Sunday, August 25, 2019

Godly Mentors - The Cause Of Godly Change In My Life

When I was stationed in Germany back in the early 80's Connie and I were blessed to be fairly close to a Christian Servicemen's Center. The "Center" (as we called it) was located in Augsburg, Germany. It was a place, run by a civilian American Pastor and his wife. They were called center directors.

Jack and Dorothy Pittman, from North Carolina became the Center Directors a few months after our family arrived in Germany. Brother and Sister Pittman were such gifts to our family. They became our spiritual parents and spent a lot of time with us. One thing Brother Pittman used to say to me was that God was grooming me for the ministry. That was interesting terminology. I'd never heard that before. What he meant was, he could see God's call on our lives, and that He (God) was beginning to prepare us for ministry. If it had not been for the Pitman's, and our time spent with them over the period of about 2 1/2 years, we might not have seen or heard the call of God on our lives.

We've learned from being under such Godly people as Brother and Sister Pittman, Bishop Sam and Rheba Drye, and Pastors Larry and Sandra Linkous that Godly leadership is imperative for those who minister at all for Jesus.

During our wonderful training in Germany, through the Pitmans we recognized and received God's call to ministry. We returned to the States in 1983 as I was reasigned to Robins AFB, GA. During our time at Robins we began to attend Holy Spirit Harvest Church in Macon, GA. The Pastors and founders were Pastors Sam and Rheba Drye. We were  eager to become involved in ministry after being lay pastors of a local Servicemen's fellowship in Neu Ulm, Germany for about 2 years.

Connie and I volunteered for anything that was available! The Dryes also took an interest in us and spent a lot of time with us. In 1984, the year we started attending HSHC, I ushered, worked the call-in prayer line, and played as a musician on the worship team. At the end of 1984, during our church Christmas party, Pastor Sam approached me with a proposition. He asked me if I would be interested in becoming the church's business adminstrator when I exited the Air Force in 1985. I was blown away! HSHC was growing rapidly, and soon would need an admistrator who would also be the Associate Pastor to assist Pastors Sam and Rheba in the ministry of the church!

Let me insert here that Connie and I had just been faced with a very tough decision. We loved Germany so much that I had put in a request to return to Germany after I finished my assignment at Robins AFB, GA. One day (before Pastor Sam had approached me) I received orders to return to a different part of Germany, but nonetheless it was Germany. The only catch was... since I would have no time left at the end of my Robins AFB assignment, I would be required to re-up for 4 more years! We fasted and prayed. We both felt God was telling us to refuse Germany. We both agreed that it was God's will for us to take a giant leap of faith and exit the AF in about 1 year. Just days after we made our decision Pastor Sam approached us about the business administrator position! We accepted!

Altogether we mentored under Pastor Sam and Rheba Dry for about 8 1/2 years. During that time I was helped with my education among with many other things. For instance, we oversaw the singles for a year. We oversaw the young married couples for a year. We oversaw the youth ministry for about a year. I was also the Worship Pastor for about 2 years. Quite honestly, no amount of formal education could equal the mentoring, training, and preparation I received in the early years of our ministry.

Connie and I also owe a debt of gratitude to Pastors Larry and Sandra Linkous who took us under their wings when our first attempt at planting a church didn't succeed as we had hoped. The Linkous' were incredible mentors to us in the areas of encouragement and spiritual endurance. They always encouraged us to NOT lose heart in our doing of good! (See Galatians 6:9)

We've made some mistakes along the journey. Some were pretty big! Thanks to folks who never gave up on us, we're still at it today...even through the heartache we may have caused them. Now Connie and I have a heart and desire to mentor others. We've seen the call on others (especially our children) and have made ourselves available as mentors and encouragers.

Finally, if your life has been enhanced by those who have poured a bit of themselves into you, you are what you are because of their unselfishness. Now it's time for you to do the same. Make yourself available. Pour into others. Raise up those who will eagerly change the world for Jesus. Someone is waiting. 


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