I have been extremely blessed to have a mentor in my life. My former pastor did a tremendous job of nurturing me in the ministry. He counseled, prayed and shared his vision of ministry with me. I learned how to become a servant from listening and observing him walk the walk, and talk the talk. But above all he lived what he preached and sang about.
Perhaps, the greatest thing I learned from him after analyzing our "Paul and Timothy" relationship was being a pastor who had faith in God. Rev. Claude Christopher is truly a man of faith. He is the epitome of Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder them that diligently seek him." My mentor exemplified an unwavering faith in God that I have not seen to this day. He believed that Scripture is the "Word" of God and taught this concept with the utmost passion.
Whenever situations would arise he never panicked. And the congregation did not see him sweat as a commercial once aired. He was as steady as a rock. All of us could see his faith in God through difficult times. And because of his faith, I've learned to ask God for more faith. Just as the disciples were unable to perform to their greatest potential without having the necessary faith, we to need to seek His face and ask for faith. We cannot please Him unless the element of faith is present and active in our lives and we are willing to put faith into action no matter the circumstance.
As Clergy and Church leaders the ones whom we serve desire to see faith as an integral part of our lives. They observe our behavior not only in times of plenty but also in times of famine. They want to see lives enriched through our faith. Have you the type of faith that will shine through life's problems? Do you have a faith so rich that others can visibly see it in our daily routines? My mentor exhibited this type of faith because, "Without faith it is impossible to please God."
Ever feel like you need to wear a mask to cover up who you are? Are you concerned that, if people knew who you really are and how you really felt, they wouldn't understand?
One minister, two jobs and the family that's at the top of the list. The number of bivocational ministers, those in full- or part-time ministry who carry an additional job, is estimated by some researchers to be as high as 30 percent of ministers nationwide.
"You should see the church they attend," Lucille said, armed with bulletin and newsletter. Creases formed across my brow as celebration gave way to comparisons a trap that had sprung too many times.