If you don’t recognize this phrase, you probably didn’t hear JI Packer teach. When I first heard it, I felt inspired to “finish well,” leave a testimony and to harden my shoulders for those who may stand on what I leave behind. It was a powerful emotional appeal to me.
I am in the San Diego airport waiting for my flight home. I have enjoyed a weekend with old friends (if you count 60s as old) who were all influential leaders of renewal / charismatic / Vineyard type churches in Vancouver 30 years ago.
Of the six Christian leaders there have been many changes over the decades, some of them traumatic:
- 5 continue as Christ-followers though most less “sure” than they were
- 3 are published and some with several books and articles
- 2 still attend church and still pray and worship with heart and meaning
- 4 are mad at God mostly and with the church as well
- 3 have been divorced and 1 is still grieving after 7 years though he instigated the divorce
- 3 have disabled children and this has profoundly affected their lives
- 4 have children that continue in the faith
- 5 read theological books and connect with God by digging into them
- 6 would go to a church if it was relevant to their lives (“not stupid”)
- 4 have graduate degrees and 3 have doctorates
- 6 want a more intimate relationship with Jesus if it were possible
How does a pastor and leader finish well? How does one “keep on keeping on?”