Monday, June 02, 2008

I Want to Be a Window

Yesterday we surprised our worship pastor with a celebration of his 25-year anniversary of faithful ministry at our church. It was such a fun day! It's very hard to surprise a worship pastor because he's so involved in every aspect of the worship service. Let's just say there was a lot of "sanctified sneakiness" going on over the course of the last few weeks. :) The best part is that it was all very God-honoring - it was as much a celebration of God's faithfulness as it was a celebration of Todd's ministry. Here are some of the fun surprises we had for him:
  • We brought in his out-of-town family.
  • A good friend of his from college (Daryle Worley) was brought in to preach the morning worship service.
  • The church participated in a financial love gift for his family (over and above our regular giving).
  • The elders/deacons gave him a 7-week sabbatical and a separate financial gift for some work they need to do on their house.
  • We solicited letters of affirmation from those who served with him and some of his mentors/colleagues, both from within our church and outside, and put them in a scrapbook for him. (This project is ongoing as we receive additional letters.)
  • We have a 7-member singing ensemble called Poiema that he has organized/participated in over the years. They sang and even surprised him by bringing in a former member of the group who is no longer at our church.
  • We had a multimedia presentation that reviewed his 25 years at our church.
  • One of our members wrote a song for him, which capped off the evening worship service. It was called "The Singer and the Songs" but it was so appropriate because it pointed toward the "Giver of the Songs" rather than to Todd himself.
  • We had a reception after the evening service that highlighted several aspects of his ministry and life.
As you can see, it took a lot of people to pull this off. It's so neat to see the body working together to bless someone who blesses all of us every week. I think Pastor Worley summed it up beautifully in his sermon. (I'll have to paraphrase because I don't think the sermon is online yet.) He said there are 3 types of people:
  • Showcases - Those who spend their time showcasing their own talents or abilities and trying to glorify themselves.
  • Mirrors - Those who are always praising people around them and giving the glory to other men.
  • Windows - Those whom you look through their lives and see the grace of God. They are always pointing others to glorify God and not themselves.

Todd's life and ministry is a window which gives a clear, unobstructed view of God's grace.

May we all be windows.


Gina said...

Oh to be a window. I missed the sermon thanks to a fussy baby who wanted to nuse and the fact that the sermon feed was turned down in the nursing room. :( How long is his family supposed to be here, do you know?

Jennifer said...

I'm not sure. I think some of them may have already gone home. I would highly recommend listening to the sermon online. It was really good.

Krista said...

Ohhhh...Wanda had emailed me a while back about us contributing a letter! I feel horrible!!! Who should we send the letter to now?

Jennifer said...

You can send that to me. I've got some others I've got to format and print for him anyway.

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