Did you know that it’s Ministry Appreciation Month? Over at (in)Courage, they’re celebrating with a blog carnival. Pop on over there, read the prompt and join in the fun! All of us have someone whose ministry has made a difference in our lives, someone whose faith and dedication has left an impression on us. A pastor, a Youth Minister, a sister-in-Christ who has walked you through some tough times….Here’s a chance to tell the world about them! Link up to the post at (in)Courage and then spend a little time reading the encouraging stories that others have posted.
When I sat down to write about someone who has ministered to me and made a difference in my life, one particular family popped into my mind immediately. The Hahn family moved here to The City from Colorado to plant a church in this much-needed mission field. They’d moved to Colorado, in fact, from the Midwest on another church plant years before. When we were new at the church, the Hahns were there for us. They were patient with us. They opened their home to us in small groups, shared meals with us. Over the years, the Hahns have become a second family to us and we’ve loved and appreciated their friendship more than words can express. Linda is my sweet friend, mentor, and sister in Christ and I would love to do a whole post on her wisdom, patience, and strength. I could write a second whole post on the five Hahn kids and how they are amazing examples of teens and young men and women who serve God. But since Phil is the official Children’s Minister at our church, I’ll narrow it down to him.
Phil Hahn does a great job running the Children’s Ministry program at The Rock, and he is also is in charge of the physical aspects of our church buildings. Let me tell you a little bit about our church…we’re a church that’s made up of a body of believers first, and the building we meet in is…well….just a building. In fact, up ’till recently, it was just a building with a roof that leaked like a sieve every time it rained or snowed! For years, Phil spent countless hours on ladders, rigging up ingenious water systems above the acoustic tiles to channel the water into funnels, PVC pipes, and finally into sinks and buckets all around the church. When it rained, water poured into the church and he worked nonstop to find and fix the leaks. Rube Goldberg had nothing on Phil, if you removed the tiles that hung above the church you’d find a tangle of pipe, plastic, duct tape, wire and creative odds and ends that kept the water from falling through…old mixing bowls, bits of tarp, yards of PVC. Once after an election, recycled political signs were re-purposed into parts of this creative waterway. Often, he’d be attending a river pouring into the building in one area, when a whole new watercourse would break loose in another area. Tiles soaked through, grew too heavy and finally fell to the floor in a disgusting, wet explosion of disintegrated pulp. He’d simply finish the first leak and move on to the next, and the next, and the next. Every time it rained or snowed, Phil would spend late nights up in the ceiling devising ways to route the water and clean up the mess, and early in the morning he could be found cleaning up the new leaks that had sprung the night before, shoring up his water-catching system many feet above, and then hiding it all with fresh tiles.
That’s the heart of a servant, friends. All of Phil’s hard work was put into something that was outwardly invisible, a system that directed the water in a proper direction rather than a destructive one, a system that…for all the hours he spent on it…very few people ever saw or even knew about. On Sunday morning, the worst of the leaks were fixed and people were able (by and large) to sit in church and concentrate on the sermon, not on the stream of water trickling down the back of their neck. Phil’s lack of sleep, the sacrifice his family made in supporting him through the late nights and hours away from home, were hidden behind the hanging tiles. Through it all, he continued to run the Children’s Ministry and find time to help people out, lead small groups, and do many other things to help build the church…both literally and figuratively.
A good minister is like that…channeling the rainwater away from people and the Living Water to people, serving invisibly, working tirelessly.
Thanks, Hahns, for all your hard work!
Our church building now has a new roof, and I suspect that nobody appreciates that more than the Hahn family. We are working on getting a new church building, which is greatly needed here in The City where there is truly a great need for Christian churches and where God is busy doing amazing things. We could use all the help we can get in raising the money for a new building [shameless plug for our Roots Campaign ;o)] Here’s a video clip for you to enjoy…and you can meet Phil, who plays Eugene in this video (and a few others). He’s the one with the moustache, bow tie, and suspenders. (And no, he doesn’t usually dress like that!)