Yesterday, a group from our staff went to Phil McMinn’s funeral. I posted about the tragedy associated with Phil’s death earlier this week. We went over to South Main and we had to go over to the overflow room because the sanctuary was so full. The overflow room was full as well. The pre-service worship started and through the video feed (good job Wes and Cory for crawling through South Main’s attic all Monday – it was well worth it) we got to engage in worship with the rest assembled there. To say that the next two and a half hours were overwhelmingly emotional for me would be an understatement. It rocked me deep down to the core. I just want to give you some of the impacting moments for me:
- Micah. Micah. Micah. How I love you, my lil’ brother. Why wouldn’t you be leading in worship at your dad’s funeral? You love your God and you trust him. Watching you lead with the band was inspiring and heart-wrenching. You don’t know how much that image will be etched into the minds of people for a long time. Thank you for giving an example of praising God even when you might not “feel” like it.
- A Family in Worship. When Phil’s family walked in behind the casket and began to sing and lift their hands in worship that their “chains were gone” and they had “been set free,” I could barely sing myself watching you. There are few things that inspire me more when I see people worship through pain. There’s such beauty in the brokenness. Mrs. McMinn, you not only inspired people, you set a precedence for how to trust our Savior.
- Mark’s Letter. Mark, Phil’s eldest son, read a letter he wrote to his dad. As he listed all the little and all the big things that his father did for him during his life, it made me realize all that children pick up from their parents. The time, attention, and devotion that you could tell Phil showed his children was amazing. It actually concerned me as I thought about if I became a tenth of the father that Phil was to his children, my kid will be blessed. When Mark began to speak of fighting for his dad’s wife and his dad’s God, I can not thank Phil McMinn enough for instilling in his children the value of treasuring his wife and his God. Phil made men all around that room have to step it up in their churches and their homes on Tuesday. Thank you Mark for calling us to a higher standard by your dad’s example.
- The Closing Prayer Time. I don’t know how Phyllis got up there to pray for all of us at the end of the service. As I saw her family surround her, I wanted a large family for one thing, but I also wanted to instill in my little one on the way the fact that Jesus is all. As I saw that family unit there that will forever have the imprint of a surrendered, godly life on them, it made me want to be the kind of husband, father, and friend that leaves a positive mark on people. Phil’s dad started it with him. Phil enstilled it into his children that are reaching people for Christ (even someone was saved the night before the funeral due to Micah’s influence), and Phil’s ministry will carry on.
It wasn’t about him. He wasn’t concerned with building his own kingdom, but God’s. The McMinn family, I am still praying for you, and know that you guys have left an image in my mind that I want to model after you. You guys amaze me.
Dave Corbitt and the South Main staff, God has so much in store for you! You were blessed to hear Phil’s heart, passion, and vision for that church before he died, carry the torch. Lead and equip. Take that church to reach Greenwood and this whole world. You have an excellent team and some great leaders in your church, and we believe in you! At North Side, we count it an honor to be able to partner with you in taking the gospel to the world.
South Main, you have been led by some of the greatest leaders I have ever known. In the history I know about, you have had the privilege to be led by the likes of the innovative Mac Brunson, the shepherd Ryan Ekland, and the passionate Phil McMinn (just to name a few). You have a great staff that leads you know. I am praying that you guys see such a great amount of unity and drive to take this church further than it’s ever been before.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.