Last Friday, the memorial service was held for a man, Dr. Rod Bell, that I looked up to as a young preacher boy. He was a force in the pulpit with his booming, West Virginian voice accompanied with an extreme passion for souls, convicting preaching of the Word, and staunch fundamental stand. As I contemplate his influence on me, I am greatly reminded of my own influence on younger men and boys . . . and it brings a solemn, soul-searching note to my own heart. You see, many of the men I have looked to for guidance and wisdom have already gone to Glory. Often I find myself saying, “I wish I could ask my Dad a question.” Or, “Wonder what Dr. Williams would have thought about that?” Or, “Sure wish I could hear Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., preach again.”
Now at my age, young pastors calling to talk with me, asking how I interpret a passage of Scripture, wanting to spend some time in prayer with them, and/or just to be their friend. I remember those days . . . and I’m struck by the intense burden of being a godly, biblical influence; something that can only happen by the grace of God, the power of the Holy Spirit and Christ living in me.
The picture you see in this post is a sobering, but encouraging reminder of the influence we have on others, especially young ones. A few Sunday nights ago, a 10 year-old boy handed this post-it note to me at the close of the service. I stopped, read it, put my arm around him, and thanked him for his encouragement. When I got home, I sat down and read it more thoughtfully. How moved to understand what a 10 year-old sees as his “paster.” If I can fulfill those six things by God’s grace, I’ll look forward to the Bema (2 Corinthians 5:10-14), . . . and will be with my dad, Dr. Bell, Dr. Williams, Dr. Jones, and a throng of other “pasters.” “What a day that will be . . . !!!”