.

 

This article was originally published at ThomRainer.com on December 24. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer

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