One of the greatest sources of blessing in my life is family. I love the family that Kristin and I are growing. I'm super thankful for the way my parents led my family growing up. And I'm thankful for each of their parents, too. I could write a book for any of my grandparents, but I've just spent the past 48 hours with my Grandpa Wiersbe, whose dedication to God serves as an example for me in all the right ways.
My grandpa is a rockstar, honestly. He pastored a few churches, starting when he was a seminary student. He's written scores of books, well over 100. As I left his house today, he handed me two new books he published this year... TWO! I hear him quoted in sermons all the time. He's been on the radio nationwide, and internationally. When I meet influential pastors, they tell me epic stories about him. And, on top of that, if you asked me to name the most humble man I know, it's unquestionably him.
So yeah, I'm proud of my grandpa in a childish "my grandpa is cooler than your grandpa" sort of way. But I'm also sincerely thankful that I can look up to his example instead of having to learn from him "what not to do."
Just a few things I've picked up from him over my last visit...
The most important part of your ministry is the part nobody sees.
This morning I was up way too early to catch a flight back to Chicago, and on my way to the bathroom I noticed he was at his desk in his office reading the Bible and praying. Nobody sees this. But when you ask him the rhythm of his life, it begins like this every day. And this isn't a "I have to say this to get this part out of the way" type thing. It's the bedrock and solid foundation of the Christian life, from which flows all ministry and relationships.
Pastors are first and foremost servants.
I've suspected this forever, but it's encouraging to hear someone say this and mean it. Too many of us pastors are divas, drivers, or dictators. Enough said.
Ministry never ends... in a good way.
He made the off-hand comment that his greatest joy today is knowing that "his clan" is all over the world making an impact. He has mentored friends and pastors who are preaching Jesus locally, nationally, and globally. He's coached so many people personally, and is itching for opportunities to do more of this.
Money is the wrong motivator.
As a part of his desire to serve and mentor pastors, I set up a video conference call between him and some of our Bethel pastors. He was so blown away by the technology and mentioned that some people were encouraging him to start an online coaching ministry which he could use to make more money. And when he said that, he rolled his eyes and said, "As if that was ever a motive for ministry..." Then he added, "What ever happened to simply serving Jesus and helping people?"
But what currently struck me as encouraging and comforting was this...
Praying, Waiting, and Caring
"All your problems get solved when you pray, wait, and care for people."