When it came time for Ken to speak I wondered what he would emphasize. It is always difficult identifying what really matters - especially over 18 packed years. He singled out two issues:
- he thanked his staff for the great team they have been over the years. I guess this was an obvious point but the warm team relationships have been very evident.
- battered pastors. He said some of his most powerful memories were of some pastors in the CECL program (Center for Excellence in Congregational Leadership). These pastors were nearly at the end, beaten down by lay leaders who opposed and bullied them. Yet, when the lay-leaders themselves came to Green Lake for a week's training he witnessed wonderful transformations. One of the leaders came up to him and said: "Oh, I now see how I should be supporting my pastor. I go back a different person!"
It's interesting what stayed in his mind after all these years of high-profile service. Helping beaten-down pastors. How many such pastors are there? I guess some may deserve opposition! But I have been made aware twice in these last ten days of two situations where dedicated pastors are in situations of deep resistance. I know it's a big subject but I can still hear the anguish in Ken's voice. This is a concern for anguish, isn't it?