Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mentoring

The church sermon this morning was on mentoring. Using Paul and Timothy as a pattern, our associate pastor talked about how important mentoring is to both new Christians and to folks going through different life stages -- such as marriage, children, divorce, losing a spouse or parent, and on and on. It caused me to think about some of the mentors in my life.

Some of the early mentors in my life include my father and grandfather, J Cowart, Uil Gunter, Travis Hart, and a couple of uncles. On my writing there is Cotton Lewis. In business there has been Walt Gould, Tom Sehl, Jim Robison, Jim Schwertner, and numerous others. There continue to be spiritual mentors like Bob Civil, David Lowrie, Gayle Bowen, and others in our church.

Most of you who might read this don't know theses people. It doesn't matter. Their influence has a ripple effect -- like dropping a rock into still waters. Their effect on me continues through my impact on others. It is like that for all of us. The lives we touch, and how we affect those around us has a ripple effect throughout the world. Is the effect for good or for bad?

Tonight our church service was held jointly with the Palo Duro Cowboy Church. The PDCC was a ministry outreach of our church to those who are not comfortable in the typical church setting but could be reached through the cowboy culture. The pastor of that church, Shannon Moreland, is a cowboy through and through. He grew up on a ranch and has spent most of his life working on ranches throughout Texas. God has used him in a mighty way to reach into the lives of many young cowboys and their families in this area. It is great to see what is happening with them.

Tonight as part of that service we heard a testimony from the first young man that was baptized in their church. He grew up with alcohol and drugs and as a result spent a little time in jail. The men in the PDCC continued to reach out to him and help him with employment and counseling. He reached bottom about a year ago and realized how badly he needed something different in his life. He realized that only Jesus could save him from himself. His testimony is an amazing example of the power to change lives that comes only from Christ.

The PDCC is an example of mentoring in several ways. 1) Our church is mentoring them and helping them to become established. 2) The mature Christians in that church are mentoring the young men and women who are looking to improve their lives. 3) They are mentoring young men and women like the example above to escape the traps of drugs, alcohol, abuse and crime. They are following the example that Jesus himself set of mentoring the apostles who then spread the gospel. The ripple effect continues today.

5 comments:

Plowing and Sowing said...

That is where the rubber meets the road. The cowboy church is growing by leaps and bounds. They provide a real draw for people who don't feel comfortable in the walls of a "church". I have a pastor friend who is in the proccess of starting a cowboy church in Sour Lake. He has been doing his research and visiting cowboy churches across Texas. Some are running as much as 2 to 3 thousand a week...amazing. Keep investing in lives.

Panhandle Poet said...

P&S: Now we need people starting "golfer" churches, "oil patch" churches, "beach bum" churches, etc. Gotta meet 'em where they live!

WomanHonorThyself said...

mentors..ah yes........where would we be without them eh!

Debbie said...

Mentors are absolute necessities. I taught "new member" classes, which were really "new Christian" classes. I think it's important to start new Christians off on the right foot, giving them the right training and encouragement. Too many times churches see new members/Christians who come in the front door, walk the isle, and end up going out the back door a few months/years later and never come back. They were not fed/mentored as they should have been to grow in the Lord.

The same think applies to every aspect of life, we need nurturing, support, and occasional uplifting as we grow.

Nice post.

Incognito said...

How interesting... a cowboy Church. Had never heard of anything like that.

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