Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Man Who Finished Well: Pastor Bob Hoekstra

Pastor Bob
Yesterday my heart was broken as I received word that Pastor Bob Hoekstra had passed away. I was aware of the fact that Pastor Bob had been battling an illness for some time, yet i had know idea how close he was to heaven. The Lord has used Bob powerfully in my life over the years. He was truly a Pastor's pastor, and there are not many men you can say that about. 
I was only 23 years old when I went on staff at Calvary Chapel of Vista and one of the highlights of the week was our staff meetings. What made the staff meetings so incredible was that they were led by Pastor Bob Hoekstra. Bob constantly exuded the grace and love of Jesus. The way he taught, the smile he had, the sense of humor he possessed, all of it, was a blessing. His knowledge of Gods Word and the things that he shared helped me to understand what it was to be a pastor. His teachings on the  body of Christ, and what the church is supposed to be; helped me develop a clearer vision for church life. His teaching on the Grace of God made me see a side of the Lord I had never known. His emphasis on the sufficiency of scripture as the tool that God uses to provide council, has given such confidence in the power of Gods Word. 
Pastor Bob was extremely approachable. He was always so encouraging. There were times when I went to him with questions on theological matters that I needed clarity and he provided that for me. The last time I saw Bob was at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. My wife and I had just moved back to Southern California. At that time we were waiting on Gods direction for our next step. And Pastor Bob and his wife Dini ministered to Michelle and I there in the sanctuary. 
Pastor Bob was a faithful servant who ran his race well. He was a man who understood the Grace of God, the power of Gods Word and the Love of Jesus that can change lives. I will greatly miss him, but I know I will one day see him again. 

Pastor Bob Hoekstra is the founder and Director of Living in Christ Ministries. He has been in ministry since 1967, including fourteen years in Dallas, TX and eleven years as Pastor of Calvary Chapel of Irvine, CA. He and his wife, Dini, were married in 1966, and have three adult children and eleven grandchildren. Bob graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1973 with the Master of Theology degree.