I’ve known Doug for more than 20 years. I have admired him since our first conversation. He is my friend, pastor, hero, leader, ministry partner, best friend. Somewhere in there we became like brothers, although I’m much younger brother always needing quite a bit of help. After my dad, there’s no one else whom I’ve respected more than Doug.
What’s Doug does is easy to explain: he loves God deeply, he loves his family passionately, and he loves the ministry entrusted to him by God.
What I’ve admired about Doug has been SO MUCH more difficult for me to explain. I’ve gone through several pages in my journal, trying to find the words to describe our friendship. I was tempted to write nothing. However, I needed to say something—even though it will be incomplete—because I want others to have a peak at how he has shaped my life:
Doug is honest, open, and authentic.
In high school I’d bring my friends to church by saying, “you have to hear this guy, he talks about God and he is real and not fake.” 30+ students on my team also found this quality admirable. WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET. This has never changed in him.
Doug is patient, forgiving, and humble.
I can’t number the times I’ve done something impulsive, foolish, or even evil and had it directly impact Doug. He has been his habit to respond with grace. When there’s relational conflict, Doug keeps short accounts, not letting a grudge develop. He doesn’t shirk his responsibility to say sorry when he’s wrong.
Doug is passionate, pure, and holy.
He has a deep friendship with Jesus, and it’s the most important thing in his life. He loves scripture, and constantly seeks intimacy with God. He’s reflective and self-aware, and not afraid to tackle the Ugliness within. He’s aware of his own faults and imperfections. His life is one that is set apart, committed to God’s Way instead of the World’s way.
Doug is wise, discerning, and understanding.
He is not satisfied with the superficial and simplistic answers. He understands people and has great insight into their character and struggles. He is more than a great communicator; his teaching exceeds his charisma because he’s committed to telling the truth.
Doug is compassionate, encouraging, and gentle.
He cares deeply. He works to help others love Jesus more. Doug is a master the nudge: able to correct a person with a light touch.
Doug is funny, positive, and encouraging.
He understands how humor ought to be used: to create joy and break down walls. He has NEVER been preoccupied with self-glory. His words are legendary: able to motivate and inspire and activate and build up ANYONE.
Doug is driven, dedicated, and fearless.
He works tirelessly to build, develop, create…his ministry is a stewardship, and he doesn’t waste time or resources entrusted to him. He is that strange mix of dreamer and doer, seeing big things and doing the little things to get there. He is a leader, and shuts out the chorus of fools fearlessly.
Doug is faithful, trustworthy, and loyal.
He has been a great friend to me. I have trusted him with everything and never felt at risk.
>>that’s the best I can do!