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A friend described a pastor we all knew. "He's not made the move to medicine man. He still talks like a chief."

The pastor was widely known and deeply respected. He had retired a few years earlier, but he hadn't adapted well to his new role. With a wealth of experience to offer as an adviser, he still employed the language of the large-church office he once held.

The transition to medicine man is not easily made—especially these days, when what's cutting edge one decade is obsolete the next. We wrestle with the Paul-Timothy model of mentoring, because today, Paul has a lot to learn and Timothy has a lot to say.

We found a postmodern-day example.

The setting is an old church in an old Seattle neighborhood overlooking the Puget Sound. Under renovation, the gray clapboard building houses the offices of Mars Hill Fellowship, a ministry that draws hundreds of mostly Gen-Xers to its Sunday night services, one at a traditional church facility downtown and ...

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