This weekend was the epitome of the emotional ups and downs that come with ministry. The up was that we celebrated the retirement of Bob Knapp with our congregation after 18 years on staff as our pastor of international minstries. He has been an awesome example to all of us concerning prayer and passion for the lost. We had a special banquet for him on Thursday evening to say thanks and have many from his past (missionaries, etc.) tell he and his wife (Sandi) how much their ministry has met. That was up!
Unfortunately, we received news Thursday afternoon that a great lady and servant in our church (particularly children's ministry) had been tragically killed in a car accident. Only moments before her death she was at church washing toys in the little kidsview nursery. She was only 41. So we gathered in the conference room for prayer. Her small group surrounded her husband and kids. It has been incredibly sad to say good-bye to Beckie Lade.
Yesterday we again honored Bob in front of the congregation (Sandi was mad at me for making her come on stage with him and said I owed her a latte' from Starbucks - which I got her this morning) to say thanks. They received a standing ovation in each service...awesome. We gave them some cool gifts.
This morning i was on the same stage in front of the family and friends of Beckie weeping and saddened by her loss. I focused on the hope that we have, that Beckie had, and how that separates us from all others who face death (we all do, the mortality rate is 100% !).
there were tears and emotions with both the ups and downs of this weekend...it is emotionally draining for a pastor. Oh yeah, I also preached yesterday. So I'm tired, but content in Jesus. Now I'll heal like all good pastors do...fried chicken and potato salad prepared by our funeral meals ministry. It's a start!