In a recent issue a reader whose letter you printed seemed disillusioned with the lack of mentors in his life over the years and the "high price he paid for his isolation." I, too, have had to learn much the hard way and have wished for more than long-distance mentors through the years. After more than 30 years of ministry, I discovered two things.
First, if I needed that kind of help, how many others need help today and need me as a mentor to them. As I open myself up to being a mentor, I find I become more open to being able to receive mentors in my life. One of the reasons I was unable to be mentored was my inability to acknowledge and accept authority in my life from either peers or those over me. This is an attitude I see in many that needs to be broken before a mentoring relationship could even begin.
Second, potential mentors have needs as well. I thought about the two greatest needs I had in ministry: a pastor who would really care about me, and someone who would pray with me on a regular basis just for my needs and struggles. So I went to the pastor of my home church in the United States and told him how valuable he was to me. I offered to come to him on a regular basis, when I was in the United States, to pray with him about the church and his personal needs.
Our meetings have become a very special time for both of us. Whenever we are together, we pray. The result has been amazing: I found a real mentor who is really interested in me, because I was able to take the first step. The rewards are wonderful, and I get to share in his wisdom as few do. I come with a basket of questions, and the value of his experience is enriching my life. I find I am a lot more teachable these days, less stressed, and more trusting in God and His abilities.
Women Can Pastor
I am writing after receiving the magazine and reading the letter from a reader who questioned women in pastoral ministry. I am a female pastor and did not call myself to pastor. I was called by God.
Although I trained and qualified as a lawyer, I knew I had a specific calling to pastor. It was something I fought with for 15 years since I did not want to hear what God was saying to me and had been negatively influenced, intimidated and controlled by males with opinions such as this reader.
The anointing is neither male nor female. Just as the "religious folk" in Luke 13, who questioned Jesus' healing of the woman afflicted for 18 years, some people would rather see people held in bondage than be set free by the Spirit of God, by whomever He wishes to use as the vessel to carry His anointing.
Milton Keynes, England