My Top 10 Most Fascinating People

In honor of Barbara Walters’ annual list of the World’s Most Fascinating People, I was thinking about who would be on my list. After all, the people who really make life interesting are the ones we know, love, and interact with every day. So I’ve created a quick list of 10 people I admire and find fascinating. My stipulation is that I must know them personally, and they cannot be family. Okay, here we go:

10. Rick Richtmyer

Nothing makes me smile like Rick jamming out on guitar with the church worship band, while everyone else on stage is young enough to be his grandchild. The students all dig him.

9. Alexis Tchou and Kira Rubert
I love Alexis’s earnestness regarding her faith and her unwavering commitment to our youth ministry. She takes an interest in me personally and in my family. And she hugs me every time she sees me. Kira is the new Ausinette – the high school student who loves everyone, gets along with everyone, is super cool, and is “all-in” for the youth ministry. And like Alexis, she hugs me every time she sees me. (Don’t worry Ausinette – you can’t be replaced, only imitated!)

8. Nick Hage
This TJ junior just became a Christian this summer, was baptized last month, and wants to start a Bible study at his school? Dude is on fire!

7. Dan Herbert (aka. Crazy Uncle Dan)

The first time I met him I thought: Who is this guy (weirdo) with the big hair and the shirt half unbuttoned? Dan is unique – at youth conferences, he ends up on river boats eating dinner with complete strangers. But after watching him serve his struggling youth group faithfully, selflessly, and bi-vocationally for nearly five years, with seemingly little appreciation, he has become one of my heroes.

6. John Kutchey
I don't know John that well but I admire him a lot. He has coached my son Tim in basketball and baseball over the years, and we always loved the mix of knowledge, fun, encouragement and feistiness he brought to the team. He seems to have an endless supply of energy, between a demanding job, always coaching multiple teams, and being a good family guy. He's a fascinating Facebook poster, too. Only downside? That ridiculous purple bird on his car.

5. Peg Lowery and Andrea Rodriguez (tie)
Two of my favorite people exude many of the same qualities. Through all circumstances, including some very difficult family challenges, they both are steady as a river, and always loving everyone around them. Great friends and even better people.

4. Jim Newberry

I talk to my “coach” every month. It’s an odd combination of professional and personal relationship, but the wisdom Jim has dropped on me has changed the way I view my life and my calling. Though I’m a little older than he is, he’s the guru I count on to uncover greater effectiveness as a pastor and leader.

3. Patrick Curtis
I’m not gonna lie—it made me nervous hiring the senior pastor’s nephew as my intern. The things that could go wrong with that scenario! But Patrick has jumped into life at Mountain View better, faster and deeper than I could have imagined. He displays wisdom beyond his years, is diligent in his responsibilities, and is respectful of me. I’m thrilled to have him as my partner and friend.

2. Joel Stafford
Joel is simply one of the best men I know. His integrity, humility, and character are exceeded by no one. He is serious, and he is fun. He mixes the two perfectly in his role as the ageless youth worker. He has served the youth of this community faithfully and generously for 15 years, and his impact on the young men of Mountain View is exceeded by no one.

1. Karen Anderson
I had to break my own rules for the last one. My wife is my most interesting person. Her personal discipline is amazing, She gets up at 4:45 every day for exercise and devotions. Then she teaches in a demanding school environment that would have put me six feet under a long time ago. And she still has time for me, including working with the high school team just so our lives can converge more. She sees the best in people. She taught me the love of coffee. Yeah, and those early morning workouts pay off, because she’s a babe, too.

So there’s my list. If you didn’t make it, don’t be offended. I could add many more. I don’t know who was on Barbara Walters’ list, but I don’t really care. I’d take these 10 over her 10 any day of the week.