Word comes of the passing of Dr. Michael Matheny, one of my favorite profs at Lipscomb. I think I took just about every course he offered at Lipscomb, from Family Ministry and Youth Ministry in 1995 through 2006 for a summer class in Small-Church Ministry, and probably a dozen courses and two practicums in between. He was a leader in campus ministry (publishing one of the first books on campus ministry in Churches of Christ) and taught for over 10 years at Lipscomb.
I will always remember his personal interest in us, both as students and as people. I will remember that he was concerned that we be well-prepared, well-rounded, competent ministers, and that we engage in ministry with all of our hearts and minds. As a professor he was well-read and always well-prepared. He stayed current, had a good recall of the literature, and had a deep well of personal experience in ministry from which he drew often. I also sensed that cared about us, that he knew that what he did mattered, and that ministry was a calling worthy of our very best. Its hard to put that intangible quality into words, but suffice it to say that it showed in his teaching and that is why he was one of my favorites.
He seemed to have found a niche at Lipscomb. I remember him once mentioning to us in class that he came to Lipscomb on a one-year trial run…ten years ago. We could tell he said it with pride and joy. He was also capable in textual courses and he had a good knowledge and appreciation for the best of our Restoration heritage.
I hear the news of his passing with sadness and joy. He and his family endured much in the last year, especially. I rejoice that he is free from that pain. But I also grieve the many years we could have had him to train and mentor students and ministers.