Years ago I served at a medium-sized church in a transitional urban neighborhood. There were a number of wonderful people in that congregation. Pat and Dick Franklin are one couple who impacted me. I have often thought that the church, and the world, would be in better shape if we had more people like the Franklins.

Here are some of their traits that I admire:

Thoughtfulness – The Franklins take the call to “love God with their mind” seriously. Dick was a professor at a local state university. Pat certainly had the intellectual capacity for such a role.  They are not into hopping on band wagons or joining witch hunts. Instead, they carefully considered things from a deeply biblical world-view, with confidence that all truth belongs to  God.

Passion – The Franklins prove that a thoughtful faith is not a dead faith. They have a faith that is full of passion. I will never forget seeing Dick with tears streaming down his cheeks listening to a teen talk about a week serving the urban poor.  I will never forget seeing the spark in Pat’s eyes as she guided the Christian Education Committee in discussions about holistic discipleship.

Commitment – Out of their thoughtful and passionate faith, the Franklins live lives of tremendous commitment to the Kingdom of God. They have both served as elders at the church, and on various committees, but their commitment goes even deeper. They do not shy away from being counter-cultural, popular culture or church culture, even when it cost them. For example, they could have a bigger house, fancier cars, or more exotic vacations, but they want to give as much money as possible to God’s work in the world.

I still want to be like Dick and Pat Franklin when I grow up. Please join me. They give the earth a lot more salt and light.