05 June 2008

Thank You for Taking the Time
By Mike Andrews

Do you have a Paul? Do you have someone who cares about your life? Spiritually! One day at church I was introduced to a person who, I didn’t realize at the time, would play a big part in my life and growth as a Christian. It all began with my heart being drawn into some kind of full time ministry. I was a new believer and my heart was leaning towards the pastorate. That's when I was introduced to an older gentleman of the church by the name of John Mank.
John is a middle-aged man who is educated, well mannered and very tailored in appearance. He had learned about my desire for ministry and began to show a great interest in my endeavor. He introduced himself one day after church and asked "Who is discipling you?". I said, "No one.". As soon as I finished that statement, he jumped at the opportunity by saying, "I would like to disciple you.". From that point on, we spent every Saturday together for about two, sometimes three hours. We talked about scripture and the doctrines of the faith and what it means to be a leader in a church because he had been a pastor himself at one time. He was forced to the leave the pastorate because he was not willing to compromise the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and he was also faced with a terrible tragedy in his home. His twenty-two year old son was in a serious accident which left him ninety-five percent paralyzed from the neck down. This would require twenty-four hour care, and to make matters worse, his wonderful and godly wife developed throat cancer. Even with all this responsibility, he still gladly offered up his precious time to spend with me, little ol’ Mike Andrews, a new believer.
John has provided me with love, friendship and much useful information which has helped me to grow spiritually at a exceeding rate, preparing me for the future. He was, and still is, my friend and spiritual mentor. He is my ‘Paul’; a man who showed a great interest not only in my Biblical education, but in the spiritual growth of my soul. Even with his incredibly busy and stressful home life, John still sacrificed his time to prepare me for the high calling of shepherding the flock of God.
(1Cor 4:14-17) I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me. For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church. So my question for you is. Who is your Paul?

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