Today was Shon Lundberg’s last day on staff at Faith Baptist Bible College. He accepted the call to be the pastor at Community Baptist Church in Ankeny, IA, and he begins his new ministry on Sunday.
Today was a bittersweet day for the students who know him, especially for those of us who have known him for several years. For almost a decade-and-a-half he has served as a dean at Faith. He started as Dean of Men and eventually became the Dean of Students.
So much can be said about this great man of faith, but I will try to highlight just a few of the things I appreciated most about him.
Dean Shon first got into photography because the school had no one who regularly took pictures at their sporting events. So he bought a camera and began to teach himself photography.
Several years later, he has taken many great pictures not only at school, but everywhere. He admits that he’s not the best, but neither is he a mere amateur anymore either. His love for photography helped instill in me an enthusiasm for it, and he has helped many aspiring photographers at school (like me) learn how to use a camera more effectively.
I spent many enjoyable hours discussing photography with him, learning from each other and comparing equipment. I sure am going to miss the conversations we had.
As previously mentioned, Dean Shon took many pictures at the athletic events. He did that for several years and has only stopped doing it so often the last few semesters as more of us students started taking pictures as well.
But in addition to that, Dean Shon once coached men’s soccer at Faith, he served for a time as the athletic director, and most recently he was the head coach of the women’s soccer team. Dean Shon loved sports, and he loved to support our student athletes.
Many girls from his soccer team still talk about how much fun it was to play soccer because of the experience of playing for Dean Shon and laughing with him. As I write this, he is in the gym, playing indoor soccer with the girls. He taught his players how to truly enjoy the game and have fun playing it.
But at the same time, he was competitive- highly competitive. He wanted to win. He wanted his players to be treated right. But he also had a right perspective on losing, and he knew how to uplift those who were discouraged after a tough loss. Faith athletics owes a lot to Dean Shon.
He might have been the Dean of students, responsible to deal with problems that arose in the student body, but more than that, he was a friend to the students.
Students loved to stop by his office just to laugh with him, often at their expense. As Dean Lance said on Wednesday as the school showed their appreciation for Dean Shon, the inside jokes were endless with Dean Shon.
He liked to laugh and he liked to laugh hard, and he has a great sense of humor. He could often be heard laughing in the hallway, or if someone else was laughing, it was probably because of something he did or said.
Dean Shon loved his family, and his family is such a big part of his life that they became a big part of the school. His kids could be seen at soccer practices, his wife helped him coach for a year, and his kids became good friends with the students.
He would go on vacation with his family, take lots of pictures of his kids, and talk about his family at school. For as much as he loved the students and the school, he loved his family more, and it provides a great example for rest of us who will someday have our own families.
Some of my favorite chapels were the ones during which Dean Shon spoke. He preached with such a great love for God and a passion for His Word.
He is a great student of Scripture, his delivery is exciting, and he had the best stories for illustrations, but his honesty is what really makes him a great preacher. He would often cry during his messages because he was so transparent about his own daily need for Christ.
In fact, that is one of the reasons why I believe Dean Shon will be such a great pastor. His church will be fed well when he preaches. I always left chapel full.
Dean Shon didn’t go to school to be the Dean of Students rest of his life. God called him to be a pastor. But I’m so thankful the for several years God kept him here at Faith, the last four years during which I was in college here.
He will always be a great friend, but even more than that, a godly mentor who wanted me to succeed as a child of God. The memories will live on…