Pastors, if you had one last word to give your congregation before you died, what would it be? Most congregations do not get that final word, but Dayspring Fellowship was given such a gift. Many of you know that my dear friend and pastoral mentor, Jackson Boyett was killed with his wife in a car crash 2 months ago. You can read my tribute and what I learned from him here.
Jackson was a faithful shepherd and was always thinking of his flock, proven in a letter written many years ago that was found in his desk a few days after he died. It was in a sealed envelop with the heading, “Read to Dayspring in the event of my untimely death.” Jackson’s final words to his flock were these and were read to the church at his funeral:
“Tell everyone at Dayspring how much we love them. Don’t let them abandon the gospel. Make sure that whoever succeeds me loves people and will constantly remind them of our loving, gracious, and invincible God.”
I can testify those of us who knew him so well know these words say so much about Jackson, who he was and what he was all about. It also reveals the kind of faithful shepherd he was to his people. As you can imagine, whoever succeeds Jackson will have massive shoes to fill and by God’s grace I trust it will be the right man for this time in this congregation’s life.
Pastors, I challenge you to consider this week what your final words would be to your flock. If you only had a few sentences as Jackson took, what would you say and how would those important words define your years of ministry to them and even exhort them to faithfulness after you are gone. Serve your church well while they have you, but pastor your flock in such a way that they will remain steadfast once you are gone. I have great confidence that Dayspring will heed these final, moving words from their faithful pastor.