How to be a Hero

This is one of my heroes. Roger Anderson.

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He turned 90 last week.

When we moved to Minnesota for John to become the lead pastor at “our” church, it had been “his” church for 34 years. Yep, he had planted the church. He was leaving “his baby” for us to steward for the kingdom.

What if we mucked it up? What if we KILLED it, for Pete’s sake?! Or worse, (gasp!) changed the music???!

And yet, Roger has been our biggest cheerleader. Our most fervent prayer warrior. Our baton-hander.

Leadership is like being in a relay race. Succession is important. We need to pass on the baton to the next generation because our part in the race is not the end, and Roger knew that.

When John first started, he’d arrive early on Sunday morning to find Roger jogging around the building praying for us.

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He has prayed with and for our children.

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He writes us emails of encouragement at all hours of the night.

But one of our favorite “Roger stories” we learned from a woman who came to John just a few years ago and confessed:

“You know when you first came 26 years ago, I didn’t like all the changes you were making. I ran into Roger in the produce section of the grocery store and I started in ranting and raving about all that you were doing to change the church.

Roger listened and then he said, ‘Isn’t that great!? I wish I had had the courage to make some of the changes John is making!! Let’s pray for him!

And right there over the rutabagas he grabbed my hands and prayed for you!

Well, I came around and I love your ministry, but I thought you should know that.”

Roger has NEVER tolerated a negative word about us. He always has our back. I’m sure he’s had questions and concerns over the years, but ultimately he knew he was trusting GOD with the church and not John.

This is what Roger has taught us about being a hero:

  • Trust God.
  • Affirm the divine fingerprints in others.
  • Pray always.

This is who we want to be like when we grow up. I hope when I hear a negative word about someone today, my first thought will be to see the good, and pray for them.

Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out. 1 Thes. 5:17 MSG

Tell us about one of your heroes and why!

7 Comments

  1. This brought tears to my eyes. Oh that I could leave such a legacy !

  2. Yep, that’s the Roger we know and love. He is our hero as well. He hired my husband, Richard as CPC’s first full time youth pastor in 1976, plucking us out of Young Life. Previously, CPC had only seminary student, intern youth pastors. Roger pushed Richard to get ordained Presbyterian and helped make it happen with a few more years of seminary. At this point Richard really hadn’t decided to make ministry his profession. Roger prayed, challenged and encouraged Richard to preach, teach, study, making him the first adult teaching pastor at CPC, a novel position at the time. When an international opportunity came up for us, Roger was the first to support our move to Belfast, N. Ireland, making it a mission of CPC. Forever grateful for Roger and for Dottie, who graciously showed me by example, how to be a pastor’s wife. Roger is modest when he says he wished he had the courage to make changes. He made great changes at CPC, with abundant courage and loved everyone in his path. The legacy Roger gave us; faith, hope and love remain deeply imbedded in our hearts. Thank you Roger and Dottie! Grateful for you!

  3. Wow. Fabulous story! Oh, that every church would have this kind of example.

  4. Beautiful tribute, Laura!! And what a great lesson! Thanks!

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