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  • Joel Riehle

The Art of Mentoring


I've been blessed with people I've looked up to and who have mentored me. Pastors and parents.

In high school I had not one but two amazing youth pastors. The second, John Sagraves, was more like an older brother to me. He was in his 20s, and during a difficult social period in my high school days he became a best friend as well.

We went toilet papering together, played Tekken 3 together, attended birthday parties together, as well as all the normal youth ministry stuff. He put me on the student leadership team, taught me how to lead a small group and we argued over whether or not it was biblical to give money to a beggar.

One time when we were hanging out I was asking him about something that we had discussed the night before at our student leadership meeting. He stopped me. “You know we don’t always have to talk about church stuff right? We can just hang out.”

I appreciated that. I really did. But in truth the guy, through his caring for me had ignited a fire that couldn't be separated between fun time and hang out time.

I had some great mentors in my upbringing. I am grateful. But John's 'ministry' in my life was different. That must have been something akin to true discipleship.


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