Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


A friend of mine asked if I’d do a devotional at a weekly mens breakfast they call Dawn Patrol last week when I was in Nor Cal. I’m teaching at their mens retreat next month, and he asked if I’d come answer a few questions about my life and faith and share a few thoughts too. I said sure.

But at the end of our time, I had this aha moment. I realized that in the room was my dad, my youth pastor, my son, and two of my friends/peers in ministry.  It reminded me of the principle I once read during the “promise keeper” movement: that we all need a Paul, a Barnabus, and a Timothy in our lives. 
This was a once in a decade opportunity to snap a pic of my own mentor constellation and to vocally thank them each for their influence on my life.  All I had was my cell phone that I tossed to a guy in the audience and asked to snap our pic. I had to spend some time in photoshop trying to edit out a big nasty TV projecting blue (some still visible) all over the picture and a bunch of other stuff I tried to correct to get it to be a pic I could tolerate.  
But here it is: 
From left to right you’re looking at:
Mark Campbell: pastor and friend I share my life with.
Mark Teyler: my youth pastor who led me to Christ.
My Dad: a great role model and wonderful dad/grandpa who loves Jesus.
My oldest son TJ: so proud of who he’s becoming.
Scott Berglin: friend from high school who also went to my youth group, now a pastor I share my life with.
I’m hoping at the retreat to re-create this pic with a few guys who have come through my ministry and as a youth pastor and are now in ministry themselves.  That’d be like the best picture ever.  As a youth pastor it reminds me of a few things though:
FAITH TAKES A COMMUNITY:  I could add a lot of people who have shaped my soul to this picture.  But in the end, no one builds authentic faith with just a few, it takes a community to form authentic faith. I’m so thankful for these men in my life. 
I NEED SPIRITUAL MENTORS TO DISCIPLE ME: I continue to need spiritual fathers and grandfathers.  We all do. 

I MUST BE DISCIPLING OTHERS. The basic principle of 2 Timothy 2:2 requires that we be passing on the faith to those who will pass it on.  I’m thankful for those who have handed the baton to me, for those who run with me in this day with it, and those whom I’m handing it to that will eventually run past me with it.  
So, who are you doing life with?  Who is pouring into you?  Who are you pouring your life and faith into?

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