Jim Chesser died this morning.
Some of you who read this blog won’t know him. He was an elder at Poinciana Christian Church where I have been the preacher for over 23 years. He was one of my bosses, but that doesn’t tell the tale. He was a friend, an encourager, a co-worker, a leader, a counselor, a teacher, a missionary, and a constant inspiration.
Here’s my favorite Jim Chesser story:
A few years ago, Jim was nominated to serve as an elder at PCC. He’d already served 35 years in the preaching ministry and several as a Bible college professor. Before he agreed to have his name placed on the ballot, he took me to lunch and told me that he had known some former preachers who, in their retirement, became difficult elders because of a “know-it-all” attitude. He wanted to know if I’d seen similar situations (I had) and if I was leery of him becoming an elder for that reason.
It was extraordinarily kind of him to consider my feelings and to offer not to serve as an elder if it would make me feel uncomfortable.
In response to his question, I told him that the very fact that he was concerned about my feelings was proof enough for me that he would never make me feel uncomfortable.
He never did.
It was an honor and privilege to serve with Jim. I can’t count the times he offered just the right words–a story, a Scripture, an insight–that was just what our leadership team needed. As for me, I never received anything but compliments and encouragement from him.
I will miss him, as will everyone who knew him.
Thank you, God, for Jim Chesser.