I got to hear Tony Campolo Friday night. He was at the Nampa Civic Center as part of a Discipleship Conference sponsored by the Lutheran Church. I heard him in Boise at the Cathedral of the Rockies’ Northwest Leadership Institute a year ago.
I first heard Tony Campolo in 1984. He’s older now. He’ll be 81 this coming Thursday. When I heard him a year ago, he was great as always, but he was 80. When I heard him Friday, it was like he’d gone back in years. He was on fire.
Most people are retired by that age. He mentioned the story Jesus told about the rich man who needed bigger barns to hold all his riches. He was pretty well set for retirement. He said to himself, “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry.” Remember what comes next? God says, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you.”
It happens all the time. People work hard their entire life, looking forward to retirement. Then they retire and before they get to enjoy their long-awaited life of leisure, they die.
His point was that churches are filled with retired people with time on their hands who have the very gifts the church needs. I don’t know what this church would do without all of you, regardless of your age, who serve God so faithfully here.
Tony Campolo never will retire. He loves what he does and he knows it’s what God wants him to do. He continues to inspire people to better use the limited time God has given them on this earth in ways that matter more than “eating, drinking, and being merry.”
I’ve attached a 7 minute video of Tony Campolo telling one of his classic stories.
PS Next week in this space I’m going to share a story I just heard about a woman related to this church who, though she only lived to be 59, earned a significant place in Idaho (and United States) history.