‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Here’s the poem I wrote and then read on Sunday, December 22 that honors our core leaders.

‘Twas the night before Christmas
Mike was doing a search
To make sure no one was left
So he could lock up the church.

The service was over
The candles all were blown out
Mike was checking the building
“Anyone here?” he did shout.

No one responded
All were on their way home
But before he could leave
Mike paused all alone.

He thought about all
The core leaders who serve
Who give of themselves
With little thanks in return.

So overwhelmed with thankfulness
Mike thought of each one
Those who serve this good church
Those who serve God’s beloved Son.

There’s the elders who walk with him
Side by side, toe to toe
But they won’t get much mention here
Mike thanked them 2 days ago!

There’s Chris Tegard who does
Too many things to list here
Mike’s thankful Chris works hard
So that on Sunday the people can hear

The music, the Scripture
The sermon and prayer
It’s so great to know that
Chris will always be there.

Then there’s Pat Smith
“Old Faithful” himself
Mowing the lawn, fixing the roof,
Maybe even hanging a shelf.

He’s been here so very long
Mike can’t imagine the amount
Of hours Pat has put in
There’s just too many to count.

So as Mike was paused
Standing in the dark foyer
He said “thanks for Pat”
To God – Mike’s employer.

Mike’s thoughts turned to Rosemarie
And then his mind was just filled
With all that she does…
Rosemarie is just so skilled.

At overseeing so much
And keeping it straight
Without her, poor Mike would be lost
Disorganization would be his fate.

She is so very valuable
For she gives us so much
And she cares for us all
So many does she touch.

Jim and Joan Lasche
Are the next faces Mike saw
Their ministry with international students
Has always left Mike in awe.

Talk about a ministry that’s effective
Talk about a ministry with fruit
God’s power is upon them
It just doesn’t compute.

How so many students come here
Without so much as a clue
Only to meet the Lasche’s
And return home with life anew!

And then Mike thought
Of Foothills on Monday nights
Of how the building is transformed
And the energy ignites.

AHG and the Scouts
Fill this building with noise
It’s a key discipleship time
For young girls and young boys

Because of Paul and Mary Schlavin
This ministry just thrives
The Schlavins will one day be rewarded
For the transformation of these young lives.

Then Mike’s mind went
Where it always goes
To his beautiful wife Michelle
But this time, he froze.

She’s probably waiting for him at home
Wondering what in the world he is doing
Mike had better get home
Or he’ll get a Christmas Eve chewing!

But he was still stuck pondering
Thinking about the leadership core
And Michelle is one of them
So she’ll have to wait some more.

Because he pondered back off
Thinking about her ministry too
Overseeing the women’s ministry
With her unique point of view

Mike thanked God for her love
Of studying His Word
And for her love for the women
Whom over the years she has served.

Then Mike remembered the music
From the service that night
And thanked God for Jason Westbrook
Who with his guitar plays just right!

Mike wonders where our worship would be
If Jason were not here
And the thought of that prospect
Fills Mike with unholy fear.

For Jason is not only
A really good musician
But he leads our people well
And the worship team with precision.

Music ministry is probably
In the church scrutinized the most
But Jason faithfully presses on
Being led by the Holy Ghost!

Speaking of ghosts
Mike was reminded of a surety
That as long as Shannon Koons
Was in charge of church security

That there is nothing to fear
With Shannon in charge
Mike knows he will wrestle
An intruder – no matter how large.

Shannon has stepped up
And Mike wants to thank him tons
For being willing to serve
And for his oversized guns!

Mike then got a foul whiff
It smelled like a stink bomb
It reminded him of the youth room smell
And his thoughts then turned to Tom.

Tom began the year
With really big shoes to fill
For Jesse wears a size 14
But Tom came with lots of skill.

Tom not only loves our youth
He loves the Lord as well
And Mike is glad that Tom is here
And puts up with that smell!

The youth, Mike knows, are in good hands
And so Mike smiled big
For he knows how hard Tom works each week
Because youth used to be Mike’s gig.

Mike’s thoughts naturally moved
From the youth to the little ones
And to the Joneses who are faithful
To our young daughters and sons

They guide and they lead
They serve with a smile
With consistency and care
They go the extra mile.

What a blessing it is
To know that Rhonda and Scott
Are making sure that on Sundays
Our children are carefully taught.

Our children have received
An extra gift this year too
As the “My Message” time
Rescues them from their pew.

Sometimes it is hard for them
To sit through Mike’s sermon
They need some more stimulus
To help with their learnin’.

So Heather and Allison
Have come to their aid
An answer to prayer
For some time Mike had prayed

That our children could have
A time all of their own
So their parents could listen
Free of their squirming and their groans.

Mike was thinking of prayer
As he turned down the church heater
And of all the Thursdays
He has prayed with his friend, Peter.

When Mike first met
Years ago Peter Briggs
The man was consumed
With archeological digs.

But now he’s consumed
With Walking in the Way
A project God instructed
And one Peter did obey.

And now he and Rosemarie
To Africa take this training
And God’s blessings on their lives
Just keep on raining and raining.

For leaders by the thousands
Are being raised up to preach the Word
It’s been a blessing to watch Peter
Who by the Holy Spirit is being spurred.

And finally the church was ready
For Mike to leave it and head on out
He left with a smile
And in his mind, there was no doubt

That Foothills is a wonderful church
Its core leaders are the best
And to serve all them as their pastor
Mike knows that he is blessed.

So he sprang to his cycle, all the while did he whistle,
And away he flew, like a Sandia Lab missle.
He could be heard loud and clear as he rode out of sight, “Merry Christmas to all,
And to all a good-night!”