I have an “easy” memorial service tomorrow. By easy, I don’t mean simple or painless or shallow. I mean “easy” because there is no doubt about how this man lived or where he is now. The most difficult part will be to narrow down what to talk about so we are not there all day.
A couple of months ago, I told A.T. Lowery, “I talk about doing God’s work. You do God’s work.” My job as a pastor is to prepare people to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4) Heroes like A.T. Lowery do more than talk. They do.
He built hundreds of church buildings across the world. I don’t mean he just raised some money and wrote checks. I mean he physically constructed these buildings. He poured the footers, he drove the nails, and he carried the block. He built orphanages. He built homes for pastors. He was a builder, a worker. He labored countless hours in incredible heat and in uncomfortable climates. He spent years of his life on the roofs of buildings. He dug holes all over the planet. And he did all of this with a burning vision of what needed to be accomplished.
A.T. led teams on short-term missions trips. Many of these team members became involved in ongoing missions, and some of them are now full time in the work. A.T. raised money for his projects. He always bought the supplies needed for a particular project. The host would simply need to provide a place for the team to sleep (usually on the floor of the building being constructed) and some food. A.T. took care of everything else.
Many pastors have told me through the years about what a difference A.T. made in their ministry and life. He invested in them. And they won’t forget him.
A.T. Lowery’s work will remain. Here’s how it works:
A.T. built buildings. People gather in those buildings to hear about Jesus. They give their lives to Him. So, in a very direct way, A.T. was involved in bringing people to Christ. That tells me that he is receiving a great reward in heaven.
So I wonder how many people A.T. influenced to become Christ-followers. And I wonder, how great his reward in heaven must be.
Rest well, A.T.