I’ve thought about, taught about, and written a bit on key relationships. I have thought about key influencers in my own life.
The key to multiplication and significance is found in relationships. Who am I learning from? Who I am pouring into?
Who are my spiritual fathers and mothers? I have two lists going currently. I have a list of those who have been foundational to my life and ministry. They may not be around any longer, but they formed me early on. Then, there are those who are influencing me now.
Who am I spiritual father to? Who do I give my time to? What am I imparting to them?
We need intentional relationships to develop significant lives. Learn from one another. Pour into others. Let it be multiplied over time.
I hope this is a month long opportunity, since I’m fairly sure I missed the “official” day. (When do guys remember anything correctly when it comes to women, right?)
At any rate, as I took a post to celebrate two great black preachers (William J Seymour and Martin Luther King, Jr.), I want to give thanks for influential women in my life. None are famous (yet).
My mom is a rock for our family and I am so incredibly grateful for her faith.
My wife is my own personal rock in my life and I am thankful every day for the joy she brings to my life.
In college, I was deeply influenced by Dr. Debbie Gill, who taught me Greek and New Testament. My calling in ministry was refined in a Greek seminar class she was leading at the time and a prophetic word was spoken over me, affirming what the Lord was dealing with in my own life. Scholarship and Pentecost in one classroom! Who knew?
In my early ministry Suzanne Kemp came and preached at a new church plant I was doing in Kansas a couple of times. Her influence early in my life was deeply meaningful. She led me through some tough leadership decisions when no one else was helping me out.
Dr. Lois Malcolm is my theology professor from Luther Seminary. Again, the combination of incredible intellect with a heart for the Spirit resides in this great teacher. She has preached a couple of times in my church and when we meet for lunch afterward, she always speaks life into me.
Brenna Zeimet and Grace Hiyakumoto are my youth pastor and worship pastor, respectively. Two young women called of God and making their way. They speak into my life constantly and I am deeply grateful they stick with me in our church.
Last weekend we celebrated my grandmother’s 97th birthday. She is my mom’s mom and has been one of the great godly women in my life as well. She keeps track of how all the grandkids (my cousins) are doing so it’s easy to catch up with everyone.
But I also think of my dad’s mom, who passed away when I was only 13. I go back to a time when I was visiting her when I was 10 years old. We were sitting on her front porch talking about life and she was asking about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I threw out all kinds of things, I’m sure. But one thing I do remember from that conversation that I voiced only that one time before I was 18 years old.
I said, “Maybe I’ll be a preacher.”
And she said, “That would be good.”
I’m thankful for the influence I’ve had over the years, and in my current time, from women.
Sorry I’m late to the table, but what else is new? 😉
I was asked yesterday about the church and influencing society and culture. When will the church be the “go to” place for a culture to come? When a society is failing and they are looking for answers, when will the church be the place they turn?
Having just finished the series on Daniel and knowing the influence of Daniel and his companions, my answer was this: “When we are prepared to lose.”