Sunday, June 21, 2015

Lunch with Kent Hughes

In 2015, Calvary Memorial Church marks its centenary. We celebrated this milestone with four days of events stretching from last Wednesday to today. Wednesday was a special worship service, Worship Through The Ages, with a message from our most recent former senior pastor, Dr. Ray Pritchard. Friday evening was a celebration program and reception. Saturday morning we hosted a 5k to raise funds for our outreach ministries. And today after services we had an all-church cookout. It was a very full and very successful time of celebration. Four very different events, but all centered on the theme of celebrating 100 Years of Making Jesus Christ Known in Oak Park & Around the World.

I think the most significant part of the last few days for me was not at one of the events, but at lunch on Friday. For Friday evening's program, our senior pastor, Todd Wilson, invited his mentor and former senior pastor, Dr. R. Kent Hughes (author and senior pastor emeritus of College Church in Wheaton), to give the charge to the church. Todd and five other Calvary pastors and directors and I had lunch with Dr. Hughes earlier in the day.

Dr. Kent Hughes (center) at lunch with Calvary pastors

Led by Todd, we all picked his brain over the meal. I mostly listened, because it was a special treat for me to just hear what he had to say about leadership and ministry. I found what he had to say valuable and wholly applicable to my service in the local church but also to my work in arts management, teaching, and many other pursuits, both current and desired.

There are three pieces of wisdom in particular I would like to highlight here.

1. God made you to be you, so live your passions

2. Hire people superior to you.

I would generalize this to simply surround yourself with people superior to you, for situations where one is in leadership but not necessarily an employer

3. Take your ministry seriously; don't take yourself too seriously

Again, I would generalize that to say take your calling or profession or work seriously; don't take yourself too seriously.

It was a really great conversation with this elder statesman of the evangelical church, and a privilege to have Dr. Hughes for our celebration this weekend.

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