Good and Faithful Servant

by Oct 7, 2021

Today I received some news I’ve been dreading. My good friend and disciple-making buddy Paul Smith went home to be with the Lord. To be clear, Paul is better off. He has received his eternal reward and he has “checked in” to his mansion in heaven. The hard part is on this side of things. The hard part is knowing how much his life will be missed here on this planet. His wife, Trudine, their children and grandchildren will miss him the most. 

I have absolutely know doubt that Paul heard the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant…” as he entered the gates of Heaven. Paul made his life count for Christ and he made an impact for Christ on this world in a way few people ever do. I was honored to have known him and to have him as a partner in helping Impact Discipleship Ministries accomplish its mission. Paul inspired me, encouraged me, motivated me, and believed in me. 

The first time I met Paul he came to a Wednesday night discipleship time at our church. He came to learn more about how a local church can make disciples and be what Jesus intended the Church to be. That visit started a friendship and partnership that took us to more places than I can count. We have been to India to train pastors together. We have been to Israel together. We have been to Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee and lots of places in Georgia. All in the mission of helping churches make disciples. Paul helped me tote Impact books to lots of seminars, and he championed Impact Discipleship Ministries as fervently as I do. Paul never met a stranger, and he was willing to connect with people and help people in any way he could. He never passed up a chance to tell someone about his Savior, Jesus Christ.

I don’t have enough room to say all the things I would like about Paul Smith. Here is just a sample of what he meant to me and the kind of man I was privileged to know. 

He loved Jesus! I know very few people that were as deeply in love with Jesus than Paul was. His prayer life, the way he quoted Scripture, and his passion for worship were all indicators of a how intimately he knew and walked with God. 

He loved his family! Paul loved his wife, Trudine, and he loved his children and grandchildren. He was always concerned about them and doing what he could to care for them. Paul was deeply committed to knowing all his family members were walking in the truth. 

He loved people! Paul opened his life and his home to so many people. He invested in people and cared for them. He genuinely wanted everyone he met to know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Paul met weekly with pastors in India via zoom and is leaving behind a legacy of disciples in that country. 

He loved the church! Paul would never give up on the Church. Even when it was challenging to lead, Paul believed in the bride of Christ and he faithfully supported his local church. He has loved and cared for many a pastor in his day, and his fingerprints are found all over a number of different churches. 

A celebration of Paul’s life will be held on Friday, October 8th at 11:00AM at Crossroads Church (3260 GA-16, Sharpsburg, GA 30277). If you would like to make a donation to Impact Discipleship Ministries in memory of Paul, you can do so here. His impact will continue to be felt in this ministry for years to come. 

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