By Ryan Lawrence
Pastor, Malvern Baptist Church
Being a pastor is never easy. But it’s especially challenging when you are new: new to your church, new to your association, new to preaching every week and being the one others look to for guidance. It did not take me long to realize I needed support. The challenge was that I did not know where to turn. So when CBOQ required me to be mentored for a year as part of my ordination process, I jumped at the opportunity.
CBOQ connected me with Dale Rose. When we met each month for lunch our time together was informal – more importantly, it was relational. I would tell Dale what I was going through, the good and the bad. He would patiently listen, which was part of what I needed: a sympathetic ear. Then he would ask the questions I needed to consider and offer the wisdom I needed to hear. Through this process, I gained confidence where I needed to stop doubting myself and learned to question myself where I was too self-assured. Dale helped orient me not just to my role, but to also myself.
In addition, Dale shared a great deal about his life and many years in ministry. He never pressured me to be like him. But he gave me an example of what maturity looks like, as well as what it takes to get there. This helped me to envision my own journey: where I was heading and what it would take for me to get there.
It has been more than a year since my mentorship with Dale, but I still look forward to running into him at CBOQ gatherings, and we still meet up for lunch from time to time. This is because Dale was not just my teacher, but also my friend. Indeed one of the many lessons I learned from him is that this is what mentorship is: relational learning.