Yesterday, I toasted to the scholars, today it’s pastors … after reading the Biography of John Wimber, “The Way it Was” by Carol Wimber, I could understand how this humble man impacted so many especially in the Vineyard. I’ve always liked Wimber’s balance in approaching Signs & Wonders topic and the gentle spirit he brought to worship renewal. The book helped me see another part of the man, his family, his marriage, his local church leadership as well as other ups and downs that comes with gaining some prominence in the “Christian world.” His final years where he battled with cancer and ill health just moved me to tears. Being a pastor really isn’t just about what happenes before the public eye, what’s hidden from the people is crucial as well. Who we are and how we respond to situations is a life message that’s goes beyond our speaking and public ministy.
David Watson was another one that impacted me especially after I reads his two autobiographies “You are my God” and “Fear no Evil”, interestingly he and Wimber apparently were good friends. I learnt about his openness to see Spirit-empowered renewal in his mainline Anglican church and vulnerability especially in his battle with cancer. My acquaintance with both the above are merely through books, their writings and what others say about them.
But Robert Brow is different, there were real contact between us. I can say that this gentle pastor-theologian was an important anchor, encourager and guide to me especially when I was so disillusioned with ministry and my theology. His book co-authored with Clark Pinnock “Unbounded Love” opened up possibilities in my heart and mind. But it was the email exchanges were life-giving dosages that I really needed in my darkest hours (as I felt it then). Thanks for being my pastor.
Todd Hunter just blew my mind when he stepped down from a denominational leadership position to “embark on a journey” in the formation of missional communities. His blog is one site I check almost daily to see what’s stirrring in him. He’s really courageous IMHO in terms of ministry but even more so to try to work though issues theologically. I enjoyed our telephone conversations tremendously they moved me forward.
As for Brian D. McLaren, I’ve just emailed him once, but devoured everything he’s written since reading “Reinventing the church”, his two other books “A New Kind of Christian” & “The Story We Find Ourselves In” just rocks me up and settles me down at the same time. again, humility, creativity, and genuine spirituality mark these men. I consider all the above kind of like my examples or mentors.
As for my peers, Timothy Loh is one amazing person whose friendship I treasure, and we can share freely. He is just a fantastic “juggler” who’s able to juggle family, a full-time job, and pastoring an Independent church (makes me feel what I’m doing is such a luxury).
Augustin Muthusami helped me get my first A in my systematic theology paper. Like me, we both work in a denominational setting. I admire his Rhino-skin hide when it comes to surviving in a mainline church and his quiet sense of humor and genuine expression of humanity.
And I think one more for now Victor Wong , he never ceases to challenge me with his passion in serving as a pastor, his administrative skills and strategic focus is one I wish to emulate. But, what I appreciate most is his big heart for Kingdom ministry and advancement and not buidling his own empire. So to all you men of God, who have in one way of another blessed me and are still blessing me … cheers!