Joyce Kauffman has shattered the glass ceiling on this blog. I’ve written about the many mentors I’ve had in my life but I’ve neglected to include any women. Shame on me. Today that ends.
Last week my very dear friend Joyce retired after 16 years of service on staff at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. Before joining the staff at CCFTL, she served at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale with Dr. D. James Kennedy. Going back further, she worked several years for the Coca-Cola Company.
When I served with Joyce on staff at CCFTL as a young man in ministry, I treated her office like it was the Holy of Holies because there was so much ministry happening around her at all times. She is a woman of deep compassion, great discernment and godly wisdom. She never hesitates to bring your needs boldly before the throne of the King. She knows that God cares about you personally and she represents Him with integrity in everything she does. She taught me to always listen with empathy and compassion and to always pray knowing God loves to do the unexpected.
She has been a mother to me and a grandmother to my kids. She’s slapped me upside the head when I’ve misbehaved.
“You made that poor girl CRY!” she said as she popped me one time after I mistreated a secretary for a small mistake. “You’re TOO big for your britches!” But when she saw me do something well, she always let me know and explained how God uses me even when I don’t know it. That has given me incredible self-awareness and has caused me to communicate the same thing to those I’ve been privileged to mentor over the years. Her ministry reaches further that she’ll ever realize.
She hates that I work in dangerous places like Africa and the Middle East. She loathes my motorcycle. But I know I keep her on her knees in prayer for me and that’s something I’ll always need from her.
Joyce is a true God-reflecting human being. The picture above should accompany any definition of a cheerful giver.