When I graduated from high school and came onto staff with Cobb I was faced with a dilemma. He and I had talked about what it would mean for us to work on staff together. After all, he lead me to a relationship with JC and had been my mentor all throughout high school. Now that he was going to be my supervisor was a much different place for our relationship to be. Sure, he was pretty much in charge of the way that I did ministry 'cause I was in his ministry, but I was still a volunteer and could come or go as I pleased, just like your peeps can do. Now that I was going to be paid we knew that we were going to have to adjust our friendship somewhat.
We both thought it would be best for me to find someone else to be a mentor in my life for the season of ministry that we would work together. This could be anywhere from one year to who knew how long. So I began to pray for a mentor in my life, one who could speak with authority and someone I could trust with my spiritual life and direction. I thought it would be a fast and quick move, that God would place someone in my life right away. You know, why wouldn't God want me to have someone to make sure I was on the right track?
I prayed long and often for a man of God to be a new mentor figure in my life. One year passed, then two and again another. I was beginning to wonder what I was doing wrong. Maybe I was praying wrong. But I knew that I wasn't. What helped me through this time was a group of three other guys at APU who were in an accountability group with me. We would talk once a week about all the stuff that we were dealing with as new college kids. And for me one of the continuing themes was searching for a mentor. They knew my frustration. I was doing ministry like twenty-four hours a day a million days a week and I really needed some wisdom. My frustration lead to sadness and almost to apathy. I lifted my voice and concern to God often for him to answer. And he did.
Through one of my spiritual advisors I was connected with this guy from a church close by. They had known each other for like ten years. This guy was a spiritual warrior, definitely a man of the Lord. His name was Louie. He sat on the board of elders, taught a class with his wife at church and loved God with all his heart. We had coffee and talked about what it would mean for us to do the spiritual mentoring thing. He was all for it. And so was I. For the next few years he and I met about two or three times a week at the same little breakfast place. Man, I learned so much from him. God was faithful and I thank him for placing Louie in my life; it took me waiting over four years for that fit in my spiritual life.
I wonder who God has for you. If you do not have a spiritual mentor or mentors who speak into your life, I would recommend checking it out. Pray, and see what God may have for you. I know that the wisdom of others has and continues to play a huge role in the big and small decisions in my life. I pray that every youth pastor has that kind of support. It will change your ministry.