A few days ago, a grandfather like figure in my life passed away. I first met Logan four years ago when I began pastoring at my current church. One Sunday after our morning service, he invited me to his 90th birthday party.
The following Sunday, I turned up to his house to find over a hundred people crammed into his upstairs lounge. I heard stories about how he would take the young adults out to dinner at Denny’s, how great a father and grandfather he was, about his work in business, the council and NGO’s among many other things.
I quickly realised that Logan had lived a pretty extraordinary life and that he still had a lot more life to give. A few weeks later he came up to me at church, held out a key to his house and said that I could sleep in his downstairs unit anytime I liked (at the time, I lived 30 minutes drive or over an hour with traffic from our church and I was still finishing off my degree).
I took him up on his offer and we developed a unique friendship that greatly enriched my life. Logan taught me all sorts of things but there are a few in particular that I will remember him for.
He was the most generous person that I have ever met. He paid for many of our young people to go to camps. He let us use his bach for retreats and when it wasn’t available, he vacated his own house and paid for catered food.
We went for many lunches and dinners and he always insisted on paying. Whenever I tried, the waiters would not accept it from me because they all knew that he always pays. One day, after I made another unsuccessful attempt to pay, a café owner said “Logan has been coming here for over 10 years and he has paid for everyone he has ever come with, that’s not going to change anytime soon.”
Making a stand
Logan was a leader who stood for what up for what he believed in. He told me countless stories where he went against the majority because he thought that the decision that was being made was a mistake.
Right up into his final years, he would do everything in his power to do what he thinks is right, even if it meant taking a bit of heat.
He was a constant encourager. There was not a time where I left one of our conversations without him building me up in some way. Whether it was something I had done, an attribute of my character or the potential I have, he always found something to say.
He was the biggest advocate to all who he came into contact with and he gave me the support that I think every young person (especially young leaders) could do with.
He was also incredibly faithful. I remember entering his house at 11pm one night. All the lights were off, so I thought I would go straight to bed instead of chatting to him like I normally would.
As I was taking off my shoes, I could hear him praying out loud. I brushed my teeth, unpacked my gear and began to read before going to sleep. But after about twenty minutes I realised I had left my phone charger in my car. I went and got it and as I returned I could still hear him praying for people.
He was always reading new Christian books and then buying them to give out to others. He would regularly circulate the Word For Today devotional book and offer to pay for anyone’s subscriptions.
He hosted a home group at his house every Wednesday night right up until his passing. He loved our church and would always be speaking of what different ventures we could be doing.
Investing into others
Logan was also selfless, wise, loving, humble, kind among many other things. He lived a full life in which he gave all of himself to God and to others. And he refused to let his age and capability stop him from doing what he loved the most…spending time investing into others.
Looking back at it now, I know that his birthday invitation was much more than a friendly gesture. Logan saw an opportunity to build a friendship and to speak truth into my life, knowing that he wouldn’t always be around. He wanted to invest into the next generation of young people, so he did it in the best way he could, by investing into me.
I’ll always be grateful for Logan and the blessing he has been. He has helped shape who I am and who I want to be. He has helped me to become more like Christ and a better version of myself.
If you don’t already have a Logan, I’d encourage you to find one. It might just be one of the most life enriching decisions of your life. Or maybe you could become a Logan to someone else and pass the blessing on.
Ethan grew up in Mt Roskill, Auckland. While finishing a degree in applied theology from Carey Baptist College, he moved slightly east and began working as pastor at Eastview Baptist Church, where he has been for three years. He loves getting out in nature, having a laugh and having deep conversations about life and faith.