Some time ago, I had the privilege of having lunch with an incredible group of youth pastors—sharp young leaders who were passionate about their relationships with Jesus and their love for people, especially for the young generation. To say I was impressed with them would be an understatement.
I was also impressed by their desire to find mentors—spiritual fathers and mothers who were willing to invest their lives in them. I was blown away by the fact that they wanted to “hang out” with an old guy like me. At their age, I would have never thought that anyone over the age of thirty had anything to contribute to my life. These guys were different. They sought me out, asked me to have lunch with them, and opened their hearts and lives to me.
As we were getting ready to leave, one of them thanked me for taking the time just to be with them. I’ll never forget his words: “You have spent more time with us at lunch today than my pastor has in the almost 2 ½ years I have worked for him.” At first, I was sure he was joking or at least exaggerating. How could that be? But I quickly realized that he was not exaggerating. Several of the others spoke up, affirming his statement and acknowledging to varying degrees that their experiences were similar. Although the discussion that followed was brief, it has troubled me for years. Those exceptional young leaders all came to their positions not only with a specific job to do, but with a deep desire for someone to invest in them—theirs lives and their future.
As an older leader, “a father”, I have taken the challenge to invest, not only what I have learned about ministry, but also my life—in an emerging group of leaders, who, I believe, can become much more than I could ever be. They are ready to listen if we are willing to invest. I’m also finding that my greatest days of ministry are now giving myself to develop spiritual sons and daughters who will touch their world in ways I have only dreamt about.
*Dan Sneed currently travels the world as a Bible teacher and conference speaker, ministering to and advising leaders, while serving on numerous ministry boards. He is the author of “The Power of a New Identity”.
Reflection Points: the Character of God and Peoples
- He’s made us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27)
- He’s made people from all nations (Psalm 86:9)
- He’s the Redeemer of nations (Revelation 5:9)
- He’s the disciple of nations (Matthew 28:18-20)
- He’s worshipped by kings/nations (Revelation 21:22-26)
- He’s Messiah to the Jews (Luke 1:30-33)