Sunday, February 20, 2011
A Blog Post About Dennis Green
Brian, on the left, is my pastor. He played the role of counselor for me during a few difficult years of transition in my life, and he did it well. He's my co-worker. He makes me crazy sometimes, but it's all good because I make him furious sometimes. We get over it. Working with Brian has taught me a lot about a lot of stuff, and it's made me a better person - a better minister, a better woman. I'm a better wife to Tony because of Brian's influence.
And we're friends.
Dennis, on the right, is our executive pastor. He has been a good friend with a listening ear on more than one occasion. He's been a good supervisor and boss, and though my relationship with him is not full of fireworks (like with Brian), it's proven to be just as influential. During Dennis' ordination council, I told him that he was one of a handful of people that I trusted, absolutely and completely, with no reservation. Dennis is a unique individual. He is steady and wise, tried and true. He's transparent without being all gooey about it. I'm a better employee and minister because of his guidance. He's surprisingly funny. And he sings. Sort of.
Two weeks ago, Brian asked Dennis to deliver the message to kick off our Be Mine series. It was intentional - it gave Brian a little breathing room and allowed him to be at Westchester on Sunday morning. Dennis did a great job; he collaborated with Brian on the content and delivered it very well.
And then Brian got sick this week, and although he kept thinking he'd be able to pull it together, by Friday morning it was obvious that he'd be out. Dennis got the call Friday morning; he had two days to put together a message.
Two days. If you preach a lot, that's probably not a big deal. But Dennis is our Executive Pastor - not a regular teaching pastor. Two days to prep a message would put most normal people into panic mode.
But I never saw signs of panic. Brian asked Dennis to do the message, and he had two days to do it. And here's the thing: he did it. It was a good message, with strong content and some very funny, memorable moments - the kind of things that stick with you, the stuff that God uses to remind you of Biblical precepts later in the week. Yay Dennis.
And here's the other thing: in spite of the fact that his schedule was already booked with requirements of his "real" responsibilities at PCC, which included parking lot work and gravel hauling and who knows what else, he did it. And I never heard one complaint. Not once did he even remark that he felt overwhelmed or even that he was tired. He just did it. No comments, no questions, no whining.
The message today included a discussion of submission in marriage; Dennis had to unpack a somewhat controversial section of the Bible and make it relevant (if you missed the service, you can see it in it's entirety here). And as I watched him deliver this talk about how submission and humility and service can reap rewards in relationships, it occurred to me that he was a walking, talking, living example of what he spoke. Dennis does "whatever it takes", he shrugs off any personal inconvenience and he simply moves forward. With an attitude of grace and a total lack of ego. He simply submitted to the call, regardless of how it impacted his plans or needs, and he did what was required.
We're better for it. Not only because of the message he delivered today, but because on a daily basis, this man of character and integrity is leading our church, making hard decisions about important matters.
Dennis Green is a godly man of good character. He may not be that complicated, and he may simply need a sandwich and a Big Gulp to make him wag his tail, but he's exactly the kind of man I want leading my church and influencing our community.
*By the way, I titled this "A Blog Post About Dennis Green" because he's always giving me grief about being all creative. I decided to keep things simple and plain, just so he'd appreciate it. :-)