My Friend

I travelled four hours yesterday to visit my dear friend, John Metz, who is in the critical care unit at Luther Hospital.

Before moving to Eau Claire recently, John and Phyllis were pillars of Hayward Wesleyan Church. We miss them terribly.

John had an uncanny way of finding things that were wrong. For instance, if we were off in our budget calculations, John would undoubtedly find it, and point it out. He wouldn't let me get away with any slacking, sloppiness or stupidity. If I'd do something dumb, John would show up at my office the next day for a "visit."

At first, it bugged me. I wondered why John was so critical, though I knew he loved me, and was only trying to help. Then, it dawned on me:

Companies pay BIG BUCKS for Quality Control -- and I get mine for FREE! John was my Quality Control Department!!

He taught me how to delegate authority (rather than tasks.) I have taught this same lesson, now, to many pastors across the country.

He taught me that an early hour spent planning saves three late hours of scrambling.

He taught me to start meetings on time. (Starting late rewards the tardy and punishes the prompt.)

He taught me that every donated dollar is important, and must be handled with utmost wisdom, respect and stewardship.

He tried to teach me the importance of long range planning -- but I'm still learning that one.

One day, just before launching a much needed building project, I got cold feet. "We don't want to get ahead of God," I explained. (My attempt to spiritualize fear)

To that, John replied, "And we don't want to lag too far behind Him either!!"


naomi said…
As superintendent, I always appreciated John's interest in "how things were going." I'm sure that whenever he sensed a need to pass along a need or concern from that department, he did!
HRH said…
Thank God for the Johns in this world. The only reason they irritate others is because others know they need to take 'John's' advice. How many Johns have been shot down/killed/disregarded because the one in control could not take positive criticism.

Hayward probably prospered much because you listened to John.

God Bless John and his family.
Clair Martin said…
Mark, I love the idea of seeing advice as quality control! That perspective can help anyone.
Also, I appreciated the phrase; "That's the way I spiritlize my fear"
Great thoughts!
Anonymous said…
Praise God that you learned to appreciate John as the blessed gift sent by God to you. We also had a quality control person in our congregation. Instead of appreciating her wisdom, hard work, insight, appreciation for each and every penny donated to God's work, she was shunned, disrespected, actually kicked out of our church. To this day I am ashamed of how the pastor and other leaders treated her. Our church should have not only listened to her advice, but made her feel welcome. But...I realize this church is also refusing to take God's advice or welcome Him to their services.
Anonymous said…
Now Hold on Gang.

I do not know John, but a cranky old negative person does not a quality control department make.

Our SELF APPOINTED QUALITY PERSON was not only a negatve person when he was well but a more negative person when he was sick. I was sorry for him and his family as a person but was glad to get rid of him as my quality control. He had no business sticking his head in where it did not belong and caused me and my Church a lot of undue grief because of his negative attitude. We are rid of him now and the problems that he caused are still causing my Church harm because the negative attitude spreads and infects others that were around him. We reap the negative thoughts because the negative seeds were sown and allowed to grow. My thought is to catch the negative and get rid of it before it can infest the whole Church.


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