Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spiritual mentors (part 1)

My friend Vann blogged a few months ago about spiritual mentors. He pointed out that there are people in our lives who see more in us than we see in ourselves. These people often help us learn things that turn out to be pretty critical points for us to become the person God has intended for us to be. I have been incredibly blessed with lots of spiritual mentors over the years. Personally, I think it's because I need more guidance than most... At any rate, I've been meaning to blog about these mentors, in part out of my need to reflect and in part to encourage you to think about and thank your own spiritual mentors or find one if you don't have one.

To start, I only thought it fitting to tell you all about my friend Vann. He and I really got to know each other after the Hurricane when the Southern Hills Church in Abilene began partnering with the Carrollton Ave. Church in New Orleans. Since then, he has been a constant source of support for me. I have had the privilege of leading some mission trips where Vann served as a mentor and support, and then 2 years ago we began meeting with some other campus ministry leaders for what we now call "family time."

Over the past 5 years Vann has shown me what it means to be gracious to others without compromising your stance on biblical truths. He doesn't back down on what he thinks is right, but he treats everyone with decency and respect--even when he thinks they're wrong. In my time being his friend, I feel that he has cultivated a gentleness in me that was not there before I was friends with him because he is always finding ways to encourage others. Vann teaches me that it's ok to think outside the box. He knows that questions are more important than answers. But, the best thing that has come out of my friendship with Vann, is that he saw a leader in me when I didn't see one in myself. And by the grace of God, somehow people in Abilene now know and love their brothers and sisters at Carrollton Avenue because Vann empowered me to share what was in my heart. I still don't know how that happened, but I am certain that if I didn't know Vann I wouldn't have been able to share my love for New Orleans in the same capacity.

Thanks Vann for helping me be more like Jesus!

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