Summary: What an example of faith can achieve when mentoring, when being mentored. Being responcible stepping up and living it out as an example.
I’ve been talking with you about mentoring in the last couple of weeks as part of a series on the topic and I’d like to introduce you to one of the mentors who helped me in my life, some of you may know this man I’m not sure if I’ve talked about him previously, he once ministered near by here and lived just down the road from this hall. His name is ……….! The Reverend …….... of the Methodist Church.
Where I grew up in Nelson though …… and his wife ……… were in ministry and are now retired.
I grew up as a child attending the Stoke Methodist Church; though my Mum no longer attends, I know for sure that she still does church flowers at times.
Within the Methodist church there are some faithful and wonderful Christians. ………. or Mr …….. as I call him is one of those people. I used to sit as a young bloke in church and listen to Mr ………. lead services and preach the scriptures from the raised lectern on the right of the church, where the walls were painted sulphur yellow in the centre was a stained glass window depicting Jesus the Good Shepherd holding a lamb in his left arm and a flock on the hill behind him, symbols of alpha and omega on either side of him and the verse , “I am the Good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd Giveth His life for the sheep” below his sandaled feet, below this window was the communion table, silver plate and cup, some small pottery figures of the Holy Family, to the left just above a door and just behind the piano was a board listing the hymns and scripture passages that were to read and sung that day. Just before stairs that separated the congregation from what we would call the platform was the communion rail and a cushioned place to kneel as you took communion
Every detail of that place is etched in my memory, though not brilliantly, the etching has blurred a bit with time. I could not tell you who it was who donated the dark hand carved hardwood wood fish on the left by the window except to tell you that they were from the Solomon Islands and were donated by friends of …………. another mentor of mine.
Interestingly I can’t recall a single phrase from a sermon that Mr ……….. preached, this may be more of a reflection on my brains capacity to remember than his sermons, but that for me to make a decision to follow Jesus as a sixteen year old, and to commit my life fully into his hands something about what …….. said must have struck home. I know that I was not the only one. This mans ministry had impact.
I think and this is my personal observation, that Mr ……….. lived a life that was an example, a Christ honouring example and within that example young fellas like I was then saw something of what Jesus was. The Jesus of Mr ………….. example wore walk shorts and roman sandals in summer and a blue suit in winter, a Leitchfield collared shirt and a wide co-ordinated tie, his face sported a set of side burns that were all the rage in the day. He kept pidgeons and chooks,and still does, he drove a Wolseley and was married with three children one of which was my age.
Now I’m not saying that Mr ………… was perfect because I know he wasn’t, I know he wasn’t because I can remember him yelling at a rugby ref on more than one occasion when I was playing left right out on the side line while his son ……. was playing lock for the High School side, but all that aside I know that the Christian example that he set was a worthy one!
I mentioned last week that over the next weeks it is my aim to talk about mentoring and that I’m going to be doing a series on mentoring and how we embrace the teaching of Jesus, how we learn from the scriptures of both testaments, how we journey, mentoring and being mentored in our Christian walk and how we encounter and learn to listen to God as He walks with us on that journey.
Today I’ll be looking at Paul’s letter to Timothy, who was his student, but was also following Paul into the ministry, so we have a picture once again of a mentor and one being mentored. Just to kill a biblical golden goose, many believe that Timothy was a young man but there is some thought that Pauls references to his being young relate to his being young in the faith and that he may even have been in his fifties which I guess for some that is still young, this could be a pointer to your never being to old to start ministering the gospel. Paul was mentoring Timothy at a distance by post, knowing that his, Paul that is, life was nearly at an end. He wrote this letter from a cold dungeon where he was locked up under Emperor Nero’s command. Let’s have a look at what he says to Timothy, 2 Timothy 2:1-4.