This sermon was given by Rev. Brian Dainsberg at Appleton Alliance Church on Jul. 31, 2016.
What an incredible ride! It has been an absolute joy to be a part of Appleton Alliance Church. By God’s grace, I have been able to witness some amazing things: people hearing the gospel and responding in faith, people experiencing freedom from various addictive sins, marriages restored, God’s unconditional love felt amidst our messes, and much more. Not every pastor gets to be a part of something like this and I am grateful to God for it.
As I move on to the next chapter of ministry, I want to express my gratitude to you for the part you played in my life and ministry. So many of you have been an encouragement to me and my family. The default position of the human heart is to be critical, but so many of you resisted that and were, instead, refreshing to my soul. You showered us with energizing words, sacrificial acts of service, and generous gifts. Thank you!
Thank you also for your patience. I went back and listened to one of my earliest sermons I preached here in 2006…Yikes!! I can’t believe you endured that! Thank you for being so patient and gracious as you listened to some pretty terrible preaching from me.
Thank you to all the volunteers in Discovery Land who poured into my kids. We have had countless conversations on the car ride home from Awana or Bringing the Bible to Life where my kids retell us what they learned. You got through to them more than you realize.
Thank you to the students in Uncharted! Your level of engagement was stellar and that made it an absolute joy to teach.
Thank you, Pastor Dan Dinkler, for hiring me in 2004! Thank you for mentoring me, coaching me, and for being a great colleague and friend.
Thank you, Pastor Dennis, for taking a chance in 2008 on a 29 year-old to oversee the adult ministries of a church of 3000. Thank you for taking a chance on a 33 year-old to be AAC’s Executive Pastor. Three things I’ll always remember: the leadership and vision principles I’ve learned from you; your Italian “way” and countless stories; and most of all, you and Judy visiting me, my wife, and daughter in the hospital after their car accident. I will never forget that!
Thank you, AAC staff, for the camaraderie, countless ministries well-executed, and the laughter shared throughout the journey. You are a fantastic team!
Being part of the body of Christ means we never really have to say “good-bye.” So, instead, I say “farewell for now.” Keep in mind these words from Hebrews: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” (12:1)
(For those of you wondering, I will continue to blog right here at briandainsberg.com…thanks for reading!)