Since I started pastoring at a young age (24) I have always found it necessary to surround myself with godly men who would be honest and speak into my life. For my 12 years of pastoring, I have had one mentor who has meant a great deal to me. Over the years we have talked often, had coffee together, eaten a few sandwiches and talked about many issues. This mentor has always been honest with me. He has given good godly wisdom and encouraged me not to throw in the towel. He has heard me share my heart and helped walk me through times of hardship in ministry.
Of the many people I left when I recently moved, this gentleman is perhaps the one I miss most. There is something about having a Paul in your life, when you are a young Timothy. I value his friendship, respect his counsel and appreciate his willingness to speak into my life. Since moving, I have needed a few pots of coffee with my faithful friend but we are too far apart.
Good mentors are often hard to find. Faithful friends even harder. As leaders it is important for us to seek out men of integrity and wisdom who can speak into our lives. Those who are not afraid to challenge our assumptions and tell us the truth. A good mentor is not someone who always agrees with you but is someone who can reason with you. The tragedy of many leaders is that they are afraid to ask for counsel because it may ruin their plans. I cannot tell you how many times, I have been saved from bad decisions because of my friend who helped me see the other side.
If you are in leadership and do not have a mentor, find one. I always feel it is best to seek one that is a generation apart. One who has been down the road a little farther than you. Since I came to Rogers, I have kept my eyes open for someone. I am glad to say, God has allowed one to cross my path. No, there will never be one to replace my endeared friend from the South. But I always have room for two mentors.