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Mentoring is the flip side of the pastor's public roles of teacher, prophet, and priest.
—Earl Palmer

I remember hearing some great sermons as a youth. I recall attending some outstanding lectures at Princeton Seminary. I've been to conferences that moved me deeply. But the most important influence on my Christian life has been individuals who have mentored me.

Bob Munger, my pastor in my college days, took time to listen to me. Lynn Bolick, a classmate in seminary, helped me think through my ideas. Dale Brunner, a colleague who, when we happened to be serving Christian institutions in Manila at the same time, was a great source of encouragement.

As one who spends most of his days preaching, teaching, and administrating a church, I know the value of congregational work. But ministry to me would be pointless if, at the same time, I wasn't trying to mentor people as others have mentored me. For it's a one-on-one teaching relationship that can make the most difference.

The problem is we don't ...

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