Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"Apprecia-Bill" at EFCA Now

Bill, me, and my friend Isaac at the most
 recent Allegheny District Conference
EFCA Now has published an article I've written about Bill Hamel, the retiring president of the EFCA.

It begins like this:
I’ve been an EFCA pastor now at the same church for nearly two decades, and Bill Hamel is the only EFCA president I’ve ever known. The weekend I candidated, in 1998, happened to coincide with the Allegheny District Conference in the next town over, where recently elected Bill was the main speaker. So, I got to meet the rookie president right when I was being called to be a rookie pastor. I’ve been watching him in action ever since.
A month after that first meeting, Bill was present at my graduation from TEDS; and then a month after that, I saw him at my first EFCA National Conference. And he remembered my name every single time. He’s just that kind of a guy.
I’ve kept my eye on Bill over these last 17 years and consider him a role model from afar. While he’s never sat me down and directly mentored me, I’ve learned a lot from simply observing how he pastors as he presides.
Then I list some of the qualities about Bill that I have grown to appreciate including his accessibility, humility, and discernment.

One of the paragraphs I originally wrote about Bill's humility that didn't fit in the final article was about being how Bill sees himself as a "nose tackle" in ministry:
I’ve noted Bill’s humility in his team-building, as well. Bill gathers gifted people and then gives them a platform for ministry. It would be easy for the President to take the best spots and slots at things like EFCA One, but I’ve seen Bill consistently maneuver others to the forefront and spotlight. That is a sign of strength, not weakness. I love that there is no one sole “face of the EFCA.” On a smaller scale, I have sought to develop our ministry team here so that I’m not the sole face or voice of Lanse Free Church. It’s not easy, but Bill has provided an good example. I’ve heard him liken his role to that of a nose-tackle in football. I don’t know much about football, but from what I understand, it means that he doesn’t get much of the glory (like a quarterback might) and that he takes the brunt of most of the hits for the team, but he does it for the good of the whole team. Humility.
Read the whole thing.