Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A word about mentors

I know. It's been too long since I have posted. May was a month that got away.

Anyway, I traveled to Chicago with a good friend of mine (David Landrith)Sunday and Monday. The purpose of the meeting was to meet with another good friend (James MacDonald). If you know me personally or read this blog very much, you know that James has had a profound impact on my life. It was through a series of conversations with James that I felt the Lord leading me back to local church pastoring after being in a parachurch ministry for a decade.

Funny thing is, we talked very little about the specific subject of me making that change. But God used conversations with a man so passionate about the church and so passionate about doing it right by building it on the Word that I could feel something begin to burn inside me that had not burned in quite some time. I never want that flame to burn low again. So, I made the journey to spend a few hours with the instrument God had used to re-ignite my passion for preaching and people.

I know we all have people we learn from and some we might even put on the level of "mentor" as I do James in my own life. Let me suggest a few things to think about before you assign someone the role of mentor in your life.

1. Do they point you to Christ? At the end of the day, it's all about becoming more like Christ. If that person makes you want to become more like them than they do about Christ, something is missing in you (the one being mentored) or in them (the mentor).

2. Do they stretch you? If you come away from time with that person, or if it is a distant mentor (author, etc.), is your thinking challenged? Do they force you to look at yourself and ask some really tough questions? I don't want to stay as I am. I want to grow and change as needed for God to use me in ways that will bring Him maximum glory.

I thank God for bringing the right mentor at the right time in my life.