I remember a few years ago, having Dr. Siburt’s introduction to ministry graduate class. I had been in full time ministry for about 4 years already, and I just kept thinking, “I wish I would have known that last year.” Bro. Charlie is one of the wisest and servant hearted people I know. No just in words but in deeds. But I’ve been particularly blessed by working with his son, Ben, as my partner in ministry the past year at Highland. The Siburt’s have been a huge blessing to thousands of people, and as they enter into this final season in Bro. Charlie’s fight with cancer, maybe it’s our turn to bless them.
I’m reposting what my friend, Dan Bouchelle, wrote today about Bro. Charles, please join people all over the country this Friday in praying for the Siburts.
Thanks for all you’ve done Bro. Charles, the church is a much better place because you’ve given your life serving her.
Outside my family, no one has had a more powerful positive impact on my life than Dr. Charles Siburt. He has been my teacher, mentor, counselor, role-model, networker, pastor, and friend. From the first ministry class I took with him in 1989 until today, there is no one whose counsel I am quicker to seek. His wisdom and care have shaped a generation of ministers and his service to churches around the country is unparalleled in the past few decades. As Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at ACU’s Graduate School of Theology and in all his various other posts, he has become the church doctor for Churches of Christ and has helped us become a healthier, more gracious, more honest, and more truthful community of churches. He is known for his ability to speak the truth in bold and unflinching ways while making people feel loved and hopeful at the same time. There is no one else like him in my world.
For the last 23 years, whenever I got my ministry ox in a ditch and didn’t know what to do, I’d call Charlie and he’d help me get unstuck. I cannot begin to count all the ways Charlie has blessed my life and I am only one of legions of ministers who have been blessed the same way by Charlie.
Like the rest, I am deeply conflicted at the news that Charlie’s battle with cancer is drawing to a close and Charlie is in his final days with us on this side of Jesus’ appearing to set all things right. I’m thrilled Charlie will soon be with his Lord. I grieve over the hole his departure will leave behind. Thousands of us have been praying that God would deliver Charlie from this cancer and God has certainly been gracious to give Charlie many extra days. However, it appears now that the Lord is getting ready to take Charlie home.
On behalf of all of us who love Charlie, I invite you to join several of us who love the Siburts by setting aside this Friday, February 3, as a special day of prayer with fasting if you choose. Please lift up Charlie’s body, his spirit, and his family to the Father of all compassion. Judy and his sons have sacrificed time with Charlie for the sake of the church for many years. Pray that their final days with him in this age will be enriching. Pray that God will give Charlie courage for his final days and a peaceful trip home. Pray that he will be able to leave the hospital for his final days. Most of all, give thanks for all that God has given us all through Charlie. Pray that God will raise up an Elisha or twelve to pick up Charlie’s mantle. What will we do without him? Continue reading For Charles Siburt