Ok, let's talk about mentors for a minute and why it is so important to listen to them. They know you better than you know yourself much of the time. And it is when that little voice in your head says, “S/he has no idea what's going on in my life,” well, that is prolly the time you should be listening to your mentor the most. They have been doing ministry for a lot longer than you have been around much of the time. There is a reason they are over you in your ministry. And if you have done your homework on the church at which you serve, then you know that this person is rightly placed above you.
When I was a young lad in the beginnings of ministry I was ready to conquer the world. And in many cases it was good that I had that attitude. I could run on very little sleep for days at a time and bullets bounced off me, as energy drinks and Twinkies ruled the day. And Cobb was cool enuff to know how to deal with me, the young stallion who refused to be tamed. And believe me, my pompous behind needed to be put in check often. But he knew how to handle me. I mean c'mon, the guy lead me to the Lord.
But Cobb never acted malicious toward me. He was always there with a kind word and encouragement to help me better myself and our ministry. He knew knew what I needed. And I he knew it much of the time that I did not even know what I wanted or needed to do. I remember sitting in his more times than I can count. He would lean back in that big old swivel chair and rest his brow on his pointer finger, leaning on his elbow. I would tell him all of the stuff going on in my life and how I needed more. I always seemed to need more in my life. I still do – it is who I am. And Cobb was there to help pull the reins in keep me steady.
He seldom gave me advice but instead gave me options. Maybe there is a reason for the way he dealt with me. And I did not know it then, but those were actually answers in themselves. He knew what I needed to do and that I was capable of doing those tasks and fulfilling those dreams. But if he told me what to do then they would never be mine. And because he facilitated our professional relationship that way it has made all the difference in my life. I feel blessed to have worked under a mentor, and even more so that God put Cobb to be that mentor for so many years.
Today not much has changed. I try to steal as much of Cobb's time as I possibly can, knowing that he is thousands of miles away and in a new ministry with more than twice as much responsibility than he had when we were doing ministry with one another. But when I ask him how he has done ministry so effectively and consistently, he immediately talks to me about the men and women who have put so much time into his life. It's incredible to know that the persons who put so much time into you, the ones you see as invincible, are usually the most humble... and that is why Cobb is my mentor. Who is yours?