Sep 14, 2014 - Rev Paul Rasmussen
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What are some things you do and say that people have modeled for you?
Who do you know who imitates Christ? Might that person be a good Mentor for you?
What kind of person could you mentor, and what difference might your mentoring make?
What are some things you do because you’ve seen other people do them or maybe because you’ve heard other people say them? On Sunday Reverend Paul Rasmussen admitted he calls any soft drink a “Coke” and says both “y’all” and “’fixin to” because he’s learned to from the people around him. He also told us about working at a camp one summer and watching the kids in his cabin emulate his co-counselor’s sock fashion, no matter how ridiculous it looked.
We tend to do and say what the people close to us model. The most obvious example is children; think of how they copy their caregivers. Children learn how to speak, handle problems, treat others, and make decisions not only by what they’re told but also, and more importantly, by what they see modeled by their parents, teachers, and babysitters. We also see this as adults. We learn from what our bosses, pastors, spouses, and friends do and say.
We’re in the sermon series Indispensable where Paul is talking about the people we need most in our lives. So far we’ve learned about the importance of Encouragers, Truth Tellers, and Reminders. This weekend Paul challenged us to invite a Mentor into our orbit ~ someone to follow, emulate, copy. If we really do follow the example of those close to us, it makes sense that we should surround ourselves with people worth copying: a boss who excels in his work and cares for his employees, a couple whose marriage has stood the test of time, a pastor or Bible teacher who can show us how to pray, read the Bible, and serve.
The New Testament paints a great picture of what it means to mentor. Jesus himself provided the perfect example of how to live. The earliest Christians were called disciples because they followed what Christ taught, lived what he modeled. Then later Christians followed after the example of Paul who started multiple churches. In our Scripture for the week Paul encouraged Christians to imitate him as he imitated Christ.
We cannot go where God is calling us to go if we don’t invite a Mentor into our lives. Mentors show us how to love people, parent well, endure hard times, fail, succeed, and be generous. They share with us what they read, how they think, and why they do things the way they do. More powerful than any lesson or instruction, a life model of wisdom and experience is indispensable.
Who is your Mentor? If you don’t have one, who can you invite into your space for inspiration and influence? Where and when can you spend time with them, and what questions can you ask?
And if you are an older, wiser person in our congregation, how can you reach back to the next generation and model a life of faithfulness for them? In what ways can you invite those younger than you to spend time with you and provide inspiration and influence?
You don’t have to be perfect to be a Mentor; in fact, sometimes your imperfections can be the very tool God uses to influence others. All you need to be a valuable Mentor is experience and a willingness to show, not tell, people how to live.
Director of Adult Ministry