My old mentor brings hope. He got through the tough stuff and knows the way! He’s already taken the machete and blazed a trail. I need to follow his path. My old mentor connects me to a significant generation. He helps me understand the oldest in my congregation. I can ask him questions without fear of offending him.
“Sometimes the being is more important than the doing.”
My mentor shared this wisdom at our last meeting. He’s in his late-80s, almost 50 years ahead of me. He retired from a church in Indiana and moved to Bradenton several years ago. I inherited him with my church when I was called as pastor a few years ago. Unfortunately, he recently moved back to Indiana to be closer to family.
God gave me a spiritual heavyweight of encouragement with him. He sat a few rows from the back—prayerfully listening every week. He held no formal leadership position in our church. He did not need it because his prayers moved mountains.
Every young pastor needs an older mentor. I know that’s not a new thought. I press the point because it’s hard to overstate the value of wisdom from someone 50 years older than you. Unfortunately, young pastors tend to dismiss the oldest generation of leaders. Not overtly, of course. Few would explicitly state they don’t want to hear from someone older. The dismissal comes more in the form of time.
Our ears can only listen to so much before words start melting together.