"He had time for everyone." That sums up the ministry of our former pastoral assistant, John Pope.
Pastor Pope retired at the end of 2014 (Retired, of course, is a loose word among pastors. Really, what pastor ever fully retires?).
His ministry at Life in Christ, serving primarily in the care ministry of our church, lasted about six years.
In that time, Pastor Pope made hundreds of visits - to residences, hospital rooms, hospice facilities and rehab centers.
Our people valued the time they had with Pastor Pope.
That was the gift he gave them - time.
I appreciated the fact that Pastor Pope never seemed to be in a hurry. Oh, he was effective and he got things done. But he did his work in such a way that left people feeling like he had all the time in the world - for them.
If you needed a minute of Pastor Pope's time, he gave you five. If you needed an hour, he gave you every bit of that and more.
Our people found him to be a very good listener. They also relied on his wisdom and good common sense.
And they appreciated the fact that he kept pointing them to Jesus - for peace, for hope, for salvation.
He was (and is) a very effective pastor.
But mostly people appreciated the fact that Pastor Pope had time for them.
That is the best compliment a pastor can receive.