Sometimes in life and in ministry, the Lord brings about friendships that transcend age, background, and maturity. My relationship with Chuck Ryor was one of those.
I first met Chuck when I was only a few years into a full-time preaching ministry. Chuck reviewed one of my sermons for a preaching training I did through Sojourn (now Harbor) Network. From a SoCal Chick-fil-A with free wifi, he encouraged and helped me in my ministry in immeasurable ways.
Growing closer through the years, it was a delight to see and talk with Chuck. Always quick with a joke, full of energy, utterly committed to friendship, humble, seeking wisdom, giving out wisdom, and wearing his heart on his sleeve, Chuck made me, and I know many others, better pastors–and more than that–better followers of Jesus. Often he would just check in, no agenda, just to see how I was doing. I will miss those texts and calls.
Chuck was a frequent contributor to Am I Called. He helped thousands of readers like yourself learn, mostly from his mistakes, and to value the Gospel of Jesus Christ above all things. His loss will be deeply felt.
Chuck’s new book is coming out later this year. It is a great piece of writing and shows his pastoral heart so clearly. You see, Chuck cared not just for those who sit in the pews on Sunday mornings, but also for those who used to sit in the pews and have left the church for one reason or another. He, as only a loving shepherd can, cared about the lost sheep and spent many hours praying for and calling the lost back to the fold. His book, The Narrow Trail, is written for those who have wandered. In a way that only Chuck could, he winsomely calls people back from the brink to Jesus and the Church. It will stand as a testimony to his great love for Christ, the Church, and all those whom Jesus loves.
Chuck is survived by his loving wife Carolyn and his children, Nick and Holly. The church Chuck planted, The Chapel at Pasadena, held a special service this last Sunday to honor Chuck and continue the good work he began. You can view the service here.
From all of us here at Am I Called,
Vale Friend, until we meet again.