On Sunday here in Colorado Springs, we attended a fitting memorial service for a unique servant of God: Jim Feiker. Jim went to be with the Lord on September 21, 2012.
Since Jim is the reason IMPACT even exists, I thoughtit would be fitting for me to write a few lines remembering how Jim worked out his active faith in daily living.
IMPACT came out of our conversations in Colorado Springs, catching up with each other, our families and ministries. He longed to better understand the life and dynamics of field leaders and wondered how that could be done. Out of that came the IMPACT survey, mission feedback sessions, a website, a workshop and eventually this blog. Without his vision and resources IMPACT would never have happened. He was not a researcher, in fact far from it. But he appreciated different gifts that allowed him and other mission leaders to listen and grow. He was a faithful partner in this effort, always there to affirm as well as challenge us on priorities.
Memories and Lessons: Today a group of men, who have served overseas, met and remembered Jim (The group also came into existence because of Jim’s vision and efforts). We used Hebrews 13:7-8 as the starting point. We know that we cannot imitate Jim as he had a very unique personality. But we can learn from his practical “faith”. In this case it was a very experiential faith that trusted God because of his trusting relationship with Christ. Here are some of my own memories.
- I learned at the memorial service that Jim kept a file on those he met with. These were confidential, but allowed Jim to keep track of what God was doing in the complexities of our lives and help Jim remember details. He was very intentional and personal about each relationship (no ten steps here) and I have fond memories of those times.
- He was persistent. He love coming along side of field leaders in mission organizations. He appreciated their job, but longed that their work would not take the place of an intimate relationship with Christ. He would keep in contact for months with an individual before a breakthrough might happen.
- He was a learner. That is why he collected resources. He enjoyed sharing what God was teaching him. He also enjoyed learning from others. That is why he collected the articles on the IMPACT website That is why he enjoyed structured thinking times with mission leaders. That is why he even enjoyed the IMPACT feedback sessions to each mission organization.
- He enjoyed listening to God. I remember him sharing new insights from the Word that gave him a new perspective or challenged his behavior. He longed to hear God’s voice in his life.
- He loved to share. Jim was willing to teach, but from a sojourner’s posture. That is why he wrote a whole series of articles on mentoring. Click here to read one article.
Jim served from his unique, God-given design. He was faithful to his calling and many were blessed. He served faithfully his generation. Acts 13:36 could be told of Jim, “For when he had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.”
We will miss Jim, but have many deep memories. We also rejoice that he now has complete health with his Lord, enjoying His presence.