Jump directly to the Content

Ask Fred

Mentor and sage Fred Smith receives lots of questions from leaders, and sometimes his greatest gift back is to reframe them.
Leadership's very first issue featured an interview with businessman Fred Smith, who has mentored many Christian leaders. In that interview Fred urged pastors to make their first concern "the spiritual vitality of the leadership, not the political vitality." His strength, which he demonstrated repeatedly: identifying the key issue and reframing the questions.
A year ago, Fred was hospitalized, in a semi-conscious condition, and not expected to live. Family members heard him repeat, "I want to go home … I want to go home." After an emotional family conference, they concluded that they should respect his wishes and allow him to die. They agreed to remove him from dialysis, knowing that his death would come within 3-5 days.
For the next 36 hours, they sang, read Scripture, prayed, and said their goodbyes. Unexpectedly, the promised peaceful decline turned into pulmonary failure and choking aspiration. His daughter Brenda sat there alone at midnight begging for answers. The coughing, however, ...
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

December
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Getting a Handle on Spiritual Leadership
Getting a Handle on Spiritual Leadership
What are church leaders supposed to do?
From the Magazine
I Used to Run with Drug Addicts and Prostitutes. Now I Share the Gospel with Them.
I Used to Run with Drug Addicts and Prostitutes. Now I Share the Gospel with Them.
My journey from life on the streets to life in Christ.
Editor's Pick
The Worst (and Best) Passage for Generosity Sermons
The Worst (and Best) Passage for Generosity Sermons
The widow’s mite story is about more than her sacrificial giving.
close