Back on May 22nd I posted part one of this topic. It was sometime during that week when I realized God had put a number of mentors in my life over time that have been God’s provision for me. So this is a continuation of those thoughts and citings of God’s faithfulness and love for me when it comes to mentors. Spiritual guides and encouragers have been with me throughout my journey with God. So here are some more:
When I got to seminary we tried one church and fell in love with it. We attended Galilee Baptist Church on the east side of Denver. We went the first Sunday we were in town and never tried another church. The Christian Education Pastor of Galilee was Byron Cressey. It wasn’t long before we started working with the jr. high ministry there and I met regularly with Byron. He was a huge encouragement and gave me an insight into how larger churches were organized and led. Galilee back in 1972 was running over 1,000 in weekend attendance. When I started serving in the local church he was a person I called for trouble-shooting ideas and as a sounding board for things I wanted to try. We still stay in contact and exchange letters periodically. What a gift of being an older brother in ministry.
While attending Denver Seminary I majored in Christian Education. The Dean of the Christian Education department was Dr. Dennis Williams. What a blessing he was to me as well. Dennis didn’t act like a typical prof. He was down-to-earth guy who loved dialoguing about a bunch of different topics. He didn’t have a veneer that was hard to crack. He shared his heart and experiences with his students. He has been a person I have stayed in touch with over the years. His encouragement and insight have been invaluable to me.
From a far I was mentored by W.A. Criswell. I attended his School of the Prophets while in seminary and it was a turning point in my life. The school was supposed to be a conference on how to preach like Dr. Criswell. Yet each afternoon we were broken up into groups and taken around to see how First Baptist Church of Dallas was organized. Coming from a small church in the Finger Lakes region of NY it was mind blowing to realize that First Baptist had a full time cradle roll director, or full time librarian, or pre-school director. It dawned on me that it may have been Dr. Criswell’s preaching that drew thousands of people to First Baptist, but it was those dedicated Christian Education workers that kept them there. I wanted to team up with effective preaching pastors who could attract a crowd so that I could help keep them It was a vision that has never left me.
Well those are three mentors God brought my way during my seminary days. I probably have at least one more posting on this topic left in me, so we’ll see when we can get to that. I do want to do a post on my Dad over the weekend, so working on that now.
This has been a leader’s view.