On Sunday, October 8, 2023, Tim Shelton (Bellevue’s Pastor of Groups Leadership and Family Life) was unexpectedly called home to be with the Lord. Tim had challenged himself to an Ironman Triathlon on October 7. But after experiencing a cardiac event during the first leg of the triathlon, he finished the race he had so faithfully run on this Earth. Because of his faith, his life is a legacy that continues to encourage others forward in their pursuit of Christ.
In 2017 Tim created a life map. It explored God’s giftings in his life and how he could steward those well. Tim used that plan to guide every role God had entrusted to him. Among the many hats he wore, he was a Scripture miner, a staff sharpener, an activity agent, and a memory maker. He was also his family’s camera man, a leader’s leader, a friendly friend, and an avid reader.
But the most important thing Tim discovered through that exercise was that, at the heart of his existence, he was created to be an encourager.
He summed up the life map in one sentence: Tim exists to honor God and serve others by encouraging people forward in believing and living life beyond themselves.
And boiling it down even further, he put his life call into two words: Encourage Forward.
Anyone who knew Tim can attest to the fact that “Encourage Forward” was a calling he considered sacred. Lunches, coffees, bike rides, family gatherings—in every interaction, he had one goal: encourage that person to be who God has fashioned them to be.
Ever the visionary, Tim led others to new challenges with excitement with words like “Let’s do this!” or “You got this!” And somehow, when Tim said, “You got this,” you believed him.
Tim’s legacy lives on through those he encouraged—in the hundreds of people he touched, God continues to be faithful to complete the work He began in Tim.
Now we want to follow Tim’s lead. In a world that is desperate for encouragement, may our church be full of men and women who encourage others to use the good gifts God has given them, live life beyond themselves, and honor God in everything. In short, may we Encourage Forward.
Let’s do this!
Click here to learn more about Bellevue’s Encourage Forward emphasis.