Timely Encouragement



Key Bible Verse: The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. (Proverbs 27:9)

Dig Deeper: 2 Timothy 1:1-14

While many of us have known the sustaining friendship of a peer we can also experience the blessing of a friendship with someone of a different generation. Richard Rohr says that every young man needs an older man in his life.

Leighton Ford has been a longtime mentor and friend [of mine]. In the summer of 1996, when I first came to Tenth Avenue Church in Vancouver where I now serve as pastor, I was intimidated by the challenge of pastoring a historic church whose “glory years” were the 1950s. Church attendance had dwindled from over one thousand to one hundred and something, and the church had cycled through almost twenty pastors in twenty years.

A couple of weeks [after I started], Leighton and I were sitting in my car not far from the church. I felt a desperate need for encouragement but was too ashamed to ask for it. Instead, I asked for some counsel. He paused and said, “Remember that God is an artist; he will not lead you to copy anyone else. Seek God for his unique vision for this place.” Through those words – but even more through his generous spirit – I received the strength to walk those first wobbly weeks and months at Tenth.

– Ken Shigematsu in God in My Everything

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