“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7
It is a miracle when sinners lead sinners to Christ and when sinners are thankful for that kind of leadership. God is good to us as our Shepherd in the wise employment of undershepherds for the ministry of the Word and leadership in life. The author of Hebrews exhorts us to remember our leaders because we would be on hard times if we didn’t!
Over the past several months, I have had the distinct pleasure of collaborating among a group of ten men to honor our hero in the Christian faith. In honor of 30 years of pastoral ministry, we decided to surprise him with a meal.
So, a few weeks ago Drew and I invited Pastor Dyer out for dinner. I suggested Stoney River. Dyer suggested Cracker Barrel. Then I told him we were going to Stoney River. He folded.
Preparing for what he believed to be a nice meal with the Hunter boys and his son in law, Aaron, Dyer considered what he might say to these three of his Timothys. This past Friday night he arrived at Stoney River to meet a group twice the size he expected – representing a group twice the size that greeted him. We shared a memorable meal of and concluded our feast by presenting Dyer with a gift – a compilation of sermons preached and papers written by nine men into whose lives Dyer has poured his own. Each work was introduced with a dedication and a mug shot. This gift serves as a representation of the various places that his Timothys are serving.
In attendance were Aaron Wojnicki, Trent Hunter, Drew Hunter, Matt Zellars, Tim Kirk and Lance Kohler. Those who were unable to attend but who were involved with the project were Vaughn Kohler, Tim Dyer, Dave Dyer and Jeff McMillen.
Here’s what he shared,
As I reflect on these past years, the greatest reward from pastoral ministry is not in building church but in building disciples. Jesus has called us to make disciples. You are my reward (joy and crown). I have no greater joy than knowing that you are walking in the truth. I love each of you as a son in the faith. My greatest sense of accomplishment in my thirty years of ministry comes from the investment that God has allowed me to make in you and others like you who could not be here.
We each have a short piece of the Great Race to run; our moment when the batton is passed to us and it is our turn to run. I want you to know that in whatever ministry God places you as you pick up that batton and run the race that I am in the stands cheering you on. I will rejoice in your every success and stand with you in your moments of greatest challenge and disappointment. Each of you is uniquely gifted and called to different callings. I am proud of each of you and of all that God will yet do in and through you to his glory!
As for me, I am not discouraged as I leave 30 years of pastoral service. I am not defeated, I am merely re-deployed into a new field of service. I have much that I want to do for God’s kingdom in my remaining years, by His grace.
Visit our flickr page for photos from the evening.
If you were there, feel free to post a comment in reflection on the evening!