A Mentor for the Moment
About that time, a man came by who I immediately recognized as one of the conference leaders, Dr. Robert Dale. I guess he wasn't leading an afternoon session and didn't seem to mind that I was skipping out. He sat down, we said hello, and after taking a moment to get acquainted he said, "Good to meet you, Drew. Tell me about your church."
So began my own practical, personalized, pastoral workshop. When we finished our conversation two hours later, I had a plan, the tools I needed, and an excitement to hurry home and get started. What a gift he gave to me, and I didn't even buy him a coke. My ministry changed that day and God has blessed each of the churches I have served because of that one conversation.
Bob Dale is a Missouri native like myself, but he's been serving here in Virginia for many years. God has used his life and ministry in wonderful ways. Five of his books sit on my shelf, all dealing with leadership in the context of congregational life. Bob knows his stuff.
Twenty-five years after our first encounter, I invited Bob to join us for my installation service here at Memorial Baptist Church, but he was unable to attend. What he did do for me was to send along a prayer, his prayer for me as I begin my service at Memorial. I was touched and blessed by his thoughtful words and I want to share them with you.