I left Washington DC this morning after a marvelous week of church planting work and incredible networking. As I sat in the gate area, I decided to listen to a sermon of my primary ministerial mentor – Dr. Russell F. Blowers – now graduated to the Church above. He served the East 49th/91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, IN for over 40 years. I served with him for about 9 years in the 80’s and was challenged to pioneer that congregation’s church planting vision. I keep a host of his sermons on my iPod. As the chosen message ended, I started to cry. His life, example, words, and investment in the life of my children, my wife and me are beyond ability to place a value. Without exaggeration, there is not a day goes by in which I do not think “what would Russ do?”. He resourced me. He gave me opportunities that I did not deserve. He asked me how I was doing or how my family was doing and was inevitably one step ahead of my self-awareness. He was generous beyond description in every regard. He was transparent with me. He loved me. He modeled Christ for me.
I am now sitting in a Delta Sky Club in Atlanta waiting for my connection flight. I am still “fighting back” tears as I sit here writing. I just had an attendant who works in the Sky Club ask me if I was okay. She sat down beside me and I told her I was really fine and happy – just thinking about a man who invested deeply in me though my life and who is now gone from this life. She sat down and asked me what it was about that individual that affected me so much. I told her. She cried.
Who is the person who has mentored you.? Intentionally or passively? Knowingly or without realizing it? How does (not has) that special person enrich your life to this day? In what ways are your life and ministry and leadership different and better because of that special soul? In whom are you investing these days for the sake of the Kingdom of God? Who are you checking on and who are you listening to? Who are you touching in a meaningful and appropriate way? To whom have you spoken words of enrichment and empowerment? On whom in your life and ministry do you attach high value and communicate such to him or her? For whom do you envision in your heart and mind an exceptional future? And for whom do you proactively commit and work to help fulfill that future?
Dr. Russell Frederick Blowers was that man for me. Can you identify that person for you? I pray you can answer that question. If you cannot, seek out God’s man or woman who is ordained to invest in and through you. Who is the person that you are investing in today who a generation (or less) from now will think of you and fight back tears as a result as I am today? I pray you have one or more such special persons.
Well, I have now had three people beyond the employee of this Sky Club ask me if I was okay. I told them each with my handkerchief in hand that I was definitely fine and grateful which is what prompted my tears. The third person sat beside me and asked how in the world that could be. Pardon me, now, but I need to answer this man’s question.