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I’m very appreciative of my brothers with whom I’m in seminary.  They have really rallied around me, encouraging me.  I don’t have anyone’s permission to use their names, so I’ll just rattle off some scenarios and they’ll know who they are.

  • A good friend and I have had some great conversations, one of which was while we walked around Forest Park and we dealt with some really big character flaws I have.  I’m grateful he told me the truth and value his friendship a lot.
  • Another friend and I have studied a lot together lately.  I’m grateful for his presence…just physical presence and affirmation in our interactions as well.
  • Had lunch with a two different brothers recently married who opened his heart to me about things they wrestle with and appreciated their trust and the opportunity to tell them about where I’m at in my journey of following Christ.
  • Had lunch with another brother and talked about Law & Gospel.  Looking forward to talking even more about pastoral topics and personal struggles.
  • Had an opportunity to help a couple of brothers with their papers recently…and another brother with his devotional.  I feel needed and loved when people ask me to help them…I appreciate that.
  • I appreciate a couple of guys who when I send them my sermon stuff or my papers they give me capable feedback…that helps me rely on others instead of myself. Thank you, gentlemen, for allowing me to be dependent.
  • I appreciate another brother who has encouraged me greatly in my walk with Christ and my writing new worship music.  That means a lot to me, especially since I haven’t really been able to use my musical gifts a lot lately.
  • I appreciate a brother who sat in Starbucks and encouraged me a lot in my resisting temptation and let me tell my story.
  • I appreciate another brother who I hadn’t seen in a while who had lunch with me just yesterday and who shared some of what he’s thinking about lately in terms of a class he’s taking…and it helped me ask some questions about my own life.

Believe it or not, all of these things really help me not to feel alone.  They might seem so small, in and of themselves.  But when a person, in their unguarded moments, looks at life and asks themselves how they might spend all of it single, having experiences like these just within the last 4 months causes that same person not to view being single (or the prospect of that singleness continuing for quite some time) in such a negative light.

If I have friends like this throughout my ministry, men who listen and encourage me with the Gospel, I think I will be better equipped to minister to God’s people…and certainly in a position to better resist temptation.

Gentlemen, it is indeed a privilege to serve Christ alongside you.