The blessings of mentors by Larry Becker

A mentor is a wise and trusted counselor or guide. As I reflect on my life, I realize I have been greatly blessed by having a variety of mentors.

One of the early mentors who greatly influenced my life was a pastor who, in my teens, sensed that the Lord was calling me into ministry. Consequently, he urged me to begin assisting him by leading worship services in two different churches he served. This pastor also frequently invited me to accompany him on pastoral visits so I could witness first-hand caring and effective visits.

Later on, after I had completed my educational requirements for ordination in the ministry, I was privileged to have several District Superintendents who spent time mentoring me. One of these Superintendents was the one who performed the wedding for Marcia and me. During the preparation for the wedding ceremony, he gave us wise counsel regarding our life together and how to handle our finances. This counsel served us well in the years that followed.

Another District Superintendent took a special interest in me, spending a great amount of time teaching me how to lead effective stewardship campaigns. Because of his mentoring, I was able to lead the members of several congregations I pastored to experience the joy of generous giving and, as a result, these congregations were able to add staff and ministries they had never dreamed possible.

While serving as a District Superintendent myself, I was privileged to mentor each of the more than forty pastors in my district. I would set aside time each year to meet in private with each pastor. During these visits, I would affirm the strengths I had observed in their ministry and suggest areas of ministry they might commit to working on in the year ahead. Also, during the seven years I served as a District Superintendent, my Bishop asked me to be the mentor of a minister who was new to the Cabinet. As a result of this opportunity, this minister and I became very close friends.

The most trusted and helpful mentor in my life has been the Holy Spirit. As Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit would be with us forever serving as our constant counselor and guide. — Larry Becker