In the post on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, I reflected on the way we sometimes over-glamorize the rock star preacher at the expense of the everyday — hardworking guy that makes it happen (or gives it his best shot) in nearly 80% of our churches here in America.
Since writing that I attended the funeral service for one of my mother’s dear friends. Twila was 87 years old. She had attended my home congregation for entire 87 years — being carried there as a baby by her mother. She and her husband Wilbur spent 67 years together in that church. Some of them as the custodians, all of them as faithful workers, volunteers, teachers, disciple-makers.
They raised three sons in that church. The youngest was part of a “gang of three” which included myself and another boy from the church. Our trio worked our way through many SS teachers, VBS teachers, and youth ministers.
Myself, Dave, and Fred. Fred and I eventually went into full-time ministry work. Fred has since gone on to be his Lord. Dave became a CPA, but continues to have a ministry of active service in his church home along with his wife.
During the service and the meal following I heard (and told) many stories about Johnson family memories. A great many of them linked back to the church, church events, and/or church people.
When we meet Jesus we expect to hear “Well done, Good and Faithful Servant”.
During this service those words kept coming to me. Sitting a few rows behind Wilbur, his sons and their wives, and the grandchildren…… I found myself whispering — Well done, Twila. Well done.
Across the nation there are a multitude of unsung heroes and heroines serving silently and faithfully in the church and their community. They are the ones who really are the church. They make it all happen day in and day out. Sometimes late into the night. Sometimes in the early morning hours. Always with the church as priority number one.
They are the hands, feet, eyes, ears, and mouth of Jesus where they live and work.
Well Done, Twila. Well Done.
Enter into your rest and enjoy the presence of God.