Friday, January 20, 2012

A living eulogy

Imagine if you could hear your eulogy while you were still alive? Imagine if you realized what people really appreciated in you before you were dead? Would it change
the way you lived?

We've been away in Idyll Wild for a few days with our elders and wives. A generous man gave us use of his home which has almost 360 degree views of this stunning part of the world. It's been a very rich time of comeraderie and clarity in the midst of ridiculous beauty. One of the questions we talked around was, "If culture is more caught than taught, then what cultures are being caught from this team?"
One of them we're wanting to grow, to the point of becoming contagious, is risk.

I'm aware of God's risky entrusting to us of a message, a people and a mission.
He's not satisfied with maintenance. He expects a return on His investment and there is great reward for our return. (Luke 19) This means very intentional, and risky investment on our part.

I've found that there is a great connection between a culture of risk and a culture of encouragement. This is not insincere flattery. Rather, it's faith-filled urging in areas where goodness could and should become greatness.

So we found ourselves doing an exercise along these lines, which may sound morbid to you, but was poignant and helpful to us. We wrote and read eulogies for each other. Random names pulled out of a hat meant you had to find ways to give a tribute to a person's life while they and everyone else got to listen. Although it was deeply emotional, it wasn't sentimental. It was profoundly empowering. These were the areas in which people saw God's grace at work in us. These were our areas of intentional investment for a greater return and reward.

I think it's worth giving tribute to people's lives before they die.
It empowers them to live with more risk and die with less regret.


  1. A great exercise... I can imagine how affirming it would be to have godly men write godly gracious things about you... it must be stirring on so many levels.

    On a personal level I have prepared a personal life plan using the template distributed by Michael Hyatt, ( and one of the key exercises is to firstly imagine -and write down - how you WANT to be described by your important people, if they were to write an eulogy for you right now; and this is a true wake-up call (was for me!). Then as part of the way forward you also describe - brutally - how it actually is, and then decide how you are going to work on the differences...

    A very challenging and freeing exercise!

  2. An eulogy - yes, it probably is that grammar - funny - it doesn't sound right though ;-)
    that must be a great exceicise to, V.
    much love to you brother.