This weekend we say goodbye to Derek Hills, our Senior Minister for the last 23 years as he retires. Today we had a great farewell service, followed by a tea and then an evening cabaret. Apart from a song by the Doucy homegroup one of the highlights from today was the lasting impact that can come from faithful service:
- Derek has focussed on bring unity between the churches in Tonbridge – that will have a lasting impact
- Derek has been involved in the leadership of Mainstream – investing in other church leaders – that will have a lasting impact
- Derek has led a cluster of younger ministers in our region – that will have a lasting impact
- Derek has seen hundreds come to faith in his ministry at three churches through his preaching, faithful ministry and pastoral care – that will have a lasting impact
Derek is by no means perfect, he’d be the first to admit that (and neither are any of us), but in his faithful ministry he’s signposted people to God. As Bishop Mike Hill preached today, Derek has played the part of John, acting as a conduit for the good news and truth of the gospel.
For a young Christian leader it’s interesting to see the impact Derek’s ministry has and the importance of focussing on relationships not status. Sure he used his influence to make things happen, but he wasn’t driven by being a big-name Christian leader, he was driven by seeing people come to faith.
I hope that in forty years time my ministry will show a lasting impact.