Thursday, February 20, 2014

Honoring Rod Toews

Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe… if honor, then honor.  Romans 13:7

My tenure of serving alongside Rod Toews, our current Pastor of Plus Ministry will forever be bookended by memories of conversations in my office.

Our first meeting was 15 years ago while I occupied an office over in the Student Ministries department. I was two years into my ministry here at PCC when I was told we were hiring an Executive Pastor named Rod Toews, and he was to meet with me so we could get to know each other.  First impressions are so important and mine of Rod were of an intentional man, a godly man, a man whose youthful exuberance betrayed his age.  I went home that day and told Anne I could not wait to get to know him better and be sharpened by this man!

The years that ensued did not disappoint.  I can say with all honesty, and I have told him many times, that one of the richest blessings of being at PCC is the opportunity to engage in the battle alongside Rod.  I have learned so many lessons from this great man, who, outside of PCC, carries such wonderful renown.  We joke on the staff that Rod has been doing ministry so long and has influenced so many men and women who have been greatly used by the Lord that even the 12 disciples were a part of Rod’s Youth Ministry!

A little over a month ago, Rod showed up at my current office, sat down and said, “We need to talk!”  I gulped and sat down, knowing what was coming.  He went on to tell me of a prompting Dot initially had, but he confirmed: That with the end of 2014, would come the close of his ministry here at PCC. We talked for a half hour about particulars but to be honest my mind was not engaged.  I finally voiced what was stirring within me.  “Rod, I knew this day would come, and you are at least a year early!” (We had an agreement that we would visit this reality when Rod turned 85!) “Honestly though, I cannot imagine this place without you!”

And yet the reality is that Jesus is the only indispensable Shepherd at PCC.  This is His church and it is my sense that God wants PCC to build upon the fine foundation that Rod and his team have built into the PLUS Ministry and the fabric of PCC. 
And so today I honor Rod and Dot Toews!  While their official last day will not be until the end of October, given the fact that Rod has alerted his PLUS Team, we felt the need to let the body know.  We will celebrate Rod and Dot in the fall. 

This weekend we will take a good look at what the Proverbs has to say (and it says a lot) about anger!  I look forward to gathering together this Sunday!

I love being your pastor!