Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Who Is Speaking Into Your Life?

Coming home from an inspiring Men's Retreat gives you much to reflect upon after sitting under godly leadership and enjoying the fellowship of other like-minded men!

The theme of the retreat was "Only Men Aloud", a clever play on words that focused on men finding and using their voices to speak out as anointed men of God.  Guest leader Commissioner Floyd Tidd spoke from the book of Acts to draw on the lives of three men whose relationships with God and each other encourage us to find and nurture "solid brotherly relationships" that speak into our lives.

Based on the three men identified in Acts, we have a pattern for three key relationships we need in our lives...

1.  Paul is the one who is a couple of steps ahead of you - a MENTOR
2.  Barnabas is the one who walks alongside you - an ENCOURAGER
3.  Timothy is the one whose life you are investing into - a PROTEGE

After examining the influence of these three men, the questions were asked, "Who is your Paul?  Who is your Barnabas?  Who is your Timothy?

As I reflect on my spiritual and leadership journey, I am immensely grateful for the key people who have influenced my life, investing in my growth and development.  I am also humbled by the opportunity I have to influence the lives of others, investing into their journey.  Therefore, in the wake of the Men's Retreat I thought it appropriate to honour those who are a Paul to me, encourage those who are my Barnabas, and affirm my commitment to those who are a Timothy in my life today.

1.  Paul (Mentor/s)
There are people whom I consider to be a mentor from afar - Bill Hybels, Patrick Lencioni, John Maxwell, Wayne Cordeiro, Andy Stanley, Erwin McManus, among others, whose writing, speaking and example has provided me with a significant platform of learning for my development as a leader and maturity as a Christian.

Then there are people with whom I meet in person formally or informally from time to time - Pastor Danny Guglielmucci, Pastor Michael Grechko, Majors Len & Marney Turner, Major Sam Hancock.  Their godly and wise leadership teaches and challenges me to become a better leader.

2.  Barnabas (Encouragers)
The people who journey alongside me and I them are a few colleagues and friends with a shared vision and heart for mission and leadership - Major Andrew Craib, Major Gary Grant, Major Nyoman Timonuli, Loren Pratt.

The other people in my life who are very much encouragers for me and whose support and friendship I deeply value - Ian Abbott, Mark Creasey, Chris Garcia.

The person who has and continues to fulfill both roles of Paul and Barnabas for me is my dad - Robert Evans Snr.

And the most significant person in my life who is always alongside me is my wife and partner in ministry - Vanessa Evans.

3.  Timothy (Proteges)
Within my current ministry appointment I have responsibility for the discipleship and development of the next generation of leaders in our church through a program called Corps Cadets - Rebekah Evans, Adam Evans, Jessica Whittaker, Emily Simmonds, Cassie Simmonds, Luke Barratt, Caitlin Barratt, Danielle McMahon, Cassie Janssen, Michaela Dinas. I also fulfil my leadership mantle to "equip the people of God for the work of the ministry" by mentoring and coaching those on our current leadership and ministry teams.

There have been way too many others from previous appointments to name whom I have had the privilege to nurture in their faith journey and invest into their leadership and ministry development. It gives me incredible joy to play a small part in the growth and development of another person.

Such a reflection exercise is a strong reminder of how important godly relationships are in our journey of faith!  I am largely the person I am today because of the people who enlarge me, encourage me and entrust me with a part of their journey.

Who is speaking into your life?

Who is your Paul?  Who is your Barnabas?  Who is your Timothy?

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