Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

I am one in whom Bob Dickson invested. Many others can say the same.

The Rev. Dr. Bob Dickson, Pastor Emeritus of Hope Church, died on March 2, at the age of 92. God gave him length of years and Bob was a good steward of the time he was allotted.

Bob received a bronze star for his service in the US Army Air Force as a B29 crew member. When WWII ended, Bob was just 19 years old!

Bob received a BA from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. He served churches in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City, and Duluth before coming to Hope Church in 1961, serving until 1991. He was the right leader at the right time. The church responded dynamically to his leadership.

Bob brought excellence in many areas of pastoral ministry. He was a gifted communicator who unfailingly set Jesus Christ before people. Bob preached the gospel with clarity and winsomeness. He invited people to respond with deep personal commitment to Jesus. There was a hunger for this kind of preaching; people came in large numbers from all around the Twin Cities metro to hear Bob speak.

Even more significantly, Bob was a man of deep compassion and great empathy. He had an uncanny memory for personal details. People could quickly sense that he genuinely cared for them.

Soon after I arrived at Hope Church in 2002, I discovered Bob’s great personal warmth and care for me and my family. As often as I saw him, he would ask: how is your family? How is your mother? How is your brother?

What I remember with the greatest fondness are Bob’s phone messages. He often left me voice mails of encouragement. “Thanks for that sermon. That was a tough topic but you handled it well.” “Thanks for your leadership of that meeting. That wasn’t easy, but you led with poise and courage.”  The most recent voice mail was just a few weeks ago. “I hear you have been sick. I want you to know that I am praying for you.” Vintage Bob.

Bob kept investing in me to the very end of his life. He embodied for me 2 Timothy 2:2: “what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well” (New Revised Standard Version). Bob was already 76 years old when I met him. His age did not deter him in the least from discipling me, entrusting the faith to me. I will always be grateful.

Who are the ones in whom you are investing? God brings into our lives people who need care, comfort, and sometimes challenge. When we invest in others the body of Christ grows in depth and stature.

Bob Dickson did this for me and many others. With joy and gratitude we envision the Lord Jesus saying to Bob, “well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:31, 33).

by David Lenz