Welcome to Tennant Across the Pond

Thanks for coming by--and welcome to Tennant Across the Pond, my online journal which will serve to update friends and family about my upcoming trips to Formby, U.K.

I will be in Formby twice in the next six months, serving with Formby Baptist Church. The dates for the trip are:

March 5-22 and May 16-July 12.

For updates, info, and reflections, read on.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ode to My Mentors

In terms of ideas and ministry practices that I am head over heels in love with, it's hard to beat mentoring. I absolutely love being mentored and mentoring others--nothing "fills my tank" and keeps my heart in the game like mentoring.

It can certainly be frustrating, yes. No one likes being asked hard questions. "How is your heart this semester?" "What is the question you wanted me to ask you but I didn't?" "What are you reading and gleaning from the Word?" "Who do you pray for?" "What are you afraid of?"

I'm pretty good at talking, so I generally always have something to say. As a friend recently pointed out to me, "When does Kyle Hamilton Tennant ever speak concisely?" I've been known to say, "That which has to be said quickly isn't worth saying at all." (As a preacher, this terrifies those coerced into listening to me.)

Because I'm a good talker, I know when I have been asked a good question: when I cannot answer quickly. I know that I have been challenged when I have to stop and think about my answer. Those people who ask me those questions, especially those men who ask me those questions, are those with whom I seek to cultivate meaningful relationships.

During my time here at Formby, my mentor and shepherd is a pastor from a town not too far away. His name is Stuart Harding. I wrote about our first meeting in March, and will surely have much more to write about in the future. We've met once a week since I arrived in Formby, where he has asked me hard questions that made me think.

(The question that stumped me this week and has kept me thinking is, "How do you measure work?")

Stuart joins the ranks of great men who have shared their lives with me and helped Jesus form me into the man I am today. They have taught me ministry skills, but more importantly they have taught me how to be godly and live a life of holiness. Without men like Stuart in my life, I would rarely--if ever--stop to think about what God is doing in my life and in my ministry. Without men like Stuart, I would not know those areas in which I fall short of the glory of God and in which I am in desperate need of growth in Christ.

So, today, I write an ode to my mentors. All those to whom I minister will owe these men a great debt. Their loving hand in my life and their godly example have taught me to do what I do well. That is, because of their obedient service to Christ, I have learned to do likewise.

So, I'd like to thank: Josh Garber, Paul Armitage, Alan Kropp, Harry Britt, Rick Oaks, Mike Boyle, Neal Anderson, and Stuart Harding. You have loved me with the very love of Christ, and for this I am eternally grateful.

1 comment: