Years back, my wife and I were on staff at a church as Youth Pastors. We were at the front end of ministry (& life together) and it was an exciting time. However, it was also a very demanding time. I worked full-time as a social worker and part-time as a youth pastor. Between the two jobs, I was putting in around 70 hours a week.
And I was exhausted.
During this time in my life, the part-time & retired Care Pastor at the church was a significant influence in my life. Pastor Hacker, or Brother Hacker as he was sometimes known, invested in me. He counseled me when I had questions about ministry & life, encouraged me when I was down, and talked theology with me as I wrestled with Scripture.
For that season in my life, he was one of my Pauls.
And you’ll find . . . different Pauls for different areas of your life. And maybe 1 who can speak into various areas of your life.
Pauls serve as counselors, mentors, life guides, teachers, personal influencers, coaches, and/or prophetic voices.
The key element is to be sure they are grounded Scripturally. They must hold the Bible in the highest authority and see Jesus as The Way, The Truth & The Life w/ no one coming to God apart from through Him (John 14:6). Only then are they going to have the same standard & basis for their lives that you need to have for yours.
Style of worship, Bible translation preference, denomination, today’s role of the Holy Spirit, how they dress for church, and how they take their coffee (not if) is negotiable.
Too often as Christians we get hung up on the things we don’t like about each other and miss what God may be speaking to us through another person. This is also a good way to miss what Pauls God may be bringing to your life.
Eat the meat and spit out the bones.
I heard someone recently say, ‘yeah, but that’s a lot of bones with that guy’. I totally get what he’s saying and that may be the case.
But the only way you’re going to know that is by doing two things:
- Studying Scripture in order to identify the bones
And if you’re doing those two things regularly, you’ll find your Pauls.
Thoughts to Pray/Journal:
- What area of your life is missing a Paul?
- Do your Pauls always simply encourage you? Why is that & what needs to change?
- Are you listening to the Pauls that are speaking to you? What might you be missing?