What does "ministry for a lifetime" look like? To me, it looks like Vernon Grounds. When I first met him, I was four years old, and he was president of the seminary where my dad had just come to teach. By the time I was ten, I held Dr. Grounds in near awe. He employed the most impressive vocabulary I'd ever heard (I think it was in one of his sermons that I first heard the words perspicacity and concupiscence), but just as remarkably, he was one of the warmest and (vocabulary notwithstanding) unstuffiest men I'd ever met.
When he put his arm around my shoulders and asked, "How goes the battle?" I never knew what to say, but I knew he really wanted to know. He was Gandalf and the Apostle Paul rolled into one.
To my pre-teen eyes, he was ancient, but a timeless and wise man. Turns out, he was only about as old then as I am now.
This year marks Vernon's 50th anniversary at Denver Seminary, where he currently serves as chancellor and, at age 88, continues an active ministry of counseling and ...1