"Adding Value"

Last week, Monique and I made a trip to Omaha, Nebraska to celebrate with a close friend his retirement from active ministry. It was the second time I had been in this city on the Missouri River in five months. The first occasion was to bring a funeral message for a close friend and former staff associate who had a sudden and untimely passing in April. This time, the reason was celebrative and affirming. Dr. Tim Johnson and I served together in Southwest Houston for five years until he was called to his first pastorate in North Texas.

The Johnson's and Keppler's at
Tim's Retirement Party, Omaha, NE

I had been the lead pastor and Tim was one of our associates. His specific assignment was youth and music, but he served in all areas of pastoral ministry as needed. Tim immediately became an invaluable partner in ministry during our years of service together. He made me a better pastor! I never questioned his loyalty, work ethic, or competency in service. He gave 100% effort to the ministries under his charge.

When Tim was not discipling the youth and taking them near and far for activities, he was navigating the responsibilities of worship planning each week. We had some “competing personalities” in the choir and some difficult persons in the congregation. It was “all hands-on deck” sometimes just managing all the issues. Tim stood in the ready to help soothe the wounded egos. Everyone loved and respected him!

I was the first who spoke the other night, and said in summary, "Tim has added value to anyone and everything he has encountered." What does it mean to add value to someone or something? John Maxwell, an esteemed leadership guru of our day, says, “Adding value… is the enrichment of people’s quality of life. It is the expansion of their life purpose and capabilities. People-development is life-changing for everyone involved.” (Developing the Leaders Around You, pp. 171-2). That is what I heard others say about Tim. He develops and makes us better!

Here are some of the words that close friends and family members spoke as words of affirmation during the retirement party – Tim is an encourager, mentor, disciple-maker, diligent student of God’s Word, loyal, always available, friendly to everyone, believes in others, inspires to be better, blessed husband and father, strong and generous, and affectionately nicknamed by the beloved grands, “Thor!” ๐Ÿ˜Š

I have had the privilege of recommending Tim to each of the three pastorates he has served for these last thirty-three years. We have remained close friends no matter how far the distance between our churches. Today, I can say that Tim is the same guy he has always been. He is a servant pastor-leader who has never expected others to work harder than he does! And you could not keep up with him if you tried!

Karron, Tim’s beloved wife, gets a huge amount of credit for what Tim has become and accomplished too! She has stood faithfully by his side for the marital, family, and ministry blessings in all these years they have journeyed together in Christ. Last month, Tim officially retired after twenty-two years as pastor of the New Covenant Church in Lincoln. It was an untimely decision necessitated by some serious issues that Tim is facing with his health.

Tim has often encouraged his churches and friends with this hopeful saying over the years, “The best is yet to be!” His friends turned this phrase back to him the other night at the end of the party. It spontaneously brought the more than one-hundred guests present to their feet with cheers and applause! Tim and Karron, you have our best wishes for this next chapter! May God bless you both with His absolute best!

I always appreciate how Eugene Peterson freshens a verse from Scripture. Here is another one related to life-time service. I share the words of the Apostle Paul in tribute to each of my good friends who continue to serve in the new chapter of retirement, “This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting – God’s applause!” (2 Timothy 4:7). 

Let's be "value adding" leaders in our families, communities and churches!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com



Comments

  1. All you said was( is ) true and I love all of you dearly๐Ÿ™❤️๐ŸŒน๐Ÿ‘

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a blessing to have our good and faithful pastors

    ReplyDelete

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