The Most Important Guy You Never Heard Of [3/1/19]
Today’s session meeting was the last with Mike Boyd at the table, at least for a while. He is rotating off of active duty as an elder at Grace Sacramento.We will continue to consider him an elder and look to him for wisdom and shepherding care, although in a less formal way. He may be called upon for ceremonial duty from time to time and we will invite him to consider returning to active leadership on the session after two years have passed.
I will miss Mike’s regular presence a lot. I have joked from time to time from the pulpit that the “church mice” were busy this week. This usually referred to a project that got done while no one was looking or some grand addition to a space or our programs or our policies that somehow just appeared. If “church mice” are the folks that get things done behind the scenes then Mike Boyd is chief mouse! As we have prepared for his transition it has become abundantly clear just how much he has been doing for Grace. Mike has served as the clerk of our session keeping records of our meetings and decisions. He has also served as our treasurer and our bookkeeper. We have literally had to find three people to fill his shoes in these various capacities. Not to worry, he has prepared and trained each one before he steps out the door. It is hard to overstate how important he has been for the integrity of our organization and the quality of stewardship that happens at Grace.
Outside of his official capacity as an elder, Mike and Cindy Boyd are beloved members at Grace Sac. They host a Grace Group and help with lots of things on Sunday mornings. They will continue to worship, serve and lead.
Pastor Daniel and I spent a few moments with Mike this week reflecting back together over the past 5 years and looking forward to what God might do through Grace in the days ahead. Here are some of the highlights of our conversation:
BC: What is one thing that you will always remember about church planting?
MB: Well, one thing I certainly don’t miss is carrying heavy speakers and bin and bins of supplies down the steep twisting stairs at Church of the Cross every Sunday to set up for our Vespers service and kids ministry. I did about half of that before having knee replacement and half after. Both situations were extremely painful.
BC: Do you have a favorite memory with the other elders at Grace?
MB: I definitely remember meeting with Brad and the other elder candidates for a conference call with David George. He was the planting pastor of our previous church and was mentoring all of us. I expressed how inadequate I felt to be an elder, especially amongst the caliber of guys like Randy Anderson and Jeff Lynch who were training with me. David reminded all of us that day that the body of Christ needs all different parts and all different kinds of gifts. I have thought several times that I really don’t belong but the rest of the session has encouraged me and strengthened me. At one point that had a little bit of an “intervention.” I have grown so much and really feel like I have gotten to see God use me as we have watched this church grow.
BC: If you could leave one piece of advice for future elders what would it be?
MB: There is a lot of change happening in leadership right now. 2 out of 3 of the original elders from my training class have rotated off. Mark Lee is joining and there are several other candidates in training. I took time to tell Mark (and Randy) to make sure that they continue the practice of humble truth telling amongst the elders. We especially need humble servant leaders who are not afraid to disagree amongst themselves and even with the pastors. I want to make sure that there really continues to be a plurality of leadership. It has been such a blessing to be a part of a group that I know doesn’t always agree, but in which I’m confident everyone is just trying their best to serve Christ and his Church. The last thing our church needs, or the pastors need for that matter is a bunch of yes men who are unwilling to speak an opinion. We have seen God do really wonderful things as we have lovingly talked through difficult issues and tough decisions.
BC: Is there something that you are particularly excited about that has happened during your time as elder?
MB: It has been such an incredible thing to watch and be a part of God bringing two churches together. I couldn’t have imagined the kind of godly friendships and ministry partners God was bringing into our lives when he brought our two churches together. It has been a transformative experience. One very simple example. We were talking at our small group and someone shared that they had visited our church before the merge and felt like it was nice but a little bit unwelcoming. Nice people but kind of cliquey. This of course was discouraging. However, the observation was made that something has changed. The experience of coming together with an whole group of other Christians from a different church background and different culture has really opened us up to the stranger and the visitor. We expect to see people we haven’t met and welcome them to worship every Sunday. We have learned to ask questions and engage and learn people’s stories. We, I think, are more humble, more open and I think we have gotten to see God do really amazing things.
BC: Mike we are so grateful for your example of servant leadership. Thank you for using your gifts in public in not so obvious ways to really empower this church. Your fingerprints are all over this place.
MC: It has been such a privilege and a pleasure. I’ll see you Sunday.
There are other changes coming down the line for leadership at Grace. On March 17th we will hold a congregational meeting to ordain Mark Lee as a new elder. Mark has been serving in this capacity for the last year as representative from the former board of directors at Living Grace Church. Now that we have officially merged, Mark needs to be officially ordained as an elder in our denomination. I couldn’t be more excited.
There are currently two other individuals going through our elder training. Please pray that God continue to provide us with servant leaders that fit the qualifications described in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
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