Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
Chuck Swindoll has been a faithful preacher and minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ for many years. Though approaching 80 years of age, he continues to preach the Word on a weekly basis as the senior pastor at Stonebriar Community Church.
A couple of years ago I read one of Swindoll’s final goals in his life. He was speaking at the Thomas Road Baptist Church pastors’ conference and stated his great goal (captured in The Orlando Sentinel, May 20, 2010):
One of my great goals in life is to live long enough to where I am in the pulpit, preaching my heart out, and I die on the spot, my chin hits the pulpit—boom!—and I'm down and out. What a way to die!
For any who know Swindoll, this is vintage. For those who do not, this explains what you have missed.
I know a friend who was a retired Baptist pastor. He continued to serve the Lord faithfully through serving in a local EFC church. One Sunday morning as he was teaching in a class of adults, he died. I remember hearing this: I grieved and rejoiced at the same time. He died while teaching the Word of God. In fact, he actually experienced Swindoll’s goal.
Though we do not choose or determine when or how we die, as most preaching pastors think about the end, this is likely what comes into mind – dying, being ushered to be with the Lord while preaching the Word of God – preaching the Word inscripturated one second, and being with the Word incarnate the next.
As a pastor/preacher/teacher of the Scriptures, what a way to go!