|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “The influence of a mentor”
Our Bible verse for today: “There was a prophetess, Anna, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after marriage, and was a widow for eight-four years. She did not leave the temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers.” Luke 2:36-38 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Mentoring can take varied forms”
In an effort to illustrate different types of mentoring relationships, over the next few days I will tell some mentoring stories (some from my own experience and some that I’ve witnessed).
Mary E. Henry served as a mentor of mine for a very brief period of time, and for a very specific purpose. Mary was affectionally known as “Mary E”, to distinguish her from another Mary in the church who was known as “Mary Rose”. When I became the Pastor of Oak Hill Baptist Church in January of 2009 Mary E had already been a member for sixty-nine years. As a teenager she was one of the founding members of the church (in 1939), and she had been there ever since. She was the original pianist and was still playing the piano in our worship services almost seventy years later. Mary E was also the church historian, and she had a deep love for the church and for the Oak Hill community.
For a variety of reasons, Oak Hill Baptist had gone through many Pastors in their history and as a result, most of the tenures had been short. What the church really needed was stability in leadership and Mary E decided that I was going to be the guy who would settle in and stay. So, she made me her project. She set out to instill in me her own love for the church and for the community.
During my first year as the Pastor, Mary E invited me to visit in her home many times so she could tell me stories about the church, the families, and the community. As the church historian she had maintained extensive picture albums, clipped newspaper articles, and collected mementoes that she wanted to show me. I spent quite a few hours during my first year at Oak Hill Baptist sipping iced tea and eating sandwiches at Mary E’s dining room table, as I was tutored in the history and heritage of Oak Hill Baptist Church and the Oak Hill community.
And it worked. I quickly grew to share her love for the church and the community, and although Mary E has been in heaven for a long time now, I’m still here at Oak Hill Baptist more than thirteen years later – and I hope to be here for many more years to come. For some reason, Mary E decided early-on that I was a keeper (and I’m very glad that she did).
Mentors come in all shapes and sizes. They can serve many varied purposes, and sometimes just for a season. Perhaps God wants to use you in some special way in someone’s life at this time. I encourage you to spend some time in prayer this morning just being open before Him and giving Him the opportunity to speak to you about this if He wants to. Maybe God wants you to be someone’s Mary E. Henry – a mentor for a very specific reason and maybe just for a short time.
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