Tuesday, June 16, 2009

People Who Have Mentored Me (2)

In my last post I listed the people who have mentored me through the years. I'm eternally grateful to each one. In my years of ministry there are well-known leaders who have had great influence on how I think and do ministry. Some of these I've met. Some I've never met. Only one do I know on a personal level. But through their writings and conferencing, they have made me a more effective pastor/teacher/leader.

Leading the list is John Maxwell. I had never heard of John. But back in the mid 90s when I was going through a ministry crisis, a brochure "happened" to appear on my desk advertising a leadership conference in Atlanta he was leading. I jumped on it. And it was a life-changing experience. No one has helped me more in the realm of being a leader than Maxwell. And I'm still learning from him.

Rick Warren has become known as America's pastor. Years ago I attended a 3-4 day Purpose Driven Church conference sponsored by the SC Baptist Convention that Rick taught. My only claim to fame with Rick is that he was in one of my evangelism classes in seminary. Rick has helped me (and tens of thousands of pastors) understand the importance of building a church around the five purposes of the church.

Through the teachings of Bill Hybels God has helped me believe that the local church still is the hope for this world. He has helped me to see that worship can be done with excellence and that a church can become "mega" without watering down the gospel.

Reggie McNeal is another influencer in my life. Reggie is a personal friend. We graduated with our Ph.D. side by side way back in 1986. Reggie has challenged me to think outside the box. He has helped me to understand that God's idea of a church is not necessarily counting heads and dollars on Sunday morning. Instead, God has called us to be missional.

Perry Noble, pastor of Newspring in Anderson, has helped me to see that God can grow a huge church even in a small town atmosphere, like my hometown of Anderson. His bold preaching and down-to-earth personality can serve as a model to every pastor.

Well, these are a handful of mentors. There are others such as Erwin McManus, Andy Stanley, Bill Easum, and Leith Anderson. By God's design I am a learner. I try to soak up everything I can from these guys to become the man of God and leader for God that He has called me to be.

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