Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Process of Finding A Mentor

By: Steve Jones

Sometime in 2009 Pastor Nick’s message was on mentoring. He discussed how important it is for Christian brothers and sisters to have someone in their life who can help grow their relationship with Jesus Christ. As someone just returning to the church and a relationship with Jesus, I understood this importance. Finding that person to work with took longer than I had hoped.

My search for a mentor during the next year was casual at best. There are many good men at East Hills Alliance who have and display a strong faith. The relationship with a mentor is what is important to me. They must understand and appreciate each other. Each person must be patient and listen to the other.

Recently, a casual conversation with a co-worker revealed that I was a Christian. He asked some questions about speaking in tongues. When I mentioned this to Tom Hight, he suggested we meet for a Bible study. We met at East Hills on the Thursday prior to his passing. This was the only one-on-one meeting Tom and I would have. As we parted that afternoon, we stood in the cold air talking about how we should get together again. We gave brotherly hugs and parted.

The following Sunday after church service I was standing in the aisle speaking with a mother who was asking me to mentor her young son in a Scout project. As we spoke someone walked by and gave me a hip bump. I turned to see Tom looking back at me. We smiled at each other as only good friends or brothers can do. I was so excited. I knew at that moment Tom Hight was my mentor.

The news of Tom’s passing came Tuesday, and I was devastated. This was the same day I was to meet with my young Scout friend. I knew Tom would want me to continue. As I met with my young friend, I kept thinking, "What would Tom do?" "What would Tom say?" Suddenly being a good mentor had taken on great importance.

Tom’s sudden passing meant our mentoring relationship had ended before it had hardly begun. Or had it? Much of the past week has been spent thinking about Tom. He was so happy to see me return to church. Tom always listened to my stories of my Christian growth. He was always happy to see me. We spoke often about a very good friend of mine with whom Tom had worked for thirty years. He always encouraged me to be active in the church. It is now obvious to me that Tom was mentoring me all along. The importance of this is not lost on me.

Pastor Nick and Pastor Caleb have asked each us to have a mentor and to become mentors. Those of us who accept God’s challenge need to look no further for an example than the man who greeted us each Saturday and Sunday service. Tom’s father-in-law called him, "The most Godly man I know." Pastor Nick spoke of Tom as a great man and how others must step forward to fill the void. It is important for me to accept the challenges of leading and mentoring. Tom Hight wouldn’t have it any other way.

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