Memoire for Walt Gerber
We all need mentors in this life. Walt Gerber was one of mine, even though we only overlapped at MPPC for about 3 years. I learned much from him, but first and foremost I learned authenticity. Sunday after Sunday he would stand up in front of the polished crowd at MPPC and declare “This is not a haven for saints; this is a hospital for sinners.” For one hour a week, people who were in a culture where outward appearance and success determined value, finally found a place called church where they could come for one hour a week and just be real. Then there was the love of Jesus. That was something else I learned from Walt. I learned that talking about the love of Jesus is really all you need to preach about. Like a diamond with many facets, you never run out of things to say. Over time, hearing Sunday after Sunday that Jesus’ love was simply an unearned gift that was ours for the asking, healed soul after soul in our congregation. This was an era of amazing grace brought on by a man who did not seek to replicate the culture of Menlo Park in order to make church “relevant”. Rather Walt had the discernment and courage to stand against the culture and tell those who looked too good to need a Savior, that Jesus stood with arms open to all sinners – even them. Walt’s constant reminder that building buildings and satellites with bricks and mortar was ancillary to building up human lives, created a culture of compassion and concern for individuals in need in the church. We will miss you Walt, but until we meet again, we will carry on the message of the love of Jesus that you so beautifully shared with us. Thank you for your leadership down through the years and thank you for all you taught me.
Who was your mentor? Who taught you about Jesus’ love?
I’d love to hear about them! Let me know, and blessings all!