This weekend I went home.
I grew up in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit after many years. The place has not changed much. Especially after living out west, where cities and towns seem to get monthly face-lifts.
Not so in Southwestern Ontario.
Everything seemed quite the same. Around every corner, a memory would come flooding back. Things that I had forgotten were all of a sudden so clear.
It was nostalgic in a lot of ways.
The reason that brought me back was that a friend and mentor was turning 50. This man had invested in a group of us guys when we were teens.
He was an adult volunteer in our youth group. Every Monday night, he would have a bunch of guys over for a Bible study. Believe it or not, he taught college level Bible doctrine to a group of teenagers.
I looked forward to it every week.
Well, he wanted to see us again.
A month ago, He had expressed to his wife that it would be good to see all the guys from the group. It would be a great 50th birthday, to get us all back together.
She was on the case!
She set everything up through Facebook without his knowledge. It was a great surprise for him and an awesome weekend for us.
I was able to see a couple other mentors as well.
Over the years, these few men gave me encouragement when I needed it. Even when it meant giving me words that I didn’t want to hear.
They prayed fervently for my family and I, through each season of life.
They taught me a passion for Scripture and a desire for Christian living that I have clung to because of their influence.
I thought deeply about this influence.
Throughout my teenage years, I experienced great conferences, speakers, youth trips, etc. These were all great things.
Yet, they didn’t have a lasting impact on my life.
Great sermons or youth group nights were fleeting in comparison to the men who truly invested in me. They’re desire to give up their own time and energy to see me grow made all the difference.
True mentorship and discipleship.
If we’re not willing to spend quality time with less seasoned believers, we’re not really making the impact. Sending them off to a class or conference doesn’t cut it. Big events don’t cut it.
There has to be more.
We need to be willing to put in the time. Through good and bad, we must be helping less discipled Believers navigate this world.
This has a lasting impact.
The reality is that without these men in my life, I may not have gone to Bible college. I wouldn’t have met Nicole and had my two boys. I wouldn’t have gone into full-time ministry.
Their mentorship made all the difference.
Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
Who made a lasting impact on your life? How did their commitment to discipleship shape your life? Do they know? When’s the last time you paid them a visit?