Yesterday I had lunch with someone who's become very dear to me, Russ. He's a 76 year old retired electrician from Boston, who doesn't use an R at all (Hahvahd, Heaht, and Cah). He's a widower who remarried after dealing with the loss of his first wife. We've got very little in common except our love for Jesus. And to be honest, that's all that matters.
Young guys in ministry, you need to find a Russ. You need to find someone older than you, who loves Jesus, and who wants to invest in you. You need a Russ to tell you stories, to complain about traffic, to argue football, and to look you in the eyes and tell you to make sure you get it right with your wife and kids. You need that older man to remind you at the end of his life what he's learned should be most important to you in the beginning. And young guy, listen. to. him.
I'm thankful that Russ let me know that he loved me and that he wants to spend some time investing in his young pastor. And for me, I'm so thankful I get to spend time investing in someone who's lived a much fuller life than I could ever imagine.
And guys, that's the beauty of the gospel. The beauty of the gospel is that it pulls together people who have nothing in common around the single most important thing that matters more than education, background, experience, income, or accent, Christ. The beauty of the gospel is that it brings together all these different people into something special called the Body. We need each other. And we need the Russ's out there. And guys, they need us too.
Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.... Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
Titus 2:2, 6-8
Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.