As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
I am sharing in this week’s notes about opportunities for 2012. Today I want to focus on relationships. People are our most important resource and more important than anything else.
Often we put our time and energy into things that we believe are vital, yet when those things, budgets or planning, are done and gone, the people we are around will still be there. Are we sacrificing people for things that are not so important?
Years ago I met some people who began pouring into my life. Some of them gave me character insight about living as a strong individual, others taught me about faith and serving others and some sat with me and God’s word helping me know God and lead others to know Him. I am grateful for Trisha Elliott, Dan Korver, Phil Dietz, Harry Thompson, Gil Fisher, Herb Hodges, Ken Keene, my dad, my brother Steve and more … recently several pastors and leaders I’ve connected with online and through ministry like Matthew Barnett, Dino Rizzo, Mark Harvoth and others … and close to home, our church leaders.
These people and so many others have really had a mentoring relationship with me. That is where I learn from them, and they maybe, I hope, learn from me. That is what the verse above is about. We sharpen others when we spend time together. Some of those relationships and conversations are planned; others are not. But we encourage others as we seek God and live for Him.
Mentoring is something close to my heart. As a young preacher I longed for others who would teach and guide me. We need to seek others out and pour into their lives. God has called us to serve others and to help them be stronger and strong in the Lord, that being most important.
for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.
Great Expectations Mentoring is a program that Patrick Henry Community College in our community, and other Virginia colleges, started this last semester. Their baseball coach is one of the program leaders, and he asked if I would be part of it. I didn’t know much of the details until it began. What I found was amazing.
The young people in the program are in foster care. The program links adults to a young person with similar interests. I was linked with Raymond who is from a county near ours and was removed from his home due to anger and other issues between he and his mother. He is in his last couple years of high school. It was an amazing time, and I have committed to being part of the program again as have some other folks from our church and the Dream Center. It our desire to pour ourselves into the lives of hurting people, and kids in the foster care offer a great opportunity for this. I was able to share my faith with Raymond and encourage him in several ways. (If you are interested in the Great Expectations program, send Paul an email by clicking here.)
Find someone or a place to pour your life into the lives of others. This could be someone close to you or someone you have to do find. God poured into your life not only to make you stronger, but He poured in to you so that you can give what you have to others.
Over the years I have sought out younger pastors to spend time with. I have found men in our church who want to be stronger in faith and spent time with them. On the other side, I have sought out strong pastors and leaders to learn from. Most recently Jon Morris is a man I am learning from. Jon is the executive director of STEP, Inc that serves people in the midst of poverty. Jon is a giant in faith, faithful to God and his church, and he is passionate about serving people in need.
Who will you pour your life in to in 2012? Our lives are stronger, as the verse above says, when other people live stronger and more confident in faith because we spent time with them. May God use us to mentor others!