While you are reading this, I am currently relaxing and enjoying a little vacation time in Tennessee with my wife. It’s great to get away for a little while, but this trip has a little more significance to it than just a time of relaxation. It is a celebration as well. Let me explain. The minister from the church that I grew up in in Tennessee is retiring this weekend, May 15, and we are here to attend and speak at his retirement party. He has spent the last 42 years in ministry, all with the same congregation. This celebration of his time in ministry is being called “A Legacy of Faith”, and it is just that.
I write to you today about Clint because he has been a huge influence in my life. He is and will always be a mentor to me. In fact, I do not think I would be in ministry today if it was not for him. When I was finishing up high school, he is the person that first put the thought of ministry in my mind. He was the person that took me under his wing when my dad passed away when I was just fifteen years old. He is the person that taught me more about the practical side of ministry, not just how to study and put together a message, but more of the day to day, taking care of people. Not only can I say that I would not be the minister that I am today without his influence, I can honestly say that I would not be the person that I am today without his influence. And other people have realized that as well. In fact, I was asked to be one of a handful of people to speak at his retirement party, and I am humbled and honored to get to do that.
I have a point in writing all of this. I am not just writing about someone that you have never met. The point is this. Clint is a mentor of mine, and because of that he has helped shape my personal and professional life. My life has been blessed with a number of great mentors, and that is something that I think we all need in our lives. A mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor. It’s someone that has lived out what you are going through, whether on a personal or professional level. That’s the relationship that we see between Paul and Timothy in the New Testament. Paul’s letters to Timothy, that we know by the name I and II Timothy are full of Paul’s knowledge, in an attempt to help Timothy develop and become who he needs to be. Take a moment and read this advice from Paul in I Timothy 6:11,12; “11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
We all need someone that can speak into our lives like that, like Clint and others have done for me. If you have that relationship, celebrate it. If you don’t, find it. Also, find someone that you can be a mentor for as well. We were never meant to live this life alone!