Moses had his Joshua. Paul had his Timothy. A common denominator of success is preparing someone to pass the torch to. Moses would teach Joshua how to be strong and courageous. Paul would be the most successful; he would teach Timothy to commit the message and the methods to others who would continue to pass it on.
A protégé is someone who carries the vision forward after you. It’s not necessary for them to do it like you did it. The vision is what you want to commit to them.
A protégé is also someone that you are willing to protect, pray for and prepare for while the vision grows in them. Its a relationship where you talk, cast vision, demonstrate, watch and then send them out. I know it sounds familiar, it’s what Jesus did. I think many forget he gave them power as well. Protégés must be empowered by their mentors. I want a relationship not a boot licker.
I remember when a particular period of ministry was coming to an end for me. I was speaking at a conference and suddenly the burden for the ministry I was leading lifted. Just like that. A friend of mine who is a missionary now walked over to me as soon as I was done. He slipped his arm around me and prayed for me. He said while you were speaking it suddenly occurred to me that you were just about finished with your leadership here.
There were no worries though. In a gymnasium over a church spaghetti dinner I had asked a young man to be my assistant after a great deal of prayer. Our board approved the choice. When he almost quit because of time pressures and discouragement we met in a busy downtown plaza to talk and pray. His troubles were God’s way of putting those special qualities he would need to become a leader of leaders.
Less than two years later he would succeed me and what success he would have. I gave him one charge only, stay true to the vision. Keep the vision! Change any method, any leadership but stay true to the vision. He did marvelously. He has gone much further with the ministry committed to him, than I ever did. I rejoice every time I think of what he is doing and the lives he is touching. I’m smiling now as I reflect. I’m proud to be his friend.
One of my favorite photographs is of a group of five ministers that I mentored who are serving in various places of ministry. They got together and had someone shoot their picture and sent it to me with a letter. What they are doing today is profoundly important to the many they serve. I’m proud to be their friend.
Today more than ever we need men and women who understand finance and serve with a deep integrity and faith in a God of abundance.
- Politicians who are do what what’s right and not what’s popular.
- Educators who teach children in a way that they comprehend the subject.
- Pastors who serve God’s purposes in their generation, being shepherds after God’s own heart.
If I am going to be successful I must teach and commit to faithful men and women who will do the same. Those who have been willing to be mentored by me have made me a much richer man.
Who is your Joshua or your Timothy? Who can carry on your vision? Do you want them to go further than you? Give ’em a hand up. Give ’em your shoulders to stand upon.
Thanks to all my pastors, teachers and mentors but especially Dr. Milford Addison.
Peace and Joy