A Mentoring Legacy is a Two-Way Street
Jul 03, 2008 by Don Payne | 0 Comments
Wes Roberts is one of our most active and vibrant mentors here at Denver Seminary (and, I'm privileged to say, a mentor of mine). Wes graduated from Denver Seminary about a hundred years ago, I think. He has a practice of giving to people he mentors a small chain with a few links in it. It's a visual pact, of sorts, connecting his own mentoring relationship with a person to a commitment that he expects of them to mentor others. Whoever receives a chain from Wes agrees not to be the end link in the chain.
Last week I saw an exuberant example of Wes's chain in action. One of his long time mentees, Russell Verhey (another Denver Seminary alum from somewhat less than a hundred years ago) dropped by the seminary and told me of a group of men whom he has the privilege of walking alongside as they find the storylines of their lives captured and retold by Christ. I don't know any of these guys, but I know their lives are larger in Christ because of Russell. What also grabbed me, though, was how lifegiving these relationships are to Russell. His own storyline in Christ is gaining nuance and texture because of the men he mentors. They stretch him and ask him questions he can't answer. Yet, he's having a blast! Why is that? Perhaps it's similar to the thrill and satisfaction of being around something that is alive. And isn't that what we all really want - to really be alive?
That mentoring chain runs in two directions. Whatever mentors may give, they receive as much or more back. I have heard that time and time from literally hundreds of mentors over the past ten years. Next time I look at the Wes Roberts chain on my own key ring, I'll see more there than I did at first.