2008-03-27 - Mentors
Mark 16:7 "But go, tell His disciples and Peter, 'He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you.'" (NASB)
The angel at the garden tomb is leaving instructions making sure that Peter is included. Peter had just blown a promise to Jesus, that was as much a boast as it was a promise, that he would die with his Master rather than deny Him. As we all probably know, Peter then denied even knowing Jesus three times that day. But Jesus specifically names Peter in His call to meet in Galilee. The mentor calls His student.
Tonight, I was reconnected with one of the most personally influential people in my formative professional years. He was patient when I wrote and sent an email to a vendor that was full of typographical errors. He was patient with my temper and groomed my patience with his example. And he showed me that other people's motives are not always as clear as they may appear to be. And that encouragement and discussion are among the best of motivators. He was busy growing an IT company, and still took time out to guide and mentor all the way around the organizational chart. Sometimes there was correction that was always private. Other times there was very public praise.
Now, this man will be the first to tell you that he is not a saint. He is not perfect. As good as he sounds, he does not walk on water.He may drive very quickly across it. I can tell you I played the part of Peter many times. Is it any wonder I can identify with Peter so well? This man took me aside and reviewed my letters going outside the company, and discussed them with me as he corrected my errors, patiently, for several weeks. He invested the time in me that was needed to make me a better part of the company - his company.
Jesus took eleven men who would be anything but the first choice for an evangelical team today and started a wave of change that still ripples around the globe today. These men were not only team members. They became leaders in the fledgling church because they were mentored, and many of them became mentors. Today I have coworkers, both past and present, that I have been able to mentor who have become mentors themselves. Just like Jesus and this gentleman I was reconnected with tonight taught me to do.
Take that talent to young Christians, or your children, so they know patience, and personal accountability, and the world may be changed in a generation. Today the world needs parents to do this. Today the world needs the church. It does not need a rule book, though guidance is needed. In a lot of places it needs to be picked up and cleaned off from the falls and failings of the world's teachings. It needs to be shown that there is a better path to walk. It needs a safe place where it can go to discuss problems without being judged. There are times and places for firmness which can take unflinching courage. And there are times to listen and help then with their struggles - reaching out with the love of Christ.
Jesus told us to go and make disciples of all men, but only after He showed us how. Leadership by example is a powerful thing. Selah.
Grace & Peace,