It was eye-opening for me to sit with a small group of pastors at lunch this week. One commented on his rich experience with personal mentors. Men had sown into his life as a man, husband, father, and pastor. Two other pastors said they had never really had anyone invest in them in meaningful ways.
Two days later, I sat in a room with pastors, leaders, seminary students, and even a few professors for a conversation on men’s evangelism. Dr. Robert Coleman, author of The Master Plan of Evangelism, joined us via Zoom. Dr. Coleman is robust and sharp at 93 years old.
He started investing in younger men 65 years ago and has multiple generations of disciples serving the King of Kings around the world!
Today, he still meets with several individual men. He gathers with a small group of men weekly for lunch and 15-20 men for breakfast at a local restaurant on Saturday mornings. He stands to his feet at each of those breakfast meetings and prays out loud with gusto in the restaurant for approximately 10 minutes for those men. “I don’t teach the Bible, I just pray, but they won’t eat breakfast until I get there and pray.” Even the restaurant workers and patrons now look forward to those exuberant prayers.
What a treat to hear his passion for Jesus and his desire to keep growing and learning and investing in other men.
At 93, he’s unwilling to let anything stand in the way of the work he put his hand to at 28. He has made it his practice to continue finding people to meet with on a somewhat regular basis.
One seminary professor commented that he is currently 58, and if he lives to be 93 like Dr. Coleman, he still has 35 years to invest in men. Wow! I was inspired and encouraged to keep my eye on the heavenly vision. At the age of 93, I’d love to still be focused on heaven and that great company that will be gathered around the throne.
As leaders and pastors, you are on the front lines of discipleship. What’s your experience? Did you have someone invest in you?
Two action points for you:
- Would you send me a personal email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about your experience with mentors in your life?
You who are receiving these Build Men messages are part of a select group of pastors and leaders. I’m curious how many of the men who preach and lead in our churches have ever had the great blessing of someone coming alongside them very intentionally to invest in their lives.
- If you haven’t already, would you start investing in at least one other man? You can’t mentor every man in your church, but you can start now by making intentional investments in another man and growing together.
Dr. Chuck Lawless, one of the professors on the panel, shared that Dr. Coleman told him once, “If you want to build a ministry that continues after you’re gone, you start today to invest in young men!”
Thankfully, God is never finished with any of us.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16
“We’re always learning and never reach the end of the trail.”
Dr. Robert Coleman, age 93