Three People

Recently, I was asked to share a message at my local church.  For March 4th, we are planning to recognize Disability Awareness Sunday, and I will be preaching from a passage from 1 Corinthians.  In the process of gathering ideas for the message, I came upon an interesting concept from one of my favorite authors.

The writer detailed the calling of someone in the ministry.  He pointed out that even in a leadership position, a person must not become self-reliant on their own strengths and abilities.  In 1 Corinthians 12, this is made clear as Paul emphasizes the spiritual gifts exhibited in each person as they relate to the entire body of Christ.  In essence, we are all indispensable to Christ and irreplaceable within His Body.  But the fact is, even in our individuality and our unique gifts, we need each other more than ever, for if we don’t come together, we will miss out on the joy of serving as one.

The author went on to talk about the three people every leader must interact with in daily life.  The first of the three is a mentor— someone who can nurture and encourage a person in their walk toward the future.  I have several mentors in my life, and I am so grateful for each one of them.  There is Marlys, a woman I have known since I was a young girl, and she has been a prayer partner and source of accountability over the years.  Then there is Pastor Tim, who has walked with me through my early days of music ministry within the church and has given me the opportunity to serve alongside of him in the church.  His encouragement and support has been simply incredible!  And then there is Karen— the mother of one of my closest friends.  Often, I don’t have to go into detail because she just “gets me.”  I have never met someone as perceptive as Karen, and I value her wisdom and nurturing qualities. 

The second person that must be present in a leader’s life is the one who needs mentoring; this is someone who the leader can nurture and encourage in moving toward the future.  I have mentored several individuals over the past few years— teenagers in the YLF program, fellow disabled individuals, and musicians who are looking to advance their skill under my direction.  Each relationship has had its challenges, but as I watch the growth that takes place in the person’s life, I am rewarded with the promise of a bright future. 

And third, every leader needs a confidante— someone to walk beside them through the ups and downs of life.  I have many confidantes, and each one has their value.  With Cindy, I can share my struggles through faith, with Amanda I can relate my relationship concerns, and with Karen, I can recount my concerns about the disability community and other misunderstandings.  And of course, there are just some things only my parents can make right, and it is at those times I find myself confiding in my mom or dad. 

We need each other, and even leaders need to recharge their batteries now and then.  I felt a sense of reassurance when I came to realize that it was okay not to fight through the stresses of life alone.  Now and then, everyone needs someone to lean on, and I am glad that I have those people in my life.  With those confidantes and mentors walking beside me, I will be more equipped to reach out to those who need the love and direction that only I can give.   


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