To be part of a godly church community is essential for Christian growth. Christians were never meant to live as isolated individuals – the church is a body and a limb can do nothing without being attached to the whole. Christ is our head, and we are in union with Him as we join into the corporate worship of the church, in service of Him, of others, and of the world. We Christians are weak and are in so many ways still prone to sin. We need a community of friends and older and wiser mentors to keep us in check. The mentors in my life, in particular, have been an indispensable source of nourishment, rebuke, and challenge for me in my Christian walk.
I’ve had mentors that I saw consistently for just a particular season. I continue to have different mentors for different areas of life. I have one mentor in particular that have been my friend and guide since I had first been converted to Christianity. Each of these men are different, but one central message is communicated through them to me. One central message that keeps me in check, that keeps me motivated, alarmed, and self-conscious of the presence of God. Most of the time it comes in the form of a question, and often times it comes in the context of a rebuke, and sometimes in the context of an encouragement. The one central message, in the form of a question, simply is this: how will what you do (or plan to do) serve the Lord and his church?
I have fallen in love with theology, the study of the Scriptures, and philosophy ever since I started reading more seriously. I hope to continue to make these activities my lifelong goal and career. In my context it’s always too tempting to write just for the sake of writing, to be creative just for the sake of wanting to sound special or intelligent, to be new just for the sake of being controversial, or to be argumentative just for the sake of one-upping the next guy in line. Too many wasted ink have been spilled to publish books that are detrimental to the church. Often these same books or articles are the same ones that boost the author’s ego. But all this, as we know, is a pursuit of something fleeting, sinful, and of no ultimate account. Every Christian, in one way or another, will struggle with the same kind of issues. Without the many older, wiser, and godly men in my life to keep me in check, I would fail in my main, primary, and abiding calling, namely, to be of service to Christ and his church. And if that’s not the goal, motive, or the abiding norm that informs our every decision, then life would, simply, be a waste.