Have a conversation with someone who, last week, you would never have even dreamed of meeting.
Last Sunday I was watching a football game. The announcers began
talking about a certain NFL coach. They said something like, "Yea he
has been mentored under some of the best. Bill Parcels. Mike
Shanahan. Tony Dungy." (For non-football fans, all three are longtime
and highly respected football coaches.) Now don’t even ask me what coach they were refering to. I don’t remember.
Here is the point. Did you know you can be
mentored by people you otherwise would not have even had the
opportunity to meet? I have done this for many years. I will find an
author who "speaks to me." Maybe this is someone I really connect
with right now. I will begin reading most everything the person
has written. I feel as if I am getting to know this person through his
or her writing. At some point it feels like I am having a daily or
weekly conversation with that person.
Some of the people who have mentored me through their writing include:
Henri Nouwen (through whom I learned much about ministry)
Gordon MacDonald (through whom I learned much about how to think about life)
William Willimon (who helped me think deeply about ministry and the point of it all)
Phillip Yancey (from whom I learned much about the importance of having an honest faith)
Gordon Fee (a NT scholar who never lost his passion for Jesus)
Dallas Willard (a writer who makes me want to become more like Jesus)
Now this is just a sample (the link to each
person is to just one of his books). Perhaps you have your own
author in mind. Let me encourage you to consider immersing yourself in
one person’s work for a period of time.
He or she may be one of the most valuable mentors you will never know.